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Why Americans can't or won't appreciate Formula One racing.
October 11, 2001 9:04 PM   Subscribe

Why Americans can't or won't appreciate Formula One racing. I visited Monte Carlo last year and a Greek friend of mine introduced me to the famous (among even the most casual of F1 fans) "hairpin" turn. "Well," he said, "here it is." "Here what is?" I wondered aloud. "My god, but you are so American." I confess, when it comes to F1, as with rugby, cricket, and the many other sports popular everywhere outside U.S. borders, I am an ignorant boob. Are we 'mericuns just a bunch of xenophobic hicks, as the article suggests (skip down about 1/3 of the way)? Or just ignorant hicks? Whatever the case, with the lack of media coverage, we are certainly missing out.
posted by Bixby23 (53 comments total)

 
Or Rally Racing for that matter. Ever since I started playing Colin McRae 2.0 I've gotten a much better appreciation for rally car drivers. Certainly more demanding than making left turns all day (ducks as $150 NASCAR die cast models go flying at his head).
posted by m@ at 9:08 PM on October 11, 2001


I don't think the lure is in the appreciation of skill/talent but in the presentation. Don't you love watching a smelly, smoky, loud piece of fiberglass zoom around in circles?
posted by bloggboy at 9:18 PM on October 11, 2001


Although I do enjoy F1 racing and rugby, an alternate question can also be asked here- Why hasn't the world been swayed into embracing NASCAR and North American Football?

Rally racing is certainly exciting. F1 is too, but open-wheel racing has never embraced the American love of nitty-gritty, 'rubbin' is racin'' racing.

This is also an issue of timing. During the 50's, baseball was at it's all-time peak as far as public appeal in the U.S., but has since declined. Why so?

Attitudes differ with time and location. Deal with it. The world is homogenous enough as it is.
posted by ttrendel at 9:23 PM on October 11, 2001


Nah, there are plenty americans that are fans of F1, Football(soccer), etc.. myself included. I was a big Nigel Mansell fan, and was estatic to get to meet him, when he raced Indycars for a season. The lack of popularity of F1 in the US has to be partially attributed to the abundance of racing series in the US. NASCAR, IRL, CART etc... the market is pretty saturated. While I believe that F1 is technically superior to IRL, CART; a lot of people don't view that as a factor to switch. There is a history in all of these circuits, but F1 isn't widely known to many americans. A big part of the appeal is being able to attend races. For quite a few years there weren't any F1 races in the US. Not really a good way to build a fanbase.

Frankly there simply used to not be much exposure to these sports when I was a child. I think in the next 10-20 years you will see soccer/football's popularity grow. It already has exploded in the past 10 years, primarily because of starting kids playing when they are young.
posted by jbelshaw at 9:25 PM on October 11, 2001


Not that I hold the same opinion but I've heard many, many, Rugby and Aussie Rules players laugh at American Football's mallow-puff protective gear.

There, I found the reason.
posted by holloway at 9:28 PM on October 11, 2001


My theory, which is mine:
A number of sports are quite interesting to an informed observer, but much less so to a casual observer. Baseball and soccer are both in this category, and therefore don't gain much purchase outside regions where there is already a foothold in the culture.

F1 racing is similar. There is little to no passing for position, and much of the "race" seems to be pre-decided by the mechanics in the garage. To a casual observer, it is vastly inferior to NASCAR's easier-to-grasp oval circuits and constant action.
posted by marknau at 9:29 PM on October 11, 2001


Stallone just set F1 image back with that movie of his...Formula was a euro thing from the beginning. no, we 'mericans competed well from the beginning. (racing before formula) The buick racing team took over half the victories in its first few years. Formula is superior because of its engine. that is everything. In the early days, ones mechanican rode along with the driver. Many where mechanics. (Chevrolet, Burman, Walt Marr) SPEED>>> Marinetti proclaimed the end of the 30 M.P.H. world.
posted by newnameintown at 9:41 PM on October 11, 2001


To a casual observer, it is vastly inferior to NASCAR's easier-to-grasp oval circuits and constant action.

Constant action? Are we talking about the same NASCAR?

I'd love to see 'Non-US' sports gain more acceptance. It seems to me that non american athletes/fans enjoy the actual game more than us yanks. None of that whining because a $97 million contract isn't enough.
posted by esch at 9:43 PM on October 11, 2001


I just find it hilarious myself that Americans have something called the World Series, where (to the best of my knowledge) they're the only country that plays in it! Some could construe this as meaning that the USA thinks that they ARE the world, but I'm sure there's another meaning to it. Anybody care to educate me on the background to the name?
posted by Jubey at 9:48 PM on October 11, 2001


Well, there is a Canadian baseball team, the Montreal Expos, competing so I guess it ought to be called the North America Series.
posted by rks404 at 9:53 PM on October 11, 2001


NASCAR is spectacularly boring. F1 is spectacularly boring. Rally is interesting, but it's a lot more tedious now that spectators aren't likely to be killed any more -- kinda takes the edge off the curves.

...now bicycle racing, there's a sport!
posted by aramaic at 9:59 PM on October 11, 2001


While we all know that Canada isn't really a country, they get all testy when you point it out.

Seriously, Formula 1 will never be really popular, exactly because it is a European sport. You can't make a habit of watching the races on a Sunday afternoon, because they happen at bizarre times. Because of this, few American companies sponsor F1, and you don't get any of the cross-promotion goodness. Americans who like lots of passing watch NASCAR, Americans who like open-wheel racing have a perfectly serviceable series in CART.

Those who need their F1 fix can always watch on Speedvision, just like World Superbike, MotoGP, and god knows what else. Unless, of course, the rumors of an all-NASCAR Speedvision come to pass.
posted by jaek at 10:04 PM on October 11, 2001


jubey, I just got done watching the first few Ken Burns Baseball documentaries....They called it the "World's Series" pretty much out of just plain pride. No-one else really played baseball, after all. For anyone who wants to understand the magic of the game, those docus are spellbinding for fans and non-fans alike.

--

I agree that F1 is the superior racing. The tracks are more interesting, the speeds higher. I have no interest in rednecks turning left. That's too harsh, I guess, but it just seems plain better to me. I have heard that F1 is somewhat ruined by the more affluent teams dominating, but that happens in all sports.

I also think it is on TV if you know where to look. Speedworld shows it, as do the Fox sports stations.

Another aspect is that there is a real sense of nationalism involved in F1. Witness the near hysteria in Brazil when Senna died, the flag waving etc, and that sort of unity is hard won in America. Our country is too huge and diverse...we have a hard time getting fans interested in the greatest sporting event in the world...the World Cup. We just qualified and I think I saw it in my paper's sports page...somewhere...probably after high school softball.

One of the greatest televised sports events for me is when Fox Sports World shows the English Darts Tournaments. There's some whack commentator on there who sounds like his head is going to explode pretty much for the whole show.
posted by Kafkaesque at 10:05 PM on October 11, 2001


There are about 150 sports out there, and the American media covers less than 10 on a regular basis. Even if a sport is super compelling, it's virtually impossible to make an impact.
posted by neuroshred at 10:24 PM on October 11, 2001


The world is homogenous enough as it is.
(ttrendel)

Vive la différence, indeed.

there is a real sense of nationalism involved in F1

Not really, K: it's more of a Brazilian thing. Though Ferrari fans are so rabid that the marque always hires non-Italian pilots just so that the "tiffosi" don't go completely mad. Even, er, Germans ...
posted by MiguelCardoso at 10:33 PM on October 11, 2001


yeah, that "world series" thing has always cracked me up. especially since the cubans could kick some serious butt.
posted by signal at 10:40 PM on October 11, 2001


This article seems a bit anecdotal, but it talks about the relative size of rugby vs. football players.

As far as "World Series"? We're talking about America here blokes, we invented "We're Number One". Facts be damned.

There are about 150 sports out there, and the American media covers less than 10 on a regular basis.

I'd say they cover 4 with any real regularity (football, baseball, basketball, hockey) - and why not? Those are the four Americans give a damn about (with NASCAR, tennis, and the X-Games picking up some slack). It's one thing not to cover international politics, but I can live quite fine without results of the Austrian Luge Invitational.
posted by owillis at 10:49 PM on October 11, 2001


Digital cable has been awesome for me because I can now watch Fox Sports World and Speedvision. My roommate thought I was crazy for watching table tennis all of Monday night.

Another thing to notice is the general attitude of NASCAR vs. F1. In NASCAR, when you're in 40th place, you still get points while in F1 the points are for top 6 only. In NASCAR, get in a wreck and you can patch it up with some duct tape and run it back out while in F1 one off into the gravel trap and you're done. Therefore, NASCAR meshes more with the blue collar crowd who goes to work 9-5 every day for 40 years and consistency is rewarded over flashes of brilliance, and hence why usually the most consistent drivers win the championship in NASCAR as opposed to almost always the driver with the most points in F1.
posted by gyc at 10:56 PM on October 11, 2001


For the longest time baseball, an american sport, was for the most part only played in the U.S. At the time, no one would have argued with the term 'world series' and it seemed appropriate.

Times have changed and perhaps with baseball being played elsewhere it may seem a little dated.

However, despite quality baseball being played in cuba and japan the best teams are in the U.S. and the best players still come here for the opportunity to compete with the best. They don't take off for japan (usually) unless they're over the hill.

It really doesn't have anything to do with us 'being americans'.

If anything it's more of a world series today than it was in the past since the league itself is more multicultural than ever before, despite the teams being based in american and canada.
posted by justgary at 11:08 PM on October 11, 2001


Well first up ABC's coverage of the US GP was pathetic. The commentators were really dismal, they didn't even bother to learn the names of the drivers.

Apart from that the US GP drew the largest F1 crowd this season. I know a bulk of them were foreigners, but still selling out more seats that all the other GPs is quite a feat.
posted by riffola at 11:13 PM on October 11, 2001


My moneys with m@ and aramaic. NASCAR = boring, F1 = not as boring. rally driving = shit yeah!! As for spectators getting killed or injured, thats what soccer hooligans are for. And IMHO Grid Iron is the most boring game ever invented. If you want to see football as it was meant to be played, Rugby League is the way to go. State of Origin football (QLD vs NSW) is the most exciting thing you can watch with your pants on.
posted by spinifex at 11:19 PM on October 11, 2001


justgary At the time, no one would have argued with the term 'world series' and it seemed appropriate.

sorry, but calling something world series when only one country participates doesn't make sense in anycontext. I doubt the austrian luge invitational is called the World Luge Series, even though nobody else cares fuck all. if it's a national final, call it that.

everybody invited to my house for the Intergalactic Strawberry-Pancake Tossing Competition.
posted by signal at 11:27 PM on October 11, 2001


Ummm, differences in culture anyone?

Now I should sulk in the corner because I'm not a fan of bull fighting. Bad 'merican.
posted by skallas at 11:33 PM on October 11, 2001


calling something world series when only one country participates doesn't make sense in any context.

How many countries would it take? Cuba, japan, and us? Because that's basically it, even though it certainly wouldn't be the world. How about sweden? I'm sure there's a baseball team there somewhere. Forget the fact that it would be zero competition and no one would care to watch it.

I'm not saying it would be named the 'world' series if it were named today. But it's not so ludicrous as to have to be renamed.

Look the world over for every team that would have a chance to win and they are all. right. here.

No one else in the world, right now, would have a chance. That's the context I'm looking looking through, and it works for me. Yours is obviously different.

To have a 'world' series, you need world competition, and right now we don't have it.

And by the way, it's two countries, not one.
posted by justgary at 11:40 PM on October 11, 2001


To have a 'world' series, you need world competition, and right now we don't have it.

my point exactly, you don't have it, don't call it that.
posted by signal at 11:45 PM on October 11, 2001 [1 favorite]


To have a 'world' series, you need world competition, and right now we don't have it.

Yes, it's easy to take one sentence out of context. The fact is in the world of 'baseball competition' we do have it. Every team that has a reasonable chance to win the world series IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD is in the U.S. and canada.

Hell, let's invite the top 20 baseball teams in the world and have a literal world series. Only problem is they'd all still be from the U.S. The point? Open the world series to the top 20 teams in the world and nothing would change, no new teams would be participating. No new countries would make the cut. There is no point.

Add to that the fact that players from all over THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD come to the U.S. to play and you could argue that fact also makes it a world series. Why play japan when their best players are already here?

Your taking the word 'world' literally. I'm viewing it in a practical sense.
posted by justgary at 12:15 AM on October 12, 2001


dude, relax

i'm not suggesting you invite anybody from anywhere to play. i don't honestly give a flying fuck.

it's just silly to call a local final the "world" series.

I'm sure every country has some obscure game they excell at mainly because nobody else is interested, but they don't call their finals "world" anything, just national or regional or whatever.

anyway, rock on brother, I was just waiting for quicktime to download
posted by signal at 12:22 AM on October 12, 2001


signal:i don't honestly give a flying fuck.

Then why argue? Why post? World, national, regional? Could we be just a little more anal?

The super bowl is neither super nor a bowl. That must absolutely drive you mad!
posted by dantheman at 12:29 AM on October 12, 2001


So here's the joke --

How many MeFiers does it take to turn a "Why don't Americans care for Formula One?" discussion into a "Is it or is it not a World Series?" discussion?

Just kidding. But is it possible that the ideas are related in the sense that Americans, maybe moreso than other peoples, have a very self-centered view of the world (now look who's changing the topic). I guess my point is that things like this are funny in part because there's some truth to them. Maybe?
posted by Bixby23 at 12:29 AM on October 12, 2001


Too far down for this probably but if you 'Americans' want more action than the (admittedly) dull at time F1, try BTCC. Touring Cars (UK) - BMWs, Astras, etc all souped up and racing round circuits (not ovals). Bashing and nudging and slamming the hell out of each other. They even have names for some of the 'moves' and the governing body is happy that, as long as it's safe, the racing can be aggressive as the driver wants.

Nothing better than watching a well timed punt up someone's rear bumper so they miss their braking point and go sailing gracefully off the track and into the crash barriers.

http://www.btccpages.com/
posted by snowgoon at 12:34 AM on October 12, 2001


What amazed me during my stay in the US was that there was very little coverage even for a sport where the US is a world leader: Track and Field. Only during the Olympics was there some kind of coverage (the quality of which I don't even want to discuss...). Maurice Green, Stacy Dragila, Michael Johnson and Marion Jones are superstars in Europe (and elsewhere I'm sure). Not in their home country.
The same applies to sports where the US has a very good national team, such as Volleyball, Water Polo and Swimming. I mean if the country wasn't interested in these sports would there have been that many great athletes coming out of the US? Is it just bad PR?
posted by talos at 1:05 AM on October 12, 2001


Seconded for touring cars: it's NASCAR with left turns. Woohoo!
posted by holgate at 1:07 AM on October 12, 2001


I'm with Snowgoon on this, I've been watching the Touring Cars this year and it has been some of the purest, most honest-to-goodness racing I have seen in years. It's a shame that Vauxhall (aka Opel aka GM) have been dominating the field this year, but it looks like next year they may have sone competition.
They also have the private racers on the track at the same time as the pros - starting them 30 seconds earlier so theat the leaders have a pack of 20 or so slower cars to pass from the start - excellent to watch.
posted by Markb at 1:10 AM on October 12, 2001


It is called the "World Series" because it was named after a newspaper that sponsered it at the time.
posted by houndyboy at 1:33 AM on October 12, 2001


rugby, cricket, and the many other sports popular everywhere outside U.S. borders

Rugby and cricket are definitely not popular everywhere. For most of Europe, Asia, Africa, S. America and N. America, Rugby is as quaint as American Football. Cricket is only played seriously by most British Commonwealth nations.
Football, however is indeed a world game.
posted by talos at 2:01 AM on October 12, 2001


On the rugby/American football thing - there was a recent article in the Observer's Sport mag with the English rugby team captain visiting some American football team. He had a lot of respect for them and seemed to think the padding appropriate for the game (they seemed impressed with him too, so maybe it was all just a big fluffy hug session, what do I know...?)

I'm an F1 fan, and even I find it boring. No idea why I still watch (I mean, politically, it's a nightmare - a money grabbing dictatorship pumping loads of money into testosterone-stupid lumps of metal that do nothing more that go round in circles while polluting the atmosphere). Still, maybe next year Williams can get it together and we can see Montoya rub both the Schumacher brothers' faces in the dirt. :-)
posted by andrew cooke at 3:16 AM on October 12, 2001


houndyboy wrote:

It is called the "World Series" because it was named after a newspaper that sponsered [sic] it at the time.

But 10 seconds of google time shows that it's not:

http://www.snopes2.com/business/names/worldser.htm

not because of any affiliation with a corporate sponsor, but because the winner was considered the "world's champion"

So we can continue to mock you parochial fools. Hahaha!

ObOntopic: F1 is indeed veh veh boring.
International Rugby is exciting.
posted by godidog at 3:46 AM on October 12, 2001


I don't begrudge the US the 'World Series' title. Don't we have some snooker tournament called the World Championships or something, even though only British, Irish and a few Canadians and South Africans compete?

And as for Rugby, it's growing in popularlity - especially in S. America (Argentina's got a world class team), Japan, and Eastern Europe. Though Africa and most of Asia remain unconquered. Problem with rugby is it's too bloody complicated. What the fuck is a scrum about?

All racing is as boring as hell unless you're playing it on the Playstation (it's even more fun when you're beating your boyfriend).
posted by Summer at 3:55 AM on October 12, 2001


Kafkaesque:

One of the greatest televised sports events for me is when Fox Sports World shows the English Darts Tournaments. There's some whack commentator on there who sounds like his head is going to explode pretty much for the whole show


Sid Waddell!! Fantastic!!! One of the greatest sports commentators of all time and a big personal favourite of mine:

"There might be Shakespeare on BBC2, but you can't beat this for real drama!"

"There's only one word for that: 'brilliant darts'"

You cheered me right up! Thanks!
posted by bifter at 4:06 AM on October 12, 2001


...or you could do like me: disregard all sports equally. Then this whole argument simply doesn't matter. Oh, wait...actually, I do hate one sport more than the others: baseball. Why? Because it's not a sport! Standing in a field for several hours, with an occasional sprint to catch a ball; or sitting on a bench for several hours, with an occasional trip to the plate to take a swing at a ball. (((yawn))). Sheesh, at least if basketball is on a TV you can see people actually moving.
posted by davidmsc at 5:01 AM on October 12, 2001


rks404 wrote:
Well, there is a Canadian baseball team, the Montreal Expos, competing so I guess it ought to be called the North America Series.

Not to single you out, rks404, besides, no one else pointed this out.

If memory serves, there is another Canadian baseball team called the Toronto Blue Jays, which won the World Series twice in the early 1990s.

As always, I'm impressed by the large amnesia cloud which Canada must project southwards...
posted by spnx at 5:48 AM on October 12, 2001


But is it possible that the ideas are related in the sense that Americans, maybe moreso than other peoples, have a very self-centered view of the world (now look who's changing the topic).

I ask this with extreme ignorance: do we show any less interest than other countries in American sports? Is China self-centered because they aren't interested in American Football?
posted by glenwood at 5:51 AM on October 12, 2001


I do hate one sport more than the others: baseball. Why? Because it's not a sport!

Exactly! George Carlin did a wonderful bit comparing baseball and football.

I enjoy baseball because of it's slower pace. I admit, it does require an attention span of more than 2 minutes. This probably accounts for much of its decline in popularity over the years. I also think that baseball strategy is far more sophisticated than that of the running and grunting sports.
posted by groundhog at 6:20 AM on October 12, 2001


or you could do like me: disregard all sports equally. Then this whole argument simply doesn't matter. Oh, wait...actually, I do hate one sport more than the others: baseball.

Isn't that like saying I hate all music, but opera is the most awful and here's why? Is golf a sport? Gymnastics where your entire meet may consist of 20 minutes of activity? Michael Jordan, the world's greatest athlete (chuckle) failed miserably at baseball. I know it's hard to be picked last every time, but don't take it out on baseball;)

As the saying goes, "baseball is only boring to boring minds."
posted by dantheman at 6:33 AM on October 12, 2001


almost the only motored racing that is of interest to me is motorcycle racing. they turn left AND right, jockey for position, and achieve high speeds. there are bumps, highsides, and racers (most times) jump back on their bikes and continue to race after hitting the gravel. first place is never secure, and they seldom finish on a caution flag.

table tennis is also a spectacular sport, but not very televised in the u.s. speedvision has been doing wonders for the racing world, as has the gran turismo series of video games. in fact, i would say that gran turismo is the sole reason for the increase in the popularity of rally in the u.s. rally's big problem, however, is that it isn't a spectator sport in the traditional sense, and is difficult to televise. also, u.s. viewers seem to like direct head-to-head competition, opposed to competitor-vs-clock competition.
posted by mich9139 at 6:59 AM on October 12, 2001


Bixby23:
Why Americans can't or won't appreciate Formula One racing. ... Whatever the case, with the lack of media coverage, we are certainly missing out.
With at least 30+ threads that include some mention of Formula One, I think we have covered almost all major events in the F1 circuit in the past year, from Schumi's third championship to marshall's death at Monza, and Schumi's fourth championship. We have also covered the validity of F1 as a 'sport.' We also had a great civil and in depth U.S. v World discussion when it came up last time on a thread. While not technically F1, we even covered Zanardi's accident in Germany. So what was the point of bringing up a CNN/SI article from March 2000 and an August 22, 2001 article from sporting news that essentially says, "this past weekend, that Michael Schumacher ... won the Formula One World Driving Championship"? Just to get another U.S. v Rest of the World discussion?

m@:
Or Rally Racing for that matter.
Dakar 2001 threads: 1,2.

newnameintown:
Stallone just set F1 image back with that movie of his
Stallone's Driven was about CART, not F1. He had a fallout with Bernie when money and licensing issues came up.

rks404:
Well, there is a Canadian baseball team, the Montreal Expos
Actually Canada has two baseball teams. The Expos and the Blue Jays in Toronto. The Blue Jays have won twice World Series: in 1992 and in '93.

jaek:
few American companies sponsor F1
While many American tech companies are cutting down on F1 sponsorship, the list of current American F1 sponsors still reads like a page from Fortune magazine. The irony of it all is that the US Grand Prix is sponsored by SAP, a German company.

riffola:
ABC's coverage of the US GP was pathetic. The commentators were really dismal, they didn't even bother to learn the names of the drivers.
I agree. The Speedvision's rebroadcast on the 8th was much better. And how good a commentary can you get from Jason Priestley?

On BTCC:
if you 'Americans' want more action than the (admittedly) dull at time F1, try BTCC. Touring Cars (UK) ~snowgoon

Seconded for touring cars: it's NASCAR with left turns. ~holgate

I've been watching the Touring Cars this year and it has been some of the purest, most honest-to-goodness racing I have seen in years. ~Markb
I think we should link more often to BTCC stuff. I got interested in BTCC while spending christmas break in London in '94. I have since have stopped following BTCC, mostly because I can't find them on TV. I loved the BTCC rules that mandated a stricter adherence to the production car, which has since changed.

[I apologise if this post hurts anyone's feelings. Sometimes I get frustrated by the lack of effort in trying to find things out, but over-willingness to comment none the less displayed by many. I too am guilty of that sometimes. For what its worth, you are free to treat this as the 'Mother of all F1 comments' at MeFi.]
posted by tamim at 7:10 AM on October 12, 2001


See and hear the racing experience!
posted by Sal Amander at 7:47 AM on October 12, 2001


Baseball is almost not a sport. It is saved because every once in a while, somebody moves. I used to be a fan, but 100+ games? The amount of games you can lose and still make the playoffs is amusing to me.

Auto racing is also unwatchable for me. Zoom, zoom, watch the cars go round and round. Yawn. Oh - look, someone ran into a wall at 80mph - excitement! Ah, now back to the round and round.

And yes, I know a lot of you will decry the stop-start nature of football but I will concede that the sport is built for tv, how American can you get?

I think the biggest difference between that and soccer are : a) scoring b) hitting. Scoring is odd because you need a sweet spot. Arena football where the score is like 80 points regularly is not good football. I think soccer could go aways in America if they just multiplied goals by 7 (thats what football does, really) and ocassionally wrapped someone up, and picked the damn ball up. Of course, it would then be football. :)

"this is America, we like to pick shit up and throw it" - Joe Rogan.
posted by owillis at 7:55 AM on October 12, 2001


Thank you tamim for an informative and excellent comment to this thread.
posted by bjgeiger at 8:31 AM on October 12, 2001


Baseball is almost not a sport. It is saved because every once in a while, somebody moves. I used to be a fan, but 100+ games? The amount of games you can lose and still make the playoffs is amusing to me.

And football is 5 seconds of action followed by a minute of walking back to the huddle, calling the play, walking back to the line of scrimmage. Football isn't exactly riddled with action. Now hockey on the other hand...

For true baseball fans the length of the season is a positive, and why baseball has often been considered more like 'life' than other sports, such as football. (it also makes baseball unique) There's a journey aspect to baseball.

It's also why 'numbers' and records play such an importance in baseball history, while in football numbers are almost ignored.

Nothing at all strange about the numbers of losses you can have and still make the playoffs. It's just a result of more games played than any other sport and the fact that a dominate baseball team still can easily be beat by a weak one (which of course is not the case in football and basketball ).

I much prefer that than having a meaningless regular season where almost everyone makes the playoffs (hello hockey and basketball).

It's almost unfair to compare baseball to any other sport, since it's completely different in almost every way, while soccer, football, hockey, rugby, and even basketball are highly alike.

Baseball popularity certainly has gone down, but doesn't have anything to do with its quality. It has more to do with more sports available to watch and the development of a 10-26 demographic raised on wrestling and mtv.
posted by justgary at 1:34 PM on October 12, 2001


I'm an F1 fan, and even I find it boring. No idea why I still watch

Brilliant, Andrew. And true. Just substitute F1 for whatever takes your fancy and that just about defines passion.
Finding it boring; having no idea why you do it - but still doing it. Story of all our lives, I hope.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 7:04 PM on October 12, 2001


thanks tamin. i blame stallone for having his idiocy rub off on me. that movie was a big nothing. pure shit. can i laugh at him now...i liked it when he played rambo. he should stick to it.
posted by newnameintown at 8:38 AM on October 13, 2001


justgary - your remark on Sweden was not called for, considering you forgot the Dominican Republic. There could conceivably be a competitive World Cup of baseball with Japan, USA, Cuba, DR, maybe Venezuela, Mexico, South Korea, Peurto Rico.

A Canadian-based team could have won the World Series three years in a row: the Montreal Expos were ahead of everyone in 1994 with a .649 winning percentage... (alas)

(Good quote, spnx, the large amnesia cloud that Canada projects southwards.)
posted by philfromhavelock at 11:33 AM on October 13, 2001


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