5 Reasons Major League Baseball Is Better Than The NFL

Yes, we all know the National Football League is the king of sports in America, with billions of dollars in revenue, a dominate spot on national television and an event – the Super Bowl – that has become kind of a national holiday.

Doesn’t matter. It’s still not better than baseball.

Here’s something that often gets overlooked about baseball. The popularity of the game is higher than ever. The 13 highest annual attendance years all took place between 2004 and 2016. More than 73 million tickets were sold to Major League Baseball games in 2016.

Even at 114 years old (older, if you count just the National League), MLB still captivates millions each year. There’s a reason for that. It’s one of the best games ever invented.

MLB is Better than the NFL: Here’s Proof

So while it runs against conventional wisdom, Major League Baseball is actually still the National Past Time. It’s also better than the NFL. Here are a few reasons why.

27 Outs

It’s so fun to watch a quarterback kneel and let the clock run out, isn’t it? Or to watch an offense go into the ground game with the lead, grinding out the clock, sometimes for an entire quarter? Yawn. Everything in the NFL is about the clock- two minute warnings, sudden deaths, overtime, the “four-minute offense” and so forth. What rarely gets mentioned is that it’s hardly fair to have one team have the ball for more time than the other team. What’s fun about that?

In baseball, you have to get 27 outs to win. There’s no cheating – you have to get every single one of them. And you can’t get ahead and then run out the clock. That’s what can make even a blowout exciting. Teams come from behind in the late innings quite often in baseball. That’s because they actually get the chance. As the saying goes, “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.”

Size Doesn’t Matter

When an announcer in an NFL game says something about a football team really moving the ball well on the ground, we all know what that means: they’ve got a bunch of 300-pound road graders on the offense line beating up the other guys. In baseball, the smallest, skinniest player – or the most rotund – can hit the ball or rob a much bigger player of a big hit. Size simply doesn’t matter. Skill does. Great hitters come in all shapes and sizes, so do pitchers and position players. That makes the game much more relatable.

Bonus reason: Speaking of offensive linemen, in what sport does a player play a position designed so that they are never even supposed to touch the ball? Their entire purpose is to block someone or, in the case of the center, snap the ball.  No other major American sport does this. It’s weird when you think about it.

The Summer Game

The majority of the baseball season happens in the summer, making it the perfect place for getting out in the sun and enjoying the day, or kicking back on a long summer evening. It’s a “park,” remember? Football in the fall often means rain, snow and cold weather. No comparison.

No Concussions

The violent nature of football is causing it a lot of problems.  The prevalence of concussion-related issues among NFL players is a sad story, and it’s making the game harder to watch. For every violent hit, you wonder how much that player might have to pay, health-wise, later in life. It’s also leading some parents to keep their children out of the game.

Musical Cities

The NFL has really broken some hearts in the past 35 years or so.

The Oakland Raiders won’t be playing in Oakland after 2019 (at the latest), moving to Las Vegas. The Rams left St. Louis for Los Angeles, 21 years after leaving L.A. for St. Louis.  The Chargers left San Diego. And that’s just in the last year or so.

In the years before that, the Baltimore Colts literally left for Indianapolis in the middle of the night. The Browns left Cleveland for Baltimore. The Houston Oilers moved to Nashville and became the Tennessee Titans. The St. Louis Cardinals left for Phoenix. Prior to that, the Raiders had moved to L.A. and then back to Oakland again.

That’s all since 1982. Here’s how many MLB teams moved in that time: one. The Montreal Expos became the Washington Nationals in 2005. They are the only MLB team to move since 1972.

There’s more. Between 1903 and 1952, no MLB team relocated. Zero. In the 20 years after, 10 teams moved. However, that was about spreading MLB to the West (Dodgers to L.A., Giants to San Francisco, Athletics to Oakland) and nearly every city they left had two teams, which at least gave the city fans someone left to support.

Also, places like Milwaukee and Kansas City got new teams after their teams left (the Brewers and Royals replacing the Braves and Athletics). Even New York got a new team when the Dodgers left (the Mets).

So, these are not the only reasons MLB is better than the NFL, but these are some of them. Keep them in mind the next time your football-loving friend tries to tell you how much better his favorite sport is than baseball. He’s wrong. You just need to educate him.

2017-06-20T09:22:19+00:00 By |2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Kenneth Moyes July 8, 2017 at 4:42 pm - Reply

    I pity the youth who watch ML Baseball today. They are seeing a one-dimensional game; no wonder the Home Run Derby at the Allstar game is getting so much press. It seems we have lost the hit and run, the steal, a well-pitched complete game, the suicide squeeze, the safety squeeze, and the line drive base hit.

    We are watching players who cannot slide, sacrifice bunt, run the bases smartly, and most importantly field their position. Infielders deliver terrible defense. Hitters are all upper cut swings from their heels for home runs and strike outs are okay. Especially striking out “looking” with players in scoring position and two outs is just fine. Sharp pitchers are taken out for pitch count with pitching changes based on a formula of whose inning is it.

    The brush back pitch is a lost art, so hitters dig in and take mighty cuts.
    Infielders simply do not know how to tag out runners anymore. Slap the glove down right in front of the base and let the runner slide into the glove. Today is looks more like pin the tail on the donkey. Infielders no longer try to get in from of the ball, but rather try to backhand everything and all too often do not succeed.

    I have watched about 100 games a year since the early sixties and I am getting less and less enjoyment when watching a game. Yet the players are making millions for delivering a one-dimensional game. Now it looks as if the owners have juiced of the baseball where it leaves the bat like a golf ball off a two iron.

    Is this the kind of game the fans want or do they not know any better?

  2. Bill Reich July 8, 2017 at 8:58 pm - Reply

    You left out the boredom of Quarterback dominance. Yes, the Pitcher is also important but the same guy doesn’t pitch every day and usually not all day when he does. The public has been brainwashed into thinking the NFL is an action-filled game when the ball is only in play for eleven minutes out of the interminable broadcast. Rugby, especially Sevens, is what football ought to be.

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