Originally written on Midwest Sports Fans  |  Last updated 4/17/12

Many times in life, we end up changing our minds on certain things.  It’s not a big deal – we are fickle people – but we at least owe it to ourselves and everyone involved to be honest about it.

When I was in high school, I liked a certain type of girl.  It worked for me in high school, and I had a lot of fun, but as I grew older, I grew to appreciate other qualities.

I don’t need to spend time bashing the girls I dated in high school.  I DEFINITELY don’t need to start making up “facts” that support why I am now a better person either.  I just need to be honest and say that, quite simply, I changed.

Baseball bashers think differently.

On sports television, radio, and everywhere, talking heads bemoan the “idea” that baseball is just TOO long to watch.

Of course, they completely ignore the FACT that football games, on average, last almost a half-hour longer than baseball games.

Mike and Mike whined all morning that the game started too late…about how terrible baseball umpires are…they don’t call strikes…it makes the game too long; the game last night lasted for 3 hours and 14 minutes.

Of course, they were probably watching a game between the Colts and Bucs last night that started LATER, lasted LONGER, and featured several official replays that bogged the game down worse than any bad ball or strike call ever could.

Here is a fact: the length of the game doesn’t matter even one iota to Americans.  Anyone that loves football and claims to like it more because baseball games are too long is lying to himself, and everyone around him.

Full disclosure: when I was a little kid, baseball was my favorite sport.  I lived and breathed it.  I read record and fact books constantly.  I played it exclusively.  I watched it incessantly.

Then I discovered basketball.  Baseball took a back seat.  And as soon as I understood football, baseball was bringing in the bronze.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  The beauty of America is that we have the freedom of choice when it comes to our options for recreation.

I love the beauty of basketball when it is played correctly – a complete team playing together on both sides of the ball.  I love the excitement of football – some of the best athletes in the world basically squaring off and deciding who is the stronger man.

And I still like baseball – a game with a beautiful mixture of power and finesse, teamwork and individual excellence, and so much more.

But let’s just be honest with ourselves.  Football is more ideal for today’s world.  8 seconds of action (tops), 30 seconds to recover.  Could you think of anything better for our tiny attention spans these days?

America likes football because it caters to us.  It’s forced down our throats every day on SportsCenter, the radio, and on the internet.  Even my WIFE knows that Peyton Manning is hurt.

America likes football because you can watch it without thinking.  We are spectators in the coliseum, watching our gladiators mindlessly and amazingly beat each other down.

Even though attendance for baseball is incredible, the fact is that much of America doesn’t have time for baseball anymore.  It forces us to sit down, in silence for a few hours, and pay attention to subtle details.  Most Americans aren’t comfortable enough with themselves to sit down in silence for a few hours – period.

Let’s just be honest with ourselves.

Little kids prefer football to baseball because we feed it to them.  We created a game that they could tune in to for five seconds at a time.  We added some violence in there just for fun.

Basically, we have given them the greatest video game ever that they don’t even have to play.

When I was a kid, I enjoyed going to Chucky Cheese.  Today, I hate the place.  Does that mean that the pizza party place has changed?  No.  I have changed.

It gives me no right to bash the restaurant.  I don’t need to make excuses for it.

Baseball hasn’t changed one bit.  America has.

Case closed.  “Mystery” solved.

So let’s end the baseball bashing and stop the hypocrisy.

Jon Washburn @The_Dr_Twitch
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