Scott Cordischi On Sports: Boston A Baseball Town? Not Anymore.
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Boston is a baseball town. At least that’s what I have been told ever since I was a young child who was knee-high to a grasshopper.
Growing up about 45 minutes north of Boston I was told that everyone not only loved the Red Sox, but had an opinion on the team, its performance and how it should be run.
This was all very true. But, like many things in life, things have changed.
Boston, and all of New England for that matter, is now a football town or region. It is now the Patriots that rule the roost.
Don’t believe me? Check out the ratings from Friday night.
The Patriots-Eagles preseason game in Philadelphia drew a 14.4 rating in Boston compared to a 5.5 rating for the Red Sox-Royals game in Kansas City that night. That’s a PRESEASON football game outdrawing a REGULAR season baseball game for a team in a pennant race by almost a 3 to 1 margin!
The bigger question is: why is this now a football town? It’s probably a combination of things.
First, in all due respect to baseball, the sport of football is now America’s favorite pastime. Television ratings bare that out.
Why is football the preferred sport in the United States? Good question. Probably because, unlike baseball, every game is meaningful. Where baseball has 162 regular season games each year, a single win or loss is not a big deal. That is not the case in pro football where only 16 regular season games are played, all of which are meaningful.
Also, given its once-a-week nature, football games aren’t just “another game,” they are viewed as a big event. From the weekly build-up to the game to the pregame tailgating, fantasy football, and more, this country loves its NFL Sundays.
Football games are also much more action-packed than are baseball games and, given what appears to be the shorter attention spans of many, this may also play a role in all of this.
And then there’s what happened in 2004 and again in 2007. The Boston Red Sox finally reached the holy grail by winning not one, but two World Series titles.
For 86 years, Red Sox Nation was absolutely starving for a World Championship. We fans wore the label “long-suffering Red Sox fan” like a badge of honor. Every spring we would think that this was the year Boston could win it all. But, much like Charlie Brown who always wanted to kick that football, the Red Sox played the role of Lucy and pulled it away from us at the last second.
Thus, by winning those two championships, many believe that our thirst was quenched and with it, our passion for baseball lessened.
Whatever the reason or reasons, Boston is now a football town. And it’s not even open for debate.
-Speaking of the Patriots, was that ground and pound attack we saw in the first preseason game a harbinger of things to come? For all of our concerns about the loss of Welker, Lloyd, Hernandez and temporarily Gronkowski, did we forget about the fact that you can also run the football on offense? While I do believe that the Pats would like to run the ball more than they have in recent years this season, don’t kid yourself. Tom Brady is still the quarterback and this team will still throw the ball……a lot! But it’s nice to know that they can run the ball because that type of balance will make it difficult for opponents to defends them.
-Former NY Jets and current Tampa Bay Buccaneers CB Darrelle Revis said Tuesday that Pats QB Tom Brady and Denver’s Peyton Manning are neck and neck for being the best quarterback in the game today. He also talked about how intense the hatred was in the Pats-Jets rivalry saying that Bob Kraft approached him with some nice things to say this week now that he is a Buc. The implication being that Kraft never would have showered him with praise while he was in New York.
-I’ll be the first to admit that I was lukewarm on the offseason signings of Johnny Gomes and Shane Victorino by the Red Sox. And while neither of them are even remotely close to putting together MVP-type seasons in Boston, their attitudes, style of play and approach to the game is refreshing to see.
-And, while we’re on the subject of full disclosure, I also must admit that I have been more than pleasantly surprised with the performance of Koji Uehara as Red Sox’ closer. He may not have that overpowering fastball like Jonathan Papelbon did, but his 75 strikeouts in 54.2 innings pitched is an indication that he can make hitters swing and miss with the best of them.
-Tiger Woods may, once again, be the best golfer in the world, but he’s no longer a factor in the majors which is surprising to see. And while I do believe that it will be very difficult for him to win 5 more major championships to pass Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18, I do think that he will “figure it out” and be more of a factor in the majors maybe as soon as next year.
-In 1994, Bob Kraft bought the Patriots for approximately $140 million dollars. Today, the franchise is the second most valuable NFL franchise at $1.8 billion dollars according to Forbes Magazine. That’s 13-times what paid for it! How’s that for a return on your investment?
-BTW, the Dallas Cowboys continue to be the highest valued NFL franchise at $2.3 billion. This, despite their meddlesome owner Jerry Jones.
-Finally, you may have seen the story here on GoLocalProv.com or the official press release from Brown University about my recent hire. As I said on Facebook a couple of weeks ago, I couldn’t be more excited to embark on my new career at Director of Football Operations at Brown University. Having been associated with the program for almost 20 years, I can’t begin to tell you how first class the football program, athletic department and university are. And I am honored to work for a head coach in Phil Estes who is as good a coach and person as you will ever want to meet. I got into sports broadcasting many years ago because I wanted to be around sports 24/7 and have a job that I would absolutely love to go to each day. After a few years of being out of the sports business full time, I am thrilled to be around it 24/7 again. Go Bears!