You could have watched an exciting, important game, a tense changing of the guard of the best playoff pitchers ever. Or you could have watched Kerry Collins and Trent Edwards trade handoffs in a meanlingless AFC South contest. Guess which you chose.
The overnight ratings are in, and Monday Night Football beat game 3 of the ALCS. A paltry (for MNF) 7.2 percent of TV sets tuned in to watch just an awful, awful game between the Jags and Titans. Baseball drew just a 6.5.
How could this happen? No one disputes that football is by far the more popular sport in this country, but I had always assumed that was a generality. Of course I'm going to watch last week's Vikings/Jets game, because it's one of 16 and means so much for both teams (setting aside the subplots). And of course I'm going to skip over a random Padres/Reds ESPN Game of The Week, because it's just one of 162, so who really cares.
Last night's ratings still baffle me. The criticism of baseball is that it's not a national sport, that only fans of the teams care. But this is the playoffs! You're telling me the fine folks of, say, Sioux City, Iowa, care more about Jaguars/Titans than the ALCS? And the New York and DFW viewers alone should have been enough to blow the small markets of Jacksonville and Nashville out of the water.
What more do you people want? Are you that sick of TBS's Conan ads? Do you want Suzy Kolber rather than Craig Sager doing the sideline interviews? Both valid complaints, but come on.
Explain yourselves, America. I want you to tell me why you watched Monday Night Football last night. And don't you dare say "Oh, I don't care about the Rangers or Yankees." I know damn well no one cares about the Titans or Jaguars.