There are a lot of differences between professional football, basketball, and baseball. We know that football is the best out of the three, and even though basketball sucks, there is no question that it is a distant runner up. That leaves baseball as the odd man out. I have been pondering why baseball sucks so bad. Just look at the outfield stands during baseball home run highlights. I challenge you to find a clip where the stands are actually full. Usually, there aren’t even any fans in those stands. In fact, take a look at the following informative maps which show the distribution of baseball, basketball, and football fans in America:
Distribution of MLB Fans
Distribution of NBA Fans
Distribution of NFL Fans
So the question we have to ask is, why are these sports so different? Baseball has been around the longest, and it just screams “American” (was it invented here?) so shouldn’t it be the strongest sport with the most fans? Basketball and football are both newer and are played mostly indoors – how appealing is that? Isn’t it more fun to go out to the ballpark, grab a hot dog and a brew, smell the fresh-cut grass, watch the sun set, and sing Take Me Out To The Ballgame?
Today I think I finally realized the answer. It has been sitting there staring me in the face for years, but I just now recognized it. Take a look at the following sets of photographs and see if you can tell which set doesn’t belong:
Set #1: Some Random MLB Players
Set #2: Some Random NBA Players
Set #3: Some Random NFL Players
MLB is definitely the odd man out. Notice the level of ghetto-ness as it increases from set to set. The first set has a bunch of old white dudes and a silly black/latino dude who is the furthest from ghetto you can get. The second set takes a massive leap towards ghetto with the introduction of cornrows, fan punchers, and skull caps, and it even delves into the “crazy” category with The Birdman’s mohawk and tattoos. Finally, the level of ghetto tops the charts in the third set. All the sudden we have gold teeth, egomaniacal freaks, and dudes who actually had to serve hard time in prison for gangster crimes. So, I offer the following conclusion, and while I may not like it and it sort of scares me, as a proud American it is my duty to embrace it, because, hey – it’s science:
America Likes Gangsta!
That actually fits on several levels. For instance, look how the U.S. goes into other countries and bullies them like the gangster thugs we are. No one is immune to our gats and colt 45s. No one! Baseball: sorry, but America has dropped you like you’re hot!