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Football Overload, II

Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twin

Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twin

Ten days ago I complained about the overwhelming amount of football coverage. This happens every year, and every year it drives me mad. Here we are enjoying baseball and suddenly, with the start of the college and professional football seasons, we are expected to put aside a sport worthy of our love in favor of one that seems to expect slavish devotion. It’s bad enough that the TV networks fight with each other to throw money at the NFL and the college conferences in order to fill every minute of weekend programming with football, as well as Thursday nights, Monday nights, and sometimes it seems every other night too. But why must newspapers be complicit in this cacophony as well?

Which brings me to this past weekend. I gave football its due on Saturday. I watched portions of the UW-Notre Dame football game. Large portions near the end. That was more than enough. In return, I thought I earned the right to watch baseball yesterday. Okay, so maybe the race for the American League central division title isn’t the most exciting one in years, but going into the weekend, it was the only one we had. And when the Twins beat the Royals Saturday, despite facing the stupendous Zach Greinke, while the Tigers lost to the White Sox, they were suddenly tied with a day to go. If both won or both lost on Sunday, they would have a one-game playoff Tuesday to decide the division champ. If one won and the other lost, the winner would claim the prize. Whichever one it was would limp into the postseason with the worst record of any of the playoff teams, and with an exhausted pitching staff, likely to lose their opening series to the Yankees quickly. Nonetheless, a great story was in the making — a resilient Twins team riding a September surge to the playoffs, or a toughened Tiger team giving its gloomy city some cheer.

The Twins game yesterday started about an hour after the Tiger game. I figured someone would be broadcasting one of them. Someone. Around 12:30, with both games in progress, I turned on the TV and started looking. Football. NASCAR. Pool. Yes, pool! But no baseball. No baseball!! Come on. I was reduced to following the games online. Had I bought the MLB cable package, I could see every game all season. Maybe I need to do that next year.

In case you’re wondering, both teams won. Minnesota hosts their one-game playoff tomorrow.

Why tomorrow, you ask? Why indeed? Wouldn’t it be better to get the title settled today so the winner can get ready for the playoffs? In fact, isn’t that how it’s usually done? Well, of course. But you’re forgetting something. Let’s work this out. What sport do we worship? Football. And what happens on Mondays? Oh, yes, Monday Night Football. Okay, so here’s the good part. Who’s playing tonight in the MNF game? Yes, of course. Minnesota. The Brett-Favre-led Minnesota Vikings. Against the formerly-Brett-Favre-led Green Bay Packers. The game we have been waiting for since it looked like Favre would sign with the Vikings a year and a half ago. Nothing in baseball can compete with that. Not even the World Series. The Twins don’t get to use their stadium today. They have to wait a day. So it goes.

Categories: Baseball, Sports, Television
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