Like to talk a little bit about baseball and football, starting with baseball.
Baseball is different from any other sport in a lot of different little ways. For instance, in most sports you score points or you score goals; in baseball you score runs.
In most sports the ball or object, is put in play by the offensive team; in baseball the defense puts the ball in play, and only the defensive team is allowed to touch the ball. In fact, in baseball if an offensive player touches the ball intentionally, he’s out.
Also, most sports the team is run by a coach; in baseball the team is run by a manager; and only in baseball does the manager (or the coach) have to wear the same uniform the players do. Can you picture Bill Parcells in his New York Giant’s uniform?
Now baseball and football are different from one another in other kind of interesting ways, I think. First of all:
Baseball is a nineteenth-century pastoral game.
Football is a twentieth-century technological struggle.
Baseball is played on a diamond, in a park. The baseball park!
Football is played on a gridiron, in a stadium, sometimes called “Soldier Field” or “War Memorial Stadium.”
Baseball begins in the spring, the season of new life.
Football begins in the fall, when everything is dying.
In football you wear a helmet
In baseball you wear a cap.
Football is concerned with downs. “What down is it?”
Baseball is concerned with ups. “Who’s up? Are you up? I’m not up! He’s up!”
In football the specialist comes in to kick.
In baseball the specialist comes in to relieve someone.
In football you receive a penalty.
In baseball you make an error. “Oops!”
Football has hitting, clipping, spearing, blocking, piling on, late hitting, unnecessary roughness, and personal fouls.
Baseball has the sacrifice.
Football is played in any kind of weather: Rain, sleet, snow, hail, mud…can’t read the numbers on the field, can’t read the yard markers, can’t read the player’s numbers: the struggle will continue!
In baseball if it rains, we don’t come out to play. “I can’t come out to play! It’s raining out!”
Baseball has the seventh-inning stretch.
Football has the two-minute warning
Baseball has no time limit: “We don’t know when it’s gonna end! We might have extra innings!”
Football is rigidly timed, and it will end even if we have to go to “sudden death.”
In baseball, during the game, in the stands, there’s kind of a picnic feeling. Emotions may run high or low, but there’s not that much unpleasantness.
In football, in the stands during the game, you can be sure that at least twenty-seven times you are perfectly capable of taking the life of a fellow human being, preferably a stranger.
And finally, the objectives of the the two games are completely different:
In football, the object is for the quarterback, otherwise known as the field general, to be on target with his aerial assault, riddling the defense by hitting his receivers with deadly accuracy in spite of the blitz, even if he has to use the shotgun. With short bullet passes and long bombs, he marches his troops into enemy territory, balancing this aerial assault with a sustained ground attack which punches holes in the forward wall of the enemy’s defensive line.
In baseball the object is to go home! And to be safe! “I hope I’ll be safe at home! Safe at home!”
— George Carlin