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The NFL may go head to head with the World Series this year

Apr 13, 2010, 4:05 PM EDT

NFL Logo.pngOur sister blog — a plucky little outfit called ProFootballTalk, which until this morning I had thought was covering English Premier League soccer or something — is hearing that the NFL may schedule an 18th Sunday night football game this year. The baseball implication of this is that it would make it very likely that said game would go head-to-head against the World Series, which the NFL had previously avoided. PFT is giddy about it, and speculates that if such a thing comes to pass Bud Selig would moan and complain not unlike he did about the Donovan McNabb deal on Opening Day:

Besides, if Selig was prompted to say “goodness
gracious
” regarding the trade of Donovan McNabb on the day that the baseball season started, we have a
feeling that his words will be slightly more colorful as it relates to
the possible infringement on the season’s climax.

Which I hope he doesn’t, because that business with the McNabb trade was totally bush league. Bud’s the Commissioner of Baseball.  If anyone should pretend that the lesser sports don’t exist it’s him. Yes, a competing game — especially one involving marquee teams — would take a monster bite out of World Series ratings,* but let FOX and MLB officials who aren’t supposed to be the public face of the game worry about that.  By complaining about competing events like he did with the McNabb stuff he looks painfully insecure and diminishes the sport that would, were the world not completely mad, rule the roost.

But the world is mad, football is more popular, generally speaking, and there’s no sense in moaning about it.  For Bud to get angry about what football does would be like the Queen of England deciding not to preside over the opening of Parliament because, man, those Americans are more influential than the little old U.K. is.  In other words: have some freakin’ pride.

Besides, when the NFL starts ripping itself to shreds in labor unrest the following year baseball is going to have a wide open field anyway.

*For some perspective on the ratings, Game 4 of the last year’s World Series — the Sunday night game against which a football game could have competed but didn’t — broke all kinds of recent ratings records for the Fall Classic, posting a 13.2 rating and a 22 share. Random Sunday Night Football ratings last year grabbed ratings in the 9.3-9.4 neighborhood and got a 15 share. I suppose if the Yankees meet the Phillies again baseball could win the night, but if you get Colorado vs. Minnesota the ballgame is gonna get murdered. 

  1. Simon DelMonte - Apr 13, 2010 at 4:29 PM

    It was a different time, but the World Series and Monday Night Football did once go head to head. In 1986, Game Seven was delayed to Monday by rain, and the Mets and Red Sox got an extra day to think about Game Six (THAT Game Six). And played opposite the Giants and, I think, the Redskins.
    I was of course focused very much on the Mets, but won’t deny that at commercial breaks we would flip the dial – literally, as I was watching on a small portable TV in a dorm room in college – to see what was going on for my second favorite team. I have no idea what went on in that football game, but both my teams won, beginning the best sports stretch of my life as the Giants didn’t lose again the rest of the way.
    So it would be interesting to see what the national ratings were like, and even the local ones, back in October 1986. And to ponder whether the NFL and NBC would schedule a Giants or Jets game, or would avoid one like the plague.

  2. Megary - Apr 13, 2010 at 4:33 PM

    And in another news item, they’re building a new highway in Tibet.
    It’s going to run all the way from Tibet to Mongolia.
    They say it will cut 5 hours off the trip for everybody.

  3. ThatGuy - Apr 13, 2010 at 4:43 PM

    They better hope the NFL doesn’t decide to schedule a Vikings Packers game that sunday night, assuming Farve comes back thats a ratings bonanza…

  4. Simon - Apr 13, 2010 at 6:56 PM

    I liked the “generally speaking” comment.

  5. Bobby - Apr 13, 2010 at 11:38 PM

    Bud looks painfully insecure because he is painfully insecure. That’s why he’s so easily persuaded (for better or worse) by those who aren’t happy with game times or the structure of the AL East. Reminds me a little of Mayor Quimby: “If that is the way the winds are blowing, let no one say that I don’t also blow”.

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