As we know, the Baltimore Orioles play in a market that’s saturated with teams from pretty much every sport. That includes various universities, such as Coppin State, Towson, and of course the University of Maryland. I read message boards from time to time, and I was on one the other day in which someone was vilifying Maryland fans for not showing up to the team’s first game earlier this week. Now in principle I kind of agree – but one of the responses stuck out at me.
Maryland’s outlook this season is excellent. They’re ranked very high, so it would have stood to reason that perhaps fans would have turned out. However one fan responded that lots of fans don’t like Turgeon’s style of play (referring of course to head coach Mark Turgeon). Now I’ll be honest; I much preferred Gary Williams’ style. However that’s not the issue at hand.
Is that now really a thing in a sense? Do fans opt not to come to games or follow their favorite teams because they don’t like the style of play? Apparently so.
I think something like this is much more predominant in sports such as basketball, football, or hockey. Baseball is baseball no matter how you spin it. Now having said that, some teams are station-to-station, some are slugging teams, etc. I suppose that someone could not like a certain style of play and similarly not come out to the park.
However this is concerning to me. I’ve always maintained that sports isn’t entertainment – per se. Movies are entertainment. Broadway plays are entertainment. Television shows are entertainment. Sports? Sports are just sports.
But more and more, sports aren’t just sports. Sports is being lumped in as entertainment as time is going on. And that’s a huge problem from where I stand. Because if a movie (which is entertainment) isn’t entertaining, you can just turn it off. If a show you’re attending isn’t as good as you thought it would be, you can leave. Or you can not go at all. Is that what we want sports to turn into?
What I’m saying is that the sports world needs to find ways to differentiate itself from entertainment. Because otherwise we’re going to see more and more of that – the style of play isn’t entertaining enough for me, so I’m not paying attention. And that would be a bad thing for all sports. Sports isn’t entertainment; it’s a game.