Baltimore Orioles: Does flair matter?
The Baltimore Orioles have never been the glitziest of teams – in the modern era, at least. Sure they’ve had their share of utter superstars (the Ripkens, Murrays, Palmers, and Robinsons of the world), but not necessarily recently. One might say that the likes of Davis, Trumbo, etc. are fairly glitzy, but they aren’t on par with the names I mentioned above.
This week I’ve listened to a lot about how the NFL playoffs (which begin today) don’t have the most exciting teams competing. In truth, what that means is that they’re devoid of star power. Granted Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and Big Ben are out there, but teams like the Jaguars, Bills, and Chiefs aren’t going to draw too much excitement outside of their home markets.
I’m one of those people who’ll watch the NFL simply because it’s the NFL. In August after I’m done covering the Orioles for the night, I’m either watching another baseball game or I’m watching the third/fourth quarter of NFL preseason games. As in when the regular players are done for the game. I just love football (and baseball).
However that attitude is getting away from us. If the NFL is silently worried about what happens when you replace the likes of Aaron Rogers or Dak Prescott with the Jags and Bills, that’s a problem. And it’s true in all sports. Was the Royals/Mets World Series as exciting and compelling as a Yankees/Dodgers World Series would have been? In my opinion it was. But fewer and fewer people feel that way.
I used to know a guy who had a Super Bowl party every year. And this guy went all out – fully stocked bar, good food, etc. But the Super Bowl was the only game he watched every year; because it was the only one that mattered. And that’s the attitude we’re starting to see among sports fans. Show me some flair, or I’m not about to pay attention.
So take an Orioles team that wins with the likes of Jones, Davis, Tillman, Joseph, and Schoop. Is that not a compelling story? I think it is, because winning is compelling, and thus worth the price of admission. But what sports fans are telling us is that it isn’t enough anymore. It goes without saying that you have to win – but in doing so, go big or go home.