January 31, 2011

"No woman of quality has ever preferred football to baseball."

#24 on a list of 99 reasons why baseball is so much better than football. Actually, #24 reads in its entirety: "Marianne Moore loved Christy Mathewson. No woman of quality has ever preferred football to baseball." Oh, good lord. "Woman of quality." Marianne Moore. Christy Mathewson.

I got to that page via Peter Hoh, who said I should check out #19 on the list. Okay:
Pro football players have breasts. Many NFLers are so freakishly overdeveloped, due to steroids, that they look like circus geeks. Baseball players seem like normal fit folks. Fans should be thankful they don't have to look at NFL teams in bathing suits.
Great. Moobs. Let's take a closer look at those moobs. That list was written back in 1987, and it's my observation that a lot of those football players have very attractively V-shaped bodies. The ones who are tubby are tubby for a reason. What explains the tubbiness of baseball players?

And the fact is we don't have to see either football or baseball players in bathing suits. We see them in their uniforms — their costumes. And the football costumes are glorious and sexy, while the baseball uniforms these days look like children's pajamas.

***

I like to call the uniforms "costumes," because spectator sports are entertainment and because I'm looking for the traces of the feminine within the manly... and because it drives the guys crazy and I'm all about driving the guys crazy.

114 comments:

Superdad said...

Has this person missed the entire steroids in baseball scandal? An entire decade and a half of baseball needs an *.

PaulV said...

Let us compare the death rate of football players to baseball players the next 20 years to see impact of steroids, Superdad.

WV: swaff-to hit away
He swaffed the baseball over the fenxe

PaulV said...

Wait until summer and Brewers get hot. I had a friend who admired Butch Hopson rump while Yankees paid him big $ to play for Columbus

Bob_R said...

Have you read North Dallas Forty? Peter Gent does a lot with gender and sexuality and the relationship to football if I recall. (It's been 30 years.)

TWM said...

"and because it drives the guys crazy and I'm all about driving the guys crazy."

And you differ from every other woman in the world in exactly what way? ;)

Shanna said...

Everybody knows your average baseball player is hotter than your average football player. That doesn't mean I'd rather watch baseball.

I loved baseball as a kid, traded cards, watched games and everything, and then they had the strike and I just stopped and never looked back.

Original Mike said...

Baseball is painfly boring. That trumps all else.

Kirby Olson said...

Marianne Moore loved to watch baseball. Her diaries are kind of like your live-blogs of political speeches. You can only read these in the Rosenbach Museum library in Philadelphia where they have about 800,000 written documents -- including letters, diaries, and other jottings. Moore goes into great detail about a catch, she especially liked long runs with over the shoulder catches. She'd also read everything she could find on pitching. Weird that she only has one poem about baseball after all that focus. The poem isn't very good.

It's about the Brooklyn Dodgers and appeared in a local paper.

Bob_R said...

Superdad - The article was written in 1987. You know, when Barry Bonds was skinny.

Scott M said...

I like to call the uniforms "costumes," because spectator sports are entertainment and because I'm looking for the traces of the feminine within the manly... and because it drives the guys crazy and I'm all about driving the guys crazy.

I'm not so sure about "costume". The only equipment a baseball player wears of any function is the glove and the cleats. Hat too if you want to go as far as keeping the sun out, fine. Everything a football player wears is equipment and there is a lot of it. Knee pads (often augmented by another pair underneath), shin pads, "girdle", ribs, shoulder pads, helmet.

All quite functional and required by the rules simply to step on the field.

TWM said...

One way football is better than baseball is baseball is boring as hell on TV. Half, maybe more, of baseball's attraction is watching it in a ball park. Put it on TV and it's snooze-time.

Football can be enjoyed either way.

shoutingthomas said...

Baseball is far superior in every way to football.

But, I am a Cub fan, born and bred. I subscribe to MLB.com so that I can watch Cub's games on the internet.

Ernie Banks just turned 80! Let's play two!

Kirby Olson said...

Here's Moore's one poem about baseball. Some good lines. I don't remember most of the ballplayers she cites.

http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15658

Henry said...

Baseball is the great sport for radio and print. Football is the great sport for television.

What that has to do with women of quality I can't tell you.

ricpic said...

"...I'm all about driving the guys crazy."

If a guy said "I'm all about driving the gals crazy" he would be considered a kook, an outlier. Why? Because guys are the measure, the measure of all things, and gals can only jump up and down on the sidelines frantically trying to 1) get attention, or failing that 2) muck up the works.

Henry said...

Baseball is also far preferable over Football live. The action is paced and spaced to make it easy to follow from the most distant seat. Football is a muddle from any distance.

Scott M said...

The only two possible ways I can think of that baseball even comes close to surpassing football are 1) larger number of good seats and 2) cheaper.

And those only really apply to the highest level of professional competition. The games are still the same and baseball is still akin to watching grass grow comparatively.

shoutingthomas said...

The games are still the same and baseball is still akin to watching grass grow comparatively.

No, no, no.

Baseball is all about the stories that get told between the spaces in the action.

When I sit in the left field stands at Wrigley, the good old boys regale me with stories of the odd characters who have worn a Cub's uniform. Usually, there are a couple of guys who like to talk rock and blues and remember every no-name band that ever played in the Chicago area.

Cub's telecast are particularly engaging because the announcers have a bag full of odd and self-effacing stories about Cub's past.

Baseball is all about stories. The action is supposed to be episodic, so that it doesn't get in the way of the stories.

Ron said...

Drive guys crazy? That might work if you had the sensuality to back up these poodle yappings...but that ship has sailed, mais non?

shoutingthomas said...

If you really want to drive men batshit crazy, stick with the feminism.

Bob_R said...

I enjoy both sports, but one of the worst things about baseball is that it inspires a lot of self absorbed writing. At the time Boswell was writing this, Pete Rose was betting on the team he was managing. A real reported could have found about about it pretty easily. Boswell didn't.

SteveR said...

Possible not to have a preference. As Henry indicated, each has a format in which its better enjoyed.

Both are less attractive to me than in the past.

Palladian said...

The good thing about both football and baseball is that, unlike most contemporary male attire, both game's uniforms give ample opportunity to gaze at male butts and thighs. Men's bodies are usually draped in formless, baggy clothes, unless they're wearing those dreadful "skinny pants", in which case the stick-like, girly legs within aren't usually worth the exposure.

Michael said...

I am pretty sure that in a game of football the action is confined to less than ten minutes. There is slightly more action in baseball. All professional sports now are aimed at an audience with ADD, that requires entertainment every single second they are in the park or stadium. Between innings in baseball we are treated to constant noise of one sort or another, greatly detracting from the dignity of the game. Football is a thug sport with far more felons on the field in any game than baseball has in its entire roster.

I like the concept of costumes and have always referred to my running, biking, squash and tennis playing, hunting and fishing attire by that term.

shoutingthomas said...

All professional sports now are aimed at an audience with ADD, that requires entertainment every single second they are in the park or stadium. Between innings in baseball we are treated to constant noise of one sort or another, greatly detracting from the dignity of the game.

Not at Wrigley Field.

Henry said...

The actual time in baseball and football in which the ball is in play is about the same.

It's what happens in the meantime is what makes the game. Two things matter: (1) The building of anticipation, and (2) The telling of stories.

In both football and baseball the building of anticipation depends on the game. Yet I do admit that football is superior on this point. The vital importance in football of moving the ball makes every play meaningful -- at least when the score is close. Three and out is nemesis and keeps the suspense high. In baseball no individual pitch carries the same weight as the individual hike. The suspense is constantly interrupted by wasted pitches and foul balls out of play.

But shoutingthomas is right about baseball's superiority in regards to storytelling. Baseball highlights the individual player in a way that football can never do. In baseball, a pitcher faces a hitter. In football a quarterback faces a defense. Because of baseball's ability to isolate the individual confrontation, every player brings a history of import to the current moment.

traditionalguy said...

She has a point. Baseball appeals to the instinct for a religious ritual...it's an Episcopalian game that Ty Cobb first made hostile. But Football is all serious hostility designed to test men's courage by an aggressive infliction of pain and the risking near death. Neither one is half as man to man competitive as amateur wrestling, whose tournaments come soon.

Superdad said...

"Superdad - The article was written in 1987. You know, when Barry Bonds was skinny."

Well, that would explain it.

PaulIV - I never said that football players are not on the juice. I just question the logic of faulting football players for using a substance that is widely used in baseball.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I don't see much point in sports like baseball or football and have zero desire to watch or pay much attention to the sports. I don't even know who is in the Super Bowl this year. Green Bay I think? I care that little.

However, I'm perfectly willing to accept that many people find enjoyment and even some sort of personal identity affiliation with their sports teams and that it is probably a harmless outlet for vicarious aggression.

So, even thought I don't give a rip, I wouldn't try to ruin some one else's enjoyment.

When in the company of people who enjoy sports or even being forced to watch the events on television, I just shut up, listen to what they say about their teams and drink my drink, try to find the guacamole dip and let it be.

I don't expect them to be much interested in things that I'm interested in either.

/shrug

edutcher said...

There's a lot of hurry up and wait in football, as anyone who ever waited for a game to end because they wanted to see the show that was supposed to be on then (you can tell this opinion was formulated decades ago, although the wait part still holds true).

Ann Althouse said...

Let's take a closer look at those moobs.

We may have a new masthead.

WV "hersingl" What Tarzan say to Boy to explain why it OK to go after Jane kid sister.

prairie wind said...

Football has better food. Brats and burgers, nachos and tacos, pickles and jalapenos, dips and sauces, chili and chips, cheese and crackers and sausage. Deer salami! Grills, smokers, crockpots, kegs. New recipes and shopping lists, Mom's recipes and another trip to the store for more beer.

Baseball has peanuts and weenies.

JAL said...

Condoleeza Rice -- Future NFL Commissioner.

Game over.

Scott M said...

prairie wind makes an excellent point. Football's tailgates are hard to beat.

Henry said...

#91 & #92

Trooper York said...

There is only one thing you need to know about baseball.

"BOSTON SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!"

The Crack Emcee said...

I'm looking for the traces of the feminine within the manly... and because it drives the guys crazy and I'm all about driving the guys crazy.

Yea, that's such a cool trade-off, isn't it? Turning men into fags and getting to be butch about it? That's the kind of double standard that explains why I don't get all misty-eyed about violence against women:

You want to do our image damage, yet claim a special privilege to be exempted from the normal results, if a man did the equivalent.

Where I come from, women fight like men - they even fight men - so we can respect them. You want to have your cake and eat it, too.

I call bullshit.

Fritz said...

I refuse to go crazy about it.

Baseball is for playing, football is for watching.

Trooper York said...

Football is the ultimate TV game. It is best followed from the warmth and comfort of your couch. That's why you have to get tanked up in the parking lot. So you can endure the boredom. You don't think it is boring?

Well you never froze your balls during a TV timeout.

Hagar said...

Why is American football called football, when the first thing they do is grab the ball with their hands and run with it?


Wv: balagoge - a better name for "football"?

Trooper York said...

Baseball means summer. Warm August nights with a beer and a hot dog.
Woman in their summer dresses and halter tops.

Football means winter. Cold frozen fingers gripping hip flasks. Women in mucklucks and parkas.

Trooper York said...

Baseball is the promise of the spring.

Football is the reality of the winter snows.

shoutingthomas said...

Where I come from, women fight like men - they even fight men - so we can respect them. You want to have your cake and eat it, too.

Crack, even though Myrna was 5 foot tall and weighed only 90 pounds, she was incredibly strong and she knew martial arts.

She could take down a 6'6" 300 pound man in a couple of moves. Saw her do it. Laughed my ass off.

Myrna loved a good fight, and she always won.

"I don't start fights," she said. "I finish them."

And she did.

Western white men were easy pickings because that second or two when they would hesitate out of chivalry was all Myrna needed to take them down. Asian men were tougher, because they know that Asian women can be lethal.

k*thy said...

Maybe it's Wisconsin, but I've been to tailgates at County Stadium, Miller Park, Lambeau and Camp Randall - and the menu's all pretty much the same.

Football or baseball? I like them both - and for different reasons. I will say, that like Henry, #'s 92 and 92 are big pluses on the baseball side. Though growing up with Ray Scott and Jim and Max on the radio was pretty sweet, too.

I've broken bones playing both, but maybe baseball has a slight, slight edge, in that my first (sports) love was Robin Yount.

The Crack Emcee said...

ST,

You're the only commenter on this entire thread I agree with 100% - every comment is right on.

As far as women go, I saw women fight in the Philippines (sp?) sometimes with butterfly knives, and they were some tough birds. Mouthy white American women are full of shit when compared to other cultures - even other cultures within America. And of course it's only chivalry, which they disdain, and the law (which they hide behind) that keeps anyone from forcing them to back up all that big talk by punching them in the mouth like a man would get.

Ann, as a feminist, would probably frame it as we're trying to keep women from speaking but no one's suggesting that - talk all the shit you want - just take away the double standard and, when you catch a lick, don't hide behind the law. Even better:

Get the laws that enforce such double standards changed.

A real woman would.

Trooper York said...

Baseball is happy and goofy and fun. It is Yogi, the Scooter and the Babe.

Football is dark and violent and angry. It is Mean Joe, the Hammer and the Doomsday Defense.

Trooper York said...

Baseball is hot dogs.

Football is dog killers.

Trooper York said...

Baseball is the friendly confines.

Football is the frozen tundra.

Bart DePalma said...

George Carlin offered the ultimate take on the football vs. baseball debate.

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trooper York said...

"Is there a football equivalent? "

Yes there is. Scoring in the red zone. See crime scene sex.

Michael said...

shouting thomas: You are right about wrigley field and the quiet between innings. It is one of my sacred memories of baseball, the quiet between innings, the sound of the players talking and the ball hitting the gloves out there in the sunshine all those years ago. Now, in Atlanta at least, it is hip hop and noise and promotions.

Ralph L said...

The only equipment a baseball player wears of any function is the glove and the cleats.
They wear cups because it feels so good.

WV - scrowai !

CJinPA said...

I like to call the uniforms "costumes," because spectator sports are entertainment and because I'm looking for the traces of the feminine within the manly... and because it drives the guys crazy and I'm all about driving the guys crazy.

And I call sports "Soap operas for men." Because we have to manufacture artificial concern for the outcome. We know it's only entertainment. So we follow the storylines, the backstory and the drama - all of which means...nothing, except for the meaning we choose to create. This analogy drives lady sports fans crazy.

Anthony said...

I found a lot of so-called intellectuals are big baseball fans, like George Will and Stephan Jay Gould. I imagine that may be anecdotal, although I can't recall anyone like them penning glorious odes to football. Maybe those two are just more accomplished writers and we notice them more.

I used to criticize them for their fetish, as they would often slam football fans and football generally for being far too crude, while baseball is seemingly simple, but has infinite complexity, perfect for challenging their oh-so-subtle minds. Well, BS. There's more complexity in a single football play than in an entire baseball game. Which in no way demeans either.

Me, I far prefer college football, professional less so. Baseball comes in a far second, although I don't disparage it. There's something so very quaint and simple about it: guys throws ball, other guy tries to hit ball with a stick. I mean, it's kind of goofy when you think about it, but that's what makes it so fascinating.

For some reason, I've also noticed that baseball seems to attract middle aged women. Both my mother and MIL both became semi-rabid baseball fans with they hit around their 40s. I have no working hypothesis for why this may occur.

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
shoutingthomas said...

Here's what I'd recommend to anybody who really wants to understand the great experience of Cubs baseball.

Go to a late afternoon game or a night game.

Then go hear a blues band at Kingston Mines, which is only a mile and a half away on Halsted Street.

Have some BBQ at Kingston Mines, too.

You'll be blown away.

OneLifeLiveIt said...

Both Baseball and American Football are overrated! The Superbowl will be hyped to the max as usual and people will play millions for a 3 nanosecond product placement.

Sports outside the US at least have a global catchment though FIFA the governing body of 'Soccer' are doing a great job of f&%$king that up! (Belated well done to World Champs San Francisco - US/Canadian Champs perhaps!)
At least Rugby Union is one global sport that should attract some real competition and 4-6 teams have a chance of being the 'World Champions' in New Zealand later this year.

Cedarford said...

I like to call the uniforms "costumes," because spectator sports are entertainment and because I'm looking for the traces of the feminine within the manly... and because it drives the guys crazy and I'm all about driving the guys crazy.

=================
I'm sure you tell your money-hungry law students that they will all have to dress in lawyer costumes and look a certain way in order to be accepted and successful in the legal community. And a few, if lucky, will get the black robe costume.

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trooper York said...

Soccer is to real sports as watercress sandwiches are to real food.

Trooper York said...

Talk about boring.

The score is still nil/nil.

DADvocate said...

Baseball is painfly boring. That trumps all else.

First MLB game I took my youngest son to, the Reds against somebody, we bought cheap seats, snuck down to good seats in the outfield. About the 7th inning Ken Griffey, Jr. hit a homerun. We didn't see it because we were bored out of our gords and were telling jokes to each other. We did see the rerun on the big screen which we could have done at home.

Baseball defines boring in sports. I hated playing it as a kid because I either stood out in the field hoping someone would hit the ball to me so I'd have something to do, or sat in the dugout wishing I was somewhere else having fun.

paul a'barge said...

What explains the tubbiness of baseball players?, Althouse asks.

Well, good question. I think it's the preponderance of burst-type exercise in Baseball versus the stamina-type exercise inherent in Football.

That and eating too much makes 'em pudgy.

DADvocate said...

Soccer sucks. The only sport that sucks more is women's basketball.

I beg to disagree. Women's basketball is no where near the level of men's but teams, like my beloved Lady Vols, can be quite exciting to watch. Over Christmas, I went to one of their games. They scored 102 points and have a girl named Glory Johnson who is 6' 3" and can dunk. Better than any soccer game, ever.

peter hoh said...

Shep Messing, in his biography, recounted the trouble that Cosmo had in trying to find a professional athlete who looked good naked.

John Kruk: "Lady, I'm not an athlete. I'm a baseball player"

Hagar said...

And why are all (or almost all) the comments in this thread about watching these games, and none (or almost none) about actually playing them?

Trooper York said...

Soccer sucks. The only sport that sucks more is women's basketball.


Women's basbetball is not about sucking. It is about licking. Just sayn'

PaulV said...

Football on TV is for those who do not understand how sport is played.
TV follows the ball and omits the interaction of linemen and how DBs cover receivers. Plus the referees are most important players on field. Much more ofter than umpires.
Superdad-steriod abuse by football players more wide spread and abusive. It will show up in early deaths

shoutingthomas said...

And why are all (or almost all) the comments in this thread about watching these games, and none (or almost none) about actually playing them?

My favorite game for actually playing is basketball. I played corporate league ball until I was in my early 50s.

Then, the rough and tumble just got to be too much. If I got knocked down, it took weeks or months to recover. When I was young, I bounced back in a few days.

So, now my playing is limited to doing the shooting and ball handling workout I've been doing my entire life all alone on an empty court. I have to arrive by 6 a.m. on Saturday morning to get on the court before the kids take over.

Basketball has a lot of the elements of yoga. I shoot left and right handed, and I'm almost as good from both sides. My workout focuses on right/left balance and strength.

The Crack Emcee said...

Women's basketball beats soccer. It's one of the things I hated about living in France - all the drama over nothing.

Now, European Kick Boxing, there was a sport! I wish it would come here:

Gigantic Dolph Lungren-type guys swinging so hard they'd cut the air with an audible "Whoosh!" and then - BOOM! - a full-on boot to the chest that would send the other guy flying like an early Mike Tyson punch. Man, I was in Heaven with that shit!

And we don't have anything that can touch it. Not even the UFC.

Hagar said...

The only "American" game I think much of is basketball, except that it gives such an advantage to tall people. Of course, most of the time the world favors little people, so maybe it's only fair to have at least one game for the taller ones.

Softball, I think must be good, at least as a social game, because I see softball fields all over the country, but I have never seen anyone play hardball other than as professionals.

A game that I think would be good here, is what we called handball in the old country. It is played on a basketball sized court or field, with a goal and goalie instead of a hoop, and the rules are similar to basketball, but the ball is smaller than a soccer ball, so that normal people, including the fairer sex, can get their hands on it.
It is very fast, but easier on your knees than soccer, since the playing periods are shorter.
Of course, in this country, it will also be necessary to think up another name for it, since "handball" is already taken.

The Crack Emcee said...

I miss Dodge Ball, a game I excelled at because of it's stick-and-move requirements. I think it's outrageous to have it be almost outlawed in elementary schools, when it was a game we were always excited to play. Great exercise, too, with a demand not only for hand-to-eye coordination but wild spacial recognition, because you sometimes had to avoid several opponents at once. Oh man, to avoid three attackers at once required split-second twists and turns of the body that defied logic, but still got done - all reflex.

I loved it.

Clyde said...

You're the one who had the poll the other day about the fact that there are over 500 football players who weigh over 300 pounds. I don't think there are ANY baseball players that heavy -- Prince Fielder and Pablo Sandoval are probably the heaviest, and neither one breaks 270 according to my 2011 Bill James Handbook.

NFL linemen have become like herds of buffalo, ready to stampede over their opponents.

AllenS said...

k*thy said...
Maybe it's Wisconsin, but I've been to tailgates at County Stadium, Miller Park, Lambeau and Camp Randall - and the menu's all pretty much the same.

I've noticed the same thing. You just can't beat it. Good times.

Trooper York said...

Did you stop by Garages car at Lambeau?

I know he always serves up roadkill and that is always different. Just sayn'

phx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AllenS said...

Thw worst part of winter is when football ends and baseball has yet to start.

Scott M said...

Thw worst part of winter is when football ends and baseball has yet to start.

WHAT??? There's world-class curling to watch in between.

William said...

The thing that makes baseball so boring to watch, makes it so enjoyable to play. It is very slow moving, and, in the summer, a kid can play it for hours upon hours at a stretch. You never had much trouble filling up the day if you had a game on.....Also baseball is the most democratic sport. Every position can become the most important position at certain crucial moments, and every batter gets an equal chance to be a hero. Offensive linemen never get the game ball...I'm a mediocore athlete. In football, even on an intramural level, I never got to play any of the cool positions. In baseball, even in the outfield, there's a chance to make a terrific catch or throw someone out. And you get your chance to bat. I have many happy memories of baseball. Football was something you did when you couldn't play baseball.....I think the rise of football corresponds with the evolution of sports to a spectator rather than participant activity. It is foolhardy for any ordinary human being to even think of playing tackle football on a Saturday afternoon.

k*thy said...

No, Trooper, but what's nice is that my sister-in-law grew up just a few blocks away and it makes for a great free parking spot.

k*thy said...

Allen, I agree. The sports page gets pretty thin about this time. With the Pack in the Super Bowl though, that time greatly reduced!

Amy said...

I like baseball but I LOVE football. I do enjoy college level better than the NFL for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that the players are less enormous.
BUT not all players have moobs - one of my favorite guys on the Baltimore Ravens ("my" team) is Willis McGahee - shown here posing nude for PETA. Not a fan of PETA - but what a picture! NSFW. No moobs here:
http://insidecharmcity.com/2011/01/26/photo-willis-mcgahee-poses-nude-for-peta/

traditionalguy said...

The "women of quality" category means that what men of without quality (read: without money) like is not important. Football was a college sport first popular in the thirties, and then a NFL sport first popular in the sixties. So most men with money had grown up in the days Baseball was it. And quality women only want to go where quality men go.

Henry said...

Crack wrote: Now, European Kick Boxing, there was a sport! I wish it would come here

Check out Muay Thai Fighting. Go to YouTube and look up Ramon Dekker.

Blue@9 said...

Who cares what any "woman of quality" thinks? Just hearing that term makes me want to throw a drink in her imaginary face.

Belkys said...

Giselle Bundchen - Tom Brady
Rugby? instead of football
Barry Bond never tested positive. He is accused of using hHGH. HGH do not enhance performance. Clemens wife and 50 Cents used it because its makes skin look healthier and cut abdominal fat. An unsupported study claimed that its makes recovery from injuries faster. So what anyway. The only reason to punish the use is" moral doping" SIC. Barry Bond batted 500 hr before 1999, when he began his alleged use of steroids. MacWire confessed using creatine by himself in 1997. It was not illegal so he belong in the HOF. Non ex post facto law anyone?
And steroid wont help you batting home runs. To bat a HR you need speed in the wrist and good eye. None is helped by steroids. No one ever has the power of Kingman . He never reached 500, his batting instance was awful

Belkys said...

Intellectual fans? Bernard Malamud and John Updike ( baseball of course)

DADvocate said...

I miss Dodge Ball...

LOVED Dodge Ball. During the off season we on my high school basketball team would play it. A bunch of guys who had good eye-hand coordination, could jump, catch and throw. It was deadly. My favorite shot, if I could pull it off, was to hit someone's feet when they were in air and knock them off balance.

Beth said...

Who's actually claiming that baseball players don't grow freakishly large arms and shoulders with steroid use? Did I just imagine the little pinhead of Mark McGwire poking out atop his ballooning torso and sausage-casing arms?

Scott M said...

And why are all (or almost all) the comments in this thread about watching these games, and none (or almost none) about actually playing them?

Grrrr @ conflicting edits.

I played 12 years of football including college. More than half that playing hockey and baseball. Football is more fun, teaches more positive lessons for life in general, and is the one sport where you get to lay someone out with little risk of actual injury. I wouldn't trade any of those seasons (and all the hectic mayhem it inflicted on my family) for anything and dearly hope my son decides he wants to play too.

All that being said...as an adult, you just can't do better than 2v2 sand or 6v6 indoor volleyball. The absolute best combination of power and finesse. The purest form is 2-man-sand, but you loose the ability to run plays like you can in 6-man-indoor.

PaulV said...

What's the moral difference between football pads and a padded bra?

Scott M said...

What's the moral difference between football pads and a padded bra?

A padded bra will give you exactly zero protection during a Road Warrior car chase.

Trooper York said...

"What's the moral difference between football pads and a padded bra?"

Well once you unhook your girls padded bra your morale definitely suffers. Just sayn'

Trooper York said...

Although I have heard a rumor that some garden afficaindos like to stuff their partners bras with morels.....just if they get caught in a snowstorm while sking.

But I repeat that is just a rumor.

prairie wind said...

Amy, those photos of McGahee are beautiful. Be comfortable in your own skin and let animals keep theirs. Aww...isn't that slogan cute? Maybe the pro footballs are made from a synthetic, I don't know. But McGahee has certainly played with plenty of pigskins made from cowskin.

Eric said...

No woman of quality has ever preferred football to baseball.

If you know the real world abounds with counter-examples, deploy the no-true-Scotsman fallacy.

I think this was easier to get away with before the internet.

peter hoh said...

It's a sports column, with airs of sophistication. Hyperbole and logical fallacies are permitted, if amusing.

ken in sc said...

I agree that baseball is for radio. I remember fondly my dad dosing on the couch while Dizzy Dean narrated a Cardinals game. When I got old enough, I even drank some Falstaff beer. I think it had some kind of ipecac additive in it to prevent you from drinking too much. You could not drink more that two of them without throwing up.

Kirk Parker said...

Althouse,

"I'm all about driving the guys crazy."

This post needs a Meade tag!


Original Mike,

"Baseball is painfly boring."

Yeah, but you're undoubtedly thinking of what it's like to watch it on TV. Take a good outdoor stadium, with real grass, on a nice summer day--what could be better than that?

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rcocean said...

I'd rather watch College Football than Pro Football.

-I'd rather watch Pro Baseball than College Baseball

-I'd rather watch Women's Volleyball than Women's Basketball

-I'd rather play soccer than Baseball (too much standing around)

-I'd rather kill myself than watch another Women's soccer game.

And you can't beat a tight suspenseful World Series (cf: Reds vs. Red Sox 1975) where every pitch counts, but when Pro Baseball is boring - its *really* boring.

virgil xenophon said...

Totally agree with the pro base ball bit in your last para, rcocean. Funnily enough that goes double for soccer--nothing like a tight match--otherwise, like watching paint dry.

I still say that unless you've got seats on the 50 half-way up, the best seat in the house for football is at home watching on TV. And I really only put up with all the discomforts of the stadium for my LSU Tigers.

I USED to say 30-40 yrs ago that watching round-ball was hands down better in person because of poor/limited TV camera angles, but that TOTALLY turned around, and Mens basketball is great on TV--has been since the mid 80s.

The sport that has REALLY been helped by big-screen HD TV is hockey! The puck looks like a watermelon compared to the old days. I'm old enough to remember trying to follow the puck on B&W TV in the 50s with lots of "snow" on a 17" screen--an almost IMPOSSIBLE task.

Roux said...

Baseball is the ultimate sport. It's team sport but also an individual sport. It's a sport where a guy 5'8" can beat a guy 6'3" in a one on one battle. It's also America's pastime no matter what anyone says or no matter how popular football becomes.

Tim said...

Tim Lincecum. Nothing like him in football.

rcocean said...

VX,

I'd agree that Hockey has been helped by HD TV and gigantic 42" screens. But TV Hockey is still far inferior to Hockey in person. Only in person do you realize how fast the players are going, or how bone-shaking the body checks are, or how fast and accurate the players are shooting the puck. It's all just much more exciting in person.

Eric said...

Baseball is the ultimate sport.

No it isn't. Even the players are just standing around for most of the game doing nothing.

It's dreadfully boring. And it hasn't been "America's pastime" for decades. People can only handle so much watching the grass grow.

Mick said...

I will say that the IQ of the fans at a professional baseball game is substantially higher than a football
game.

dont tread 2012 said...

I've read many of the comments and certainly there is a split.

I find the comments knocking baseball curious, it really is a matter of taste.

I've played competitive baseball, hockey and football and can say that these sports are very different.

Football is brute force team sport with a little bit of chess mixed in, just enough to keep the more cerebral interested. Not for the faint of heart.

Hockey is teamwork, speed and skills, more similar to basketball than the others. To play competitive hockey means being in really good shape. If you've never played competitive ice hockey then you have no idea how grueling it can be. Also, not for the faint of heart. Try blocking a shot from a puck propelled at 80+ mph or better. Or taking on a much bigger man in the corner. Milquetoasts need not apply.

Baseball is a concentration/mental game, also requiring skill. I can see why some say its boring - those that say that I would submit are more/less looking for the quick fix in an event. You have to be disciplined at a number of skills to excel at baseball. It ain't for everyone. The beautiful thing about baseball is that it is less predictable than any of the sports, with more wrinkles, rules and twists than you can shake a fungo at. It is a thinking man's game, a game not ruled by brute force, yet sometimes brute force is brandished.

That said, I conclude with this unscientific and rather hasty amateur theory - women who prefer football to baseball probably will be more willing to slug down a few beers and shots of Crown with the guys than the woman who prefers baseball.

Just sayin'.

Scott M said...

Only in person do you realize how fast the players are going, or how bone-shaking the body checks are, or how fast and accurate the players are shooting the puck.

Absolutely, 100% agree with this. Hockey is one of the best in-person professional sports.

Blue@9 said...

Football is brute force team sport with a little bit of chess mixed in, just enough to keep the more cerebral interested. Not for the faint of heart.

A little bit of chess? Quite a bit, more like. It's why I got back into football as an adult; I always liked watching it as a kid, but it wasn't until a few years ago that I really started to appreciate just how complicated and complex is the game.

It's more than a chess game. There's an overarching strategic game, but every play is a set-piece tactical battle that requires deep consideration of time, field position, the down, the yards to 1st down, the personnel on the field, the particular matchups, tendencies, and much much more.

Yes, baseball is simpler in some ways, featuring the one-on-one pitcher vs batter clash, but football is a violent, competitive, and well-synchronized ballet.

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