The Baltimore Orioles took pause with the rest of us last week as our nation celebrated Thanksgiving. I’m not going to lie; it’s my favorite holiday. Food, family…and football.
As we know, when it comes to sports Thanksgiving Day belongs to the NFL. I say Thanksgiving Day because in reality it’s one of the busier sports weeks overall on the calendar. There are numerous College Basketball tournaments (such as the Maui Invitational) that are played, and HUGE college football games which occur on Friday and Saturday of that week. But Thanksgiving Day itself is the NFL’s.
And I suppose that the only parallel that can be drawn is the NBA’s grasp on Christmas Day. I believe it’s either five or six games spanning from noon until well after midnight. You could also throw New Year’s Day in there for College Football bowl games. Does MLB have anything remotely like that?
I suppose I would throw out two holidays; Memorial Day and the Fourth of July. However I’m not sure those get the billing in baseball that Thanksgiving gets in the NFL or Christmas in the NBA. And in reality it’s all about marketing. You can schedule games for those days, but if you as the league don’t market it as “special” (in terms of playing on a holiday and so forth), it’s not going to feel special. The NBA literally goes out of it’s way to talk about how much of an honor it is to play on Christmas Day.
The difference is that baseball is played everyday. Memorial Day is special for sure, however you played yesterday and you’ll play tomorrow. The same with the Fourth of July. So it would be a tough sell for the league to argue that it’s anything on par with the NFL’s Thanksgiving or the NBA’s Christmas. The one difference is that there’s usually a plethora of games on national television. But the comparisons end there.