Skip to content

Comment of the Day: II Super Bowl Ratings Edition

Feb 8, 2011, 2:00 PM EDT

The Black Eyed Peas and guitarist Slash

Commenter Megary agrees that the baseball/football TV ratings comparison is an apples-oranges thing. But that doesn’t mean one can’t prefer apples:

If the World Series was one must-win game, held 2 weeks after the last league championship playoff game, with a guarantee of seeing the best pitcher from both teams, with a media day, picture day, autograph day, family day, and with the Rolling Stones playing a pseudo concert during the 7th Inning Stretch, then yes, the World Series would have ratings comparable to the super bowl.

But thank God baseball doesn’t denigrate itself to that end.

Also to that end, a non-baseball must read for the day is Sally Jenkins takedown of the bloat and spectacle that Super Bowl and, to some extent all of the NFL, has become.

And before you say anything, this is not one of my patented NFL hit-pieces. Jenkins is an admitted NFL fan and backer and truly wants it to be the best it can be. Roger Goodell will never have my heart, but he once had the heart of people like Sally Jenkins, and he and his fellow owners are slowly but surely losing their hold.

And for the record: if baseball had a longer and more predictable runup to its championship — and if its championship were held in neutral location that was selected years in advance — I have total faith that baseball would debase itself in a similar fashion.  No, baseball probably couldn’t get its act together to ruin its biggest stage quite as effectively as the NFL has, but they would give it a good sporting try.

The difference here between baseball and football is not one of moral superiority of the former over the latter.  It’s merely one of opportunity.

  1. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Feb 8, 2011 at 2:07 PM

    I guess I don’t have an issue with how the Super Bowl is produced, but I am glad baseball makes it players really strain through a dozen playoff games to win the World Series.

    • florida76 - Feb 8, 2011 at 2:54 PM

      Who cares how the Super Bowl is presented, it’s the nature of the beast. The NFL playoffs are a fantastic buildup each year, and we are getting good championship games.

      While the structure of the two sports is different, that fact is irrelevant when discussing TV ratings in the playoffs. MLB has suffered a double digit decline from the early 90s for the Fall Classic, and no amount of excuses can hide this fact. Yes, baseball went on strike in ’94, but so did the NFL in ’87 and it bounced back.

      The NFL is king because it understands competitive balance. Saying MLB has parity because different teams make the playoffs is weak. Whatever happened to the Milwaukee Brewers? While the Packers and Steelers may have a rematch next year, no intelligent person can say the same for the Rangers(minus Cliff Lee) and Giants

      • solidzac - Feb 8, 2011 at 3:10 PM

        While the Packers and Steelers may have a rematch next year, no intelligent person can say the same for the Rangers(minus Cliff Lee) and Giants

        I can only imagine that you don’t understand the meaning of the word “may.” Or “intelligent,” for that matter.

      • spudchukar - Feb 8, 2011 at 3:20 PM

        How is the suggestion that the Packers and Steelers, both perennial contenders, may return to next year’s Super Bowl support the theory of competitive balance?

      • Utley's Hair - Feb 8, 2011 at 3:36 PM

        “Saying MLB has parity because different teams make the playoffs is weak. Whatever happened to the Milwaukee Brewers? While the Packers and Steelers may have a rematch next year, no intelligent person can say the same for the Rangers(minus Cliff Lee) and Giants”

        Do you have any idea what “parity” means? You might want to look it up before you start throwing it around. The fact that the Packers and Steelers may be in Indy next year for XLVI is not an example of parity. The fact that the Pats, Colts, Steelers, etc., are almost always a lock to make it to the postseason is the opposite of parity. The notion that the Rangers and Giants may not be in the WS next year is the definition of parity.

      • Joe - Feb 8, 2011 at 3:44 PM

        The irony there is that a year ago, you probably would have said something like “no intelligent person thinks the Giants and Rangers, will play in the World Series.”

  2. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Feb 8, 2011 at 2:12 PM

    Can’t we agree that both are awesome and agree to make fun of “foreign” sports instead? Golly.

    • Utley's Hair - Feb 8, 2011 at 3:37 PM

      Cricket? Oh…you said sports.

      • cur68 - Feb 8, 2011 at 5:04 PM

        Hey! I like cricket. And baseball & football, too. Let’s just do what we do best, eh? Let’s make fun of the French. Zoot alor, Jaque. Zee fute bolle, she is done, mais oui? C’est bon! Now we surrender, forget to wash and eat la Grenouille! Mmmm…Grenouille…

      • Kevin S. - Feb 8, 2011 at 5:06 PM

        Let’s just do what we do best, eh? Let’s make fun of the French.

        Always a winning proposition!

      • Utley's Hair - Feb 8, 2011 at 5:43 PM

        As Marie Antoinette said (or didn’t, but has been blamed for saying for the last 230ish years), and in a History of the World type accent—ready for it, Heyward?—”Let zem eat cake.”

  3. The Baseball Idiot - Feb 8, 2011 at 2:19 PM

    You have just made Bud look like a better commissioner than Roger.

  4. sdelmonte - Feb 8, 2011 at 2:25 PM

    It is so weird that I didn’t hate the Halftime Show Everyone Wants to Hate. I didn’t love it, but I am not into the Black Eyed Peas, and I think it’s a nice change to have an act that started performing after 1980.

    But that said, baseball doesn’t need a halftime show. Therefore it is better.

    • BC - Feb 8, 2011 at 2:30 PM

      No, but they have the 7th inning stretch, which is a complete waste of time. And it doesn’t have any wardrobe malfunctions.

      • sdelmonte - Feb 8, 2011 at 4:50 PM

        I like the 7th inning stretch. As long as it’s only Take Me Out to the Ballgame and not also God Bless America.

  5. Jonny 5 - Feb 8, 2011 at 2:28 PM

    Slash let me down. His playing has diminished a bit. I’d say he’s like .9 war now. Black eyed peas were terrible. They let me down too.

    • phukyouk - Feb 8, 2011 at 3:02 PM

      they made my kid cry. like honest to god tears. she was BEGGING me to turn it off. but i wouldn’t… cause i couldnt find the remote :-(

      • Jonny 5 - Feb 8, 2011 at 3:51 PM

        My kid was talking huge trash on Christine Aquilera (sp) And the Black eyed peas. He’s kind of into rock thank god. He’s 9, and he knew they sucked.

      • Utley's Hair - Feb 8, 2011 at 3:54 PM

        But Fergie is hot.

      • Jonny 5 - Feb 8, 2011 at 4:11 PM

        Yeah, she is. And she can sing. in a studio. Live? she’s crap.

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Feb 8, 2011 at 4:16 PM

      I respectfully disagree re Aguilera. She killed it, other than the flubbed line. Still one of the best female vocalists of our time. And she’s dirrrrrrrrty….

      • Jonny 5 - Feb 8, 2011 at 4:29 PM

        I’m a fan of hers. Well, not exactly, she’s one of my favorites from that pop genre. I did not like that performance. The Runs were too much. And her voice wasn’t holding up as it usually does. Flubbed line aside.

  6. spudchukar - Feb 8, 2011 at 2:56 PM

    Leaving all the external events aside, does anyone but me have trouble with the games themselves. Maybe it is only my perspective but doesn’t it seem like the games are chaotic. Perhaps, surreal is a more accurate depiction. Granted I usually watch the game surrounded by distracting others, where normally I am alone in my comfortable confines, but still the play just doesn’t seem the same. Maybe the added hype, energy, electricity and hoopla create an environment where normal is impossible, but I still come away from the game unsatisfied, more like I was attending a spectacle than a competition. Does anyone else have similar sentiments?

  7. paperlions - Feb 8, 2011 at 3:36 PM

    Attempts to discuss “parity” usually are far wide of the mark when comparing the models in the NFL and MLB. Dominance in MLB is money-driven, without money, a team has to build from within and hope to make the playoff a few years and get lucky in one of those before rebuilding as most/all of their stars leave. Dominance in the NFL is decision driven, giving every team the same chance to dominate depending primarily on their football acumen, not their ability to buy quality players developed by other teams.
    .
    The discussion shouldn’t be about parity (no one really wants parity), the discussion should be about what allows teams to maintain dominance. Sports aside, the NFL has a better competitive model.

  8. Chris Fiorentino - Feb 8, 2011 at 3:42 PM

    “And before you say anything, this is not one of my patented NFL hit-pieces. ”

    Um, yeah, it is Craig. Once AGAIN, you fail to see the insecurity and unabashed hate you have for the #1 league in America…the National Football League. We all get it…you don’t like the NFL. It’s all cool. But to re-post that idiotic comment is absurd. If there was a real Field of Dreams, with the real players from the 20′s and 30′s coming up out of their graves to play a game, the ratings STILL would not be as high as they are for the Super Bowl.

    It’s still a matter of this, Craig, “MORE PEOPLE LIKE FOOTBALL THAN LIKE BASEBALL”. Period.

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Feb 8, 2011 at 4:17 PM

      Tis, true. Soccer is the world’s most popular sport.

    • dluxxx - Feb 8, 2011 at 4:35 PM

      But…but…. baseball is *America’s Game,* man.

    • JBerardi - Feb 9, 2011 at 3:13 PM

      “It’s still a matter of this, Craig, “MORE PEOPLE LIKE FOOTBALL THAN LIKE BASEBALL”. Period.”

      Well, if there’s one definitive arbiter of quality in this world, it’s the collective opinion of the American people…

  9. megary - Feb 8, 2011 at 3:56 PM

    My name in lights! This is a major award the likes of which have not been seen since the fish-net leg table lamp shining on Cleveland Street.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Featured video

Jackie Robinson Day is bittersweet
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. T. Wood (5110)
  2. S. Kazmir (4795)
  3. J. Kubel (4641)
  4. K. Uehara (4089)
  5. I. Nova (3997)
  1. G. Springer (3172)
  2. T. Walker (3091)
  3. M. Moore (2968)
  4. M. Machado (2910)
  5. J. Chavez (2857)