Later today, in roughly six hours, the New York Giants and New England Patriots will begin their much anticipated rematch of the famed 42nd Super Bowl. Many of you reading this (and this writer) are hoping for a repeat of that game. The Super Bowl is obviously the culmination of the grueling football season (and even more grueling two-week, media storm of a two week layoff), but it also means something significant to us baseball fans. It means that in a few short weeks, baseball will be back.
There are many reasons why we as baseball fans should love the Super Bowl. Of course, football is great in and of itself and regardless of the teams, the game is usually fun to watch (though I did fall asleep during that Colts/Bears game). But as previously mentioned, the Super Bowl is football’s last hurrah before pitchers and catchers report and Spring Training begins. The Super Bowl brings us one day closer to the return of baseball, and that alone makes it worth sitting through (or suffering through at the edge of your seat, rocking back and forth like Leo Mazzone like I’ll be doing soon). But why else should we love the Super Bowl?
Because it’s Game Seven. It’s all that’s left. The biggest difference between baseball and football when it comes to the playoffs is the one-and-done nature of the latter. As baseball fans, we’re used to the serial nature of the playoffs, and that sits pretty well with us. We hope for (well, not necessarily for our team) game sevens and game 163s, because they’re exciting as hell. And even for a few hours, that’s what the Super Bowl offers us. It offers us a different variety of Game Seven, a different variety of Game 163. And that’s why we love it. To me, and probably to you, nothing beats a Game Seven. Nothing beats a game where every pitch and every swing matter. The Super Bowl gets us close to that. There are times when other sports can get close to that, too. We take our baseball minds and hearts, full of anticipation, into each down, each advancement up the court, the pitch, or the ice. We’re enthralled for those moments and even if we’re not thinking about it, deep in our hearts and minds, we know that once those moments are done, baseball will be there waiting for us.
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