Yesterday I explained that baseball is better than football because it's spring training is superior to training camp. Today, I'll explain the benefits to going to baseball games.
Don't get me wrong, going to football games is great, and I'd recommend it to anyone. No other game generates so much raucous fun. Going to high-school, Friday-night-lights football games is a great way to get together with folks from the community and cheer on the local boys. College games have great traditions (I wish I was cool enough to sit in the student section of Wisconsin Badgers games and do Jump Around). And NFL games turn into an all-day crazy party. These are great times, but they're not all that great.
For one thing, good luck being able to afford taking a family of four to NFL games regularly. Even though the Vikings are a bargain compared to most of the rest of the league, it's not easy to get tickets for under $50 each. You can get a great seat for the Twins for about $30 each -- under $20 for outfield seats. Go for a St. Paul Saints game, and the best seat in the house is $20.
And even if you can afford to go to a pro football games, it's not always the most family-friendly atmosphere. I took my kids to a Vikings game once, and the very inebriated woman sitting directly behind my youngest son (he was 13 at the time) couldn't stop groping him -- rubbing his shoulders, stroking his arm, ... ew. I couldn't tell if she loved him or wanted to puke on him. She only stopped after one of her companions noticed my infamous stop-touching-my-kid-before-I-go-all-momma-bear-on-your-ass glare and he told her to stop. Sometimes, football fans are just a smidge too crazy. I have nothing against occasional craziness, but if I'm going to spend that kind of money for my son's seat, I want him to have a good time too.
This is not to say the grown ups at baseball games don't indulge some -- there's nothing like a good beer at the park, -- but the worst crimes tipsy baseball fans commit fall somewhere along the lines of trying to start the wave. I can honestly say that I've never had to issue a death glare at a baseball game. There's just something about the nice, easy pace of the game that generates nice, laid-back fun.
Even if you can get past the cost and the crazies, the opportunities for attending are limited in football. There's only one game a week and eight home games a season. Baseball gives you 81 opportunities to go. If you're always free on Wednesday evenings, there will be a number of chances for you to take in a game. Plus, playing hooky from work to go to a day game is just delicious. And that's just the MLB games -- the minor leagues, independent leagues, and town-ball leagues offer pro-quality ball just about every day of the summer. Heck, even watching beer-league softball is a ton of fun. I've never seen beer-league football.
I'm pretty lucky. I live in a town where I could take about a three-mile walk and possibly see four or more baseball or softball games going on. Baseball doesn't just happen in summer; baseball is summer.
So, yeah. Go to football games, but go to more baseball games. You'll be glad you did.
This was part two of my series on why baseball is better than football. Next time: Broadcasts.