Okay wrapping up the final installment of the baseball debate (that won't end) today. As it's my blog I gave myself the last word. Anyway, still on break from talking about Texas Holdem poker but I'll get back to it in my next post.
If you can't wait til then check out www.bwinpokerblog.com for some poker rich content in a blog form. Tasty.
Him (continued): If you don't want to call yourself a baseball fan, that's fine. But you have to concede the original statement that there is no sport more iconic than baseball. That isn't just here and now. That is throughout time. If you said Babe Ruth to anyone, they would know who he is. If you said YA Tittle to someone, I would give the average person on the street a 10% chance of knowing who he was. Red Grange maybe a 50%. Joe Montana I'll go as high as 75%.
Lou Gehrig would be around 70% (they named a disease after him!). Ted Williams 70%. Jackie Robinson would be close to 100%. I would be surprised if 50% knew who Walter Payton or Jim Brown were. I would go as far to say the most famous football player of all time is OJ Simpson, and that isn't because of his play on the field.
Me: Fact is more people have taken them than not? Did you read the Mitchell report? The real fact is probably the majority of major league baseball took them. Just about ever rock they sniffed under they found something. Just because the lucky ones escaped Canseco's book or the anything but exhaustive Mitchell report doesn't mean they are clean--and the Mitchell report suggests just that.
BTW, some of the names you pull out are clearly guys who were pre-steroid era and have already spoken against it in a "In my day..." kind of way. Why not Mike Schmidt, Phil Niekro, and Goose Goosage while you were at it.
And... of course none of the names are bigger than Bonds, Clemens, or ARod.
Also, considering the amount of horse steroids and other crazy steroid/hormone ingredients the "agents" in MLB's Latin America slave trade put in their youngsters before the MLB gets their hands on them I'd be hesitant to include anybody from Costa Rica or similar places in a "clean" list. You have a ton of them.
BTW, if you say Babe Ruth to 20 random kids under 14 I'm not sure 5 of them would have heard of the guy... much less all of them.
Your numbers are also laughably arbitrary 50% of people on the street know the Galloping Ghost? What... maybe 1%.
While I'm enumerating arbitrary flaws in your argument(s), there may be no bigger "baseball" state than Louisiana. Participation is high in every level of the game. College baseball interest rivals Texas and Nebraska and parts of California. Just because they can't support a 162 game MLB schedule doesn't mean they don't care about baseball here. So, no moving here hasn't colored my perception of the game... if anything it should have enhanced it.
Sure, baseball is iconic... I'm not arguing it's not, I'm saying it's not America's past-time it's past-its-time and is only iconic for those with good memories or a good knowledge of sports history. It had its place in America's history and will probably always be around but it is no longer our number one sport. It's a crowded market and baseball is no longer as iconic as you think it, nor do today’s kids care about the things you do.
For them Michael Jordan has more name recognition that Babe Ruth. So too, Muhammed Ali. Tom Brady and Peyton Manning right now do too, same with LeBron James and the rapist Kobe Bryant. Jordanesque is far more used than Ruthian. I can't remember the last time somebody outside of George Will or Ken Burns said Ruthian for that matter.
The Sunday Night NFL game had better ratings than the World Series game it was up against. As a participation sport basketball and soccer have surpassed it. Stop trying to peddle your idealized memories as relevant to today's youth. I talked to a college kid recently and he had no idea who Bo Jackson was... nor George Brett or Pete Rose.
As for iconic sports at different times in our history bicycle riding, horse racing, and boxing (and even wrestling) have all held that mantle. Baseball might have held on for a little longer but it certainly hasn't been top of the heap during it's lifespan (taking a back seat at times to all those other sports-sports/entertainment and now to the NFL).