Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Baseball Is Your Pal, Football Is Your Gal

Early in the history of this blog, we established a tradition based on a quote from the 1st Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli, who once said, "It is easier to be critical than right." It's relatively easy to eviscerate some one's stupid ideas. It's much more difficult to come up with original thoughts of your own.

Unlike Richard Justice stupidly contended, Baseball isn't better than football, nor is the inverse true. They are about as far apart as two sports can be, besides maybe golf and rugby. Just based on the duration of the season, I would consider myself more of a baseball fan right now, but I've been a die hard Giants fan since I was five or six years old.

One of my earliest memories is of the drive back upstate with my father from Giants Stadium after the GMen beat the Lions to improve to 11-0 back in 1990. My dad would rattle off uniform numbers, and I would respond with the corresponding player. "27 - Rodney Hampton, 85 - Stephen Baker "The Touchdown Maker", 56 - Lawrence Taylor, 70 - Leonard Marshall, 58 - Carl Banks, 11 - Phil Sims, 55 - Gary Reasons, 30 - Dave Meggett, 82 - Mark Ingram, 89 - Mark Bavaro, 76 - Jumbo Elliot". I probably watched Giants Among Men, and True Blue 50 times each.

We had a Super Bowl party that year and I can still remember Scott Norwood's kick sailing wide right and getting lost in the celebration in our family room. Conversely, when the Yanks won in 1996, my dad was away in Taiwan for business and I watched Charlie Hayes catch that pop-up by myself.

George Carlin of course has the seminal work in contrasting the two sports, and Joe Posnanski recently drilled further down into the differences in language between them, but I have a take that I haven't heard anywhere else.

It took me about a week after the Giants lost this year to realize it, but to me, baseball is like a good friend and football is like a girlfriend. After they were ousted I wore my blue and red Giants winter hat for three straight days and listened to Ben Folds on the walk to work. It was odd and pathetic sort of melancholy, almost like I got dumped.

Football is emotional, passionate and physical. Although baseball has the go-to sexual metaphor (rounding the bases), to me, "driving down the field","crossing the goal line", "settling for a field goal" or "having to punt" make more sense.

Brandon Jacobs running over LaRon Landry in the first quarter of Week 1 against the Redskins gave me a far greater sense of satisfaction than A-Rod hitting a home run against the Orioles in the second inning of a game in April ever could. Likewise, intimacy with a significant other can grant you satisfaction in a way a friend just can't. In football, the highs are higher and the lows are lower.

You hang out with baseball all summer long. On any given night, you can take it or leave it because you know it's going to be around the next day. Blow off football and you've gotta wait an entire week for the next game.

You don't put that much stock into every single baseball game. You don't analyze everything your friend says either, unlike how your lady picks apart the nuance in every word you use. The Yanks could roll into Kansas City next May, line up CC Sabathia against Brain Bannister and lose and still take the series. If your football team lays an egg against a team they should beat, it is literally 10 times more significant to their record.

Looking back at my Giants vs. Yankees posts, the former tend to be more fiery, and my "Fuck" To Other Word Ratio (FTOWR) is quite high. My stuff about the Yankees is more statistically grounded, objective and decidedly lacking in vitriol. Although, if Robinson Cano had done what Plaxico Burress did and Joba Chamberlain said what Brandon Jacobs said, that might not be the case.

And no, that's not my girlfriend. I would never date a girl with a tramp stamp! (It's this comely lass)

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