As Deadspin's resident crazy old coot railing against things not being like they were back when I was a lad, I've been asked to comment on a regular season NFL game beating a World Series game for the first time ever.
For the record, because I had monopolized the set all afternoon, our television from 7-9 was tuned to a Keeping Up With The Kardashians marathon. (Reggie Bush was on a couple episodes, so I can still write off my cable bill as a work expense.) Flipping over during commercials was not an option, because our remote control is broken and Time Warner Cable doesn't make it easy to get a new one. At 9, the girlfriend retreated to the bedroom and I chose baseball over quality time. At 10, The Walking Dead.
My results not typical. FOX's broadcast pulled in a 10.4, while the Steelers-Saints game got an 11.8. What can you say, except that it was a big step up for MLB from Saturday night's ratings?
Apparently I am to hunker down in my survival bunker, fiddle with the dial to find the elusive AM signal for a baseball game, and dig into my tinned food and pretend the NFL does not exist, and is not leaps and bounds more popular than baseball. I am to take this as a personal affront to my tastes, and as an insult to the century-plus of the game that Americans have used to define their leisure time (see: "national pastime.")
I am to stubbornly hold fast to the notion that popularity does not equal quality, parroting that soccer is much more popular worldwide than football, and that does not make it better, all the while ignoring that the Jazz and Thunder played a game last night that demolished anything on TV in terms of excitement, except maybe The Walking Dead.
I am to insist that I know better than the 13,676,200 households who tuned in to watch the Steelers and Saints, what looked like a spectacular matchup on paper. (Although — to steal a line — games aren't played on paper; they're played by little men inside our TV sets.) I am to rend my garments over the dumbing down of America, because other people not liking the same things I like is a clear sign of the moral fabric of our nation coming apart at the seams.
I am to proselytize for my sport, for only by hearing the Word can the masses be saved.
I can't do it. I can't tell anyone what they should and shouldn't watch. Hell, I can't criticize you if you watched Keeping Up With The Kardashians last night. Football is fucking awesome. Baseball is also awesome, in a slower way. Thankfully, they both exist. So live and let live, watch and let watch, and let's make some millionaires richer — together.