The NBA And MLB Will Never Match “Any Given Sunday”

As a child, I loved every sport. It never mattered to me if I was playing in the streets or watching it on TV. With age, I fell in love with playing basketball as well as watching the NFL and a soon to be Super Star you might have heard of by the name of Kobe Bryant.

Growing up in Kansas City, being a Chiefs and Royals fan is in our blood. Kobe’s name and intensity made him an easy choice to be my favorite player. Regardless of my loyalty to the Royals and my love for the sport of basketball, I just could never get as excited to watch them as I did the Chiefs or other NFL games.

This was never because I didn’t find basketball or baseball to be as much fun or as entertaining, although I could argue the fact that baseball is boring as well. That’s a topic for another day. But instead it’s the fact that each individual game doesn’t hold the same amount of importance. This remains true for both regular and postseason games for me. There are just too many games in their seasons and their series don’t possess that sudden death excitement.

Philadelphia 76ers fans, I’m sure, would have been fine with the NBA finals being a one-game series but I’ll touch on that in a moment. The NBA has a total of 82 games each year which mean means each game only accounts for 1.2% percent of the entire regular season.

Old school basketball was, in my opinion, a lot tougher game before the age of flopping, acting, and eliminating hand-checking. These days players take games off and rest themselves further exacerbating the problem and robbing excitement from regular-season games.

Even when an underdog steals the first game of a series, teams like the Lakers still have six more games to send them home. In 2001, Allen Iverson and the 76ers came into the NBA Finals with a game one victory over the heavily favored Lakers after barely sneaking by the Bucks in a seven-game series.

We’ve all seen the infamous picture of AI stepping over future NBA coach Tyronn Lue. The Lakers had won eleven straight playoff games and would not lose another game as the Lakers cruised on to back to back titles. How would Kobe and Iverson’s legacy change if the series ended after one game?

On to the sport that you can miss every run scored while on a bathroom break. Don’t worry, you have another 161 games per team to watch. That’s over 2,400 regular season games! That means that each game only accounts for less than a percent of the season, in a league where large market teams can load up rosters like the Dodgers and Yankees who spend over a hundred million dollars on their rosters, while smaller market teams are spending in the twenty and thirty million range.

There are players in the league who will individually have a higher salary than entire teams! The MLB’s complete disregard for policing salaries and rosters as well as the obsession with squeezing every dollar they can out of fans will ultimately lead to the fall of popularity among younger fans.

There is a reason it is America’s past time and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. I will admit that baseball does do some things right such as the arbitration for players who have outplayed their contracts, but ultimately this leads to players moving to bigger markets via inflated free-agent contracts.

Being from a small market city and watching the Royals miss the playoffs for my entire life really takes your interest away from professional baseball. Then in 2014, we finally get a chance with a one-game wildcard that went into extra innings.

Excluding the Chiefs’ Super Bowl come from behind victory, it was the most exciting day I had ever been apart of in Kansas City. I would credit this to the fact we got one game and one game only to move on to the next series. It took 12 nail-biting, edge of your seat innings to bring home the first postseason victory of my life.

The Super Bowl has taken the spotlight when It comes to sports events in America. People who don’t even like sports show up for Super Bowl parties every year. The NFL playoffs bring tons of excitement and the anxiety is in the air as fans know it’s one and done. I think football is way too violent of a sport for a human body to handle a series of games, but there wouldn’t be a benefit to finding out.

Over a hundred million people in the United States tuned in to watch the Chiefs beat the 49ers last year. The intensity of watching last year’s comeback playoff victories of 20-10 (49ers), 17-7 (Titans), and 24-0 (Texans) were out of this world.

None of these would hold the same significance if they were playing in a seven-game series. Would they have even tried or lived to fight another day? The amount of games in other pro sports negates the excitement and importance of games. To sum it all up, there is no comparison to “Any Given Sunday.”