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Evolution Revolution?

Officials discuss a call from early 2011. The rule changes for the upcoming season are largely focused on enhancing player safety. (photo: Icon SMI)

If you are looking for the Saints/Raiders post-game analysis, you’ll need to wait a bit longer.  Why?  I would like to say it is because of a full plate juggling work and four-year old twins, but it’s not….it’s because of baseball season.

Yes, it is the most wonderful time of the year when the playoff race heats up and the anticipation of football season builds.  For baseball fans, this is where the long season seems alarming short.   Each win is monumental and each loss sends you in a tailspin.   Each game carries the same weight as a regular season football game.  Which got me thinking…this may be the only thing baseball and football have in common.

America’s pastime and America’s passion.  They are like night and day.  Sure, true fans of both sports appreciate the cunning strategy and the importance of flawless execution.  But is that where it ends?

Football has salary caps, revenue sharing, and an equalizing draft system that levels the playing.  Baseball is almost the antithesis.  Teams like the Yankees have payrolls that are nearly ten times that of the lowest payroll teams in the league.  Their system gives wealthier franchises an advantage to “buy” championships.  As a fan of both sports, I do feel like my football team stands more of an equal shot at the Superbowl than my baseball team stands at the World Series.  Forget red states and blue states…this is really what divides us!

So why am I writing about this and why should you care about this now?  With the recent rule changes, it seems as the NFL is getting a fair amount of criticism in how it is changing the game.  To the contrary, I think we should be celebrating it.  Baseball’s rules have remained largely unchanged since it inception, despite the change in pace and athleticism of it players.  Football, on the other hand, attempts to evolve the game in an effort to keep up, be more accurate, and keep its players safer. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love baseball just as much as the American flag and apple pie.  It was the one thing that kept me sane during my five months of medically mandated bed rest while pregnant with my twins.  But for a sport that prides itself on its rich tradition, isn’t it time to join the NFL and institute instant replay?  At the very least add it for calls involving a run!  My word, you added the designated hitter after all….after dipping your toe in evolution, why not go for a swim?