Basketball is America's new pastime

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The bottom line is that the demise of baseball as "America's pastime" has been happening for a while now - the latest report and steroid scandal which features players from every single Major League team - just puts the final nail in the coffin - albeit a pretty big nail.

With the widespread use of steroids and human growth hormones (which aren't even tested for) the game and the records of those players will always be in question, they'll always have an asterisk next to them.

When you can't trust the people playing the game - that it's being played fair, that in the end it's about just doing your best, win or lose - nothing else really matters.

It makes you wonder if baseball even remembers what it's about anymore.

Compare the history and tarnished future of baseball with the past and future of basketball and the two aren't even close.

While basketball has had its share of lockouts, player stupidity, and agents and refs gone wrong - you never really question the players or the institution as a whole in regard to legitimacy - not anywhere near like you do in baseball.

When there's a problem in basketball, it gets fixed - and fixed quickly because for all of its hype and world domination - at it's core - it really is the people's game - and basketball knows its people won't tolerate the use of synthetic body altering drugs to make a play or beat a record.

We want it fair, we want it the way it should be.

But it's also more than that.

Basketball hoops can be found almost anywhere on city blocks or in rural pastures - you can't say the same about baseball fields, or even the spaces needed to create them on the fly.

In basketball the only piece of equipment you need outside of the hoop is a 10 dollar ball from your local superstore. In baseball, you need bats, gloves, plates, and like golf - you need more than one ball because one is bound to go missing.

Basketball is a more accessible game. It can be played by more people, rich or poor - and while you can play a game of five on five - you really only need two people to play a game of one on one.

With a baseball, two people is really just catch.