Monday, January 9, 2017
To boost ratings, the NFL celebrates "America's Team," while MLB does everything it can to sink the Yankees
Posted by el duque at 7:35 AM
The gist of it: The NFL suffered crapola ratings this season, but a recent bump - linked to the rise of the beloved/hated Dallas Cowboys - has restored order to the sporting Death Star. Says writer Jack Dickey:
The Cowboys have been as potent as they are popular, leading the NFL in rushing yards and TV ratings, attendance and merchandise sales too. Nostalgia pumps through the sports world, and fans fall hardest for stories, like Dallas's dominance that remind them of the ones they heard when they were young.
Blah-blah-blah and Mars needs women. I hate the Cowboys. They killed JFK. Still, Dickey has a point. Given the chance to watch Dallas lose, or suffer massive casualties, I'll watch.
Of course, you know where I'm going here. Baseball once had a version of the Cowboys - (actually, they were a version of us) - but through creative rule-making, it turned the Yankees into the Kansas City Royals. After years of swimming against the undertow, our GM finally convinced Owner Hal to punt at the July 31 trade deadline and launch a multi-year rebuilding process. To win again, all we need to do is suck for a few years, draft high, trade for prospects and wait. That's how Boston built its Redsock '17 Hall of Fame Superteam of Destiny (TM). Twice, they finished fifth in the division. This could be Year Five without a Yankee post-season victory and if Aaron Judge craps out... well, I don't want to think about it.
MLB has sought to eliminate the advantage of big market teams. That leaves smaller cities with an advantage - less distractions, cheaper lifestyles. MLB wants parity: Every team contends, and a .500 year keeps you in the Wild Card race through mid-September. Last year, according to Forbes, the nine most highly rated prime time baseball teams were the Royals, Tigers, Orioles, Pirates, Indians, Redsocks, Mariners and Giants. That's right. No Yankees. Not only were the Yankees chopped out of Comcast broadcasts in New Jersey, but they weren't among the nation's most watched teams.
Well, maybe one of these days, MLB's ratings will fall. At that point, they'll wonder why the league became so boring, and realize a fundamental aspect of human curiosity: Every good story needs a villain... but they went and blew up the Evil Empire.
I wonder if they're rooting for the Cowboys.