Another reason to ignore the football season

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Even though the Red Sox humiliated my Rockies in the worst possible way last October, nothing can diminiash the fact that baseball remains the finest American team sport.

I’ve been watching football this fall and the endless displays of hard-core nationalism around that sport are unspeakably ridiculous. Just how many 100-yard-long American flags are unrolled as the crowd whips itself into a nationalistic frenzy, I can’t say, but over the last 90 days I have witnessed more quasi-militaristic displays on football fields than I can remember. The beating drums, the marching bands, the government bureaucrats in uniform being trotted out on the field to be adored by the crowd while some “singer” belts out God Bless America or some other prayer to the government.

While it’s true that baseball has the national anthem at the beginng of most games, it rarely has the emotionalism or the militaristic displays I see on football fields. Plus, while the whole structure and language of football is militaristic, baseball is thoughtful, nuanced, and a player is far more reliant on technique, speed, and grace, than on brute force for success.

12:25 pm on January 1, 2008