World Series vs. Superbowl

Well, the Colorado Rockies were STILL blessed to come as far as they did, even though the Red Sox swept them in the World Series. (This is a reminder too that God’s blessings are to be found in the Cross, not in Glory.) Nevertheless, the Rockies will be greeted by their hometown fans as heroes and their season will become part of the team’s legend.

When a team makes the World Series but loses, the home city (unless it is New York) usually feels pretty good anyway. The Brewers lost in their only trip to the series in 1982, but that didn’t really seem to matter so much. But when the Packers lost in the Superbowl to the Denver Broncos (a rematch being tonight on Monday Night Football), the whole state of Wisconsin was in an agony of depression, to the point that it seemed better not to get into the big game at all than to be there but to lose.

This is another example of how baseball and football have a different ethos. (No time limit vs. the pressure of the clock; rain delays vs. play no matter what nature does; relaxation vs. excitement; making contact with the ball vs. making contact with the player. . . .What else?)

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • kerner

    George Carlin (one of my favorite comedians, when he kept it clean) once did an entire monologue on the differences between baseball and football. His theme was that football was intrinsicly rigid and regimented, where as baseball was open and hopeful. I don’t remember all the distinctions, but these are the ones I do remember:

    Football must be completed in 60 minutes of play.
    Baseball is played in innings that take as long as it takes.

    Football is played within rigidly measured boundaries.
    Baseball is played in an ever expanding angle that goes on infinitely.

    Football you play on a gridiron.
    Baseball you play in a park!

  • kerner

    I just found the monologue on Youtube (type in carlin baseball football, and you’ll find it).

    He also points out that in football,the quarterback, or field general, must penetrate the defense with a series of bullets and long bombs, using the shotgun if he must, to enter the defenses territory and take their goal.

    In baseball the object is to go home…and be safe.

  • Joe

    The difference, imho, comes down to the mind set of each sport witch is dirivative of its season. There are only 16 regular season football games. Losing one can end your play off hopes. Baseball has 162 regular season games – losing a couple is no big deal. The same is true of the play offs. Baseball has its best of 7 formate and football is single elimination – you lose you go home.

    Thus, the football mindset demands perfection. Can you imagine a football player being rewarded for doing his job 30% of the time?

  • Joe

    Suggestion – can we get the madatory preveiw before posting back. I thought I was going to get to proof read that before posting it.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Veith

    Great comments, Joe and Kerner! I’ll see if I can figure out how to set up a mandatory preview, but, again, I’m just learning the new software and it may take me awhile.

  • Bruce

    Another uniqueness to baseball: the “defensive” team has the ball, and the “offense” reacts to the ball being thrown to the batter. This is unique in ball sports(except baseball’s cousin: cricket), where the offense always controls the ball in the process of scoring.

    As for why the difference in emotional reactions in the WS as opposed to the SB: one thing may be the long baseball season: so many games, and to come four wins shy (or less) of the pinnacle is quite a season.

    Of course, the big baseball question is: Why the total domination of the American League? Do they have just that many more great players, or is there something about the designated hitter that makes those teams more competitive matching up with the more traditional NL?

    Warning: these comments submitted without preview!

  • Bruce

    And speaking of Super Bowl: the de facto SB happens this Sunday afternoon, just after 3 pm CT. Kind of early in the season, but that is when the Colts play the Pats.


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