October 30, 2006
Jets & Giants Fit The (Buffalo) Bills
If you're like me, you're a die hard baseball fan, and a "fair weather" football fan. Once the "Fall Classic" is over, no matter if your team was in the post season or not, you feel a bit depressed, flipping through the channels hoping to see a movie about baseball, or a classic game being broadcast on one of the sports networks. You have a calendar counting down the days until spring training, and you jump to the sports pages of the newspaper every day poring through the columns for the latest "hot stove" report. Still, the sports fan within you seeks some satisfaction. There is a need for excitement in your life. You have to cheer for someone, some team, and feel passionate again. For most, that leaves football.
Yes, the NFL "preseason" games begin in August, too early for most baseball fans to pull their attention away from hotly contested division races to watch football. But after postseason play is over and there is a new World Series championship team, there is a "baseball void" which football can only partially fill.
In New York, it is difficult to be a football fan as the Jets and the Giants both play in New Jersey. The only other actual team from New York is the Buffalo Bills, and there isn't much of a chance you want to root for them, much less travel to Buffalo to see a game. There's little incentive to travel to New Jersey to begin with, and being a part-time football fan you don't have much inspiration to buy tickets, pay tolls, and sit in freezing weather to watch a football team you're only casually interested in.
Of course there are many who are both avid baseball and football fans. They go to both baseball and football games, wear jerseys from both sports, call radio stations and complain about the Mets/Jets, Yankees/Giants; but football doesn't give the avid baseball fan who watches all one hundred and sixty games per season the same joy and fulfillment that a seventeen week football schedule offers.
As the hot stove heats up, and Thanksgiving nears, baseball fans will slump in front their television sets watching football, allowing themselves to get excited about a touchdown, or their team's chances of getting to the playoffs. But, immediately after the Superbowl, they will break out their calendars which they marked off in October, and count the days, hours, and minutes until pitchers and catchers show up to spring training.