As my Colts were closing in on a Super Bowl win, I couldn’t help but reflect on the past week of festivities in Miami, and the current state of sports.
The Super Bowl tends to be like the UM baseball team: overly hyped, only to fall short of expectations. By the end of the third quarter, the last vegetables have been surgically removed from the dip, the chips are all but gone, the jerseys sport the latest accumulated stains, the commercials are sub-par, and the game is usually determined.
But this year, the commercials were great, Prince proved that he’s not only just flamboyant, and by the time the fourth quarter came, everyone was still at the edge of their seats.
Bill Simmons, a columnist for ESPN’s Page 2, noted that the Super Bowl should only be played in major cities that people would want to go to. Forget Detroit and Minnesota-Miami, New Orleans and San Francisco need to be perennial hosts. I had the pleasure of going to South Beach on Saturday to see all of Ocean Drive closed off. It was a scene that I thought I could only concoct in a fantasy, a magical zoo of sorts, with Bears, Colts, and Playboy Bunnies roaming free, feeding on various energy drinks, and looking dazed amongst the celebrities, cars, clubs, and glamour that is South Beach.
With all that said, the Super Bowl was a success, and it looks like it will be in years to come. What has gone unsaid, though, is how baseball, our “national pastime” has been in decline for nearly a decade. Beginning with the reports that Mark McGuire had used steroids during his chase of and ultimate conquest of the home run record, up until now, where Barry Bonds will break the all-time record because of performance-enhancing drugs. Baseball is at the point where it will slowly, but surely, fade to become “America’s past pastime,” allowing leagues like the NFL or NBA to become America’s official sport.
The excitement will undoubtedly be there when spring training begins, but it seems as though Baseball will travel more with the baby boomers than it will with “Generation X.”
A new era of sports is inevitable, and the burden will be on baseball to find its niche within the group of major sports. The NFL has taken tremendous steps in transforming the apparent decline of football in the 80’s into what it has today-a young commissioner, exciting Super Bowl cities, and a ring for the face of the sport (Peyton Manning). The NBA has followed in a similar fashion-thought to be on the decline after the glory days of Bird, Magic, and Jordan, but reviving itself with talents such as LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Kobe Bryant, plus a Phoenix Suns team that makes any true proponent of the game delighted to watch.
It will be very interesting to see how the MLB handles themselves within the next 10 years, but by then, I’ll be much too interested in gaining access to the Playboy party during Super Bowl week.
Adam Flomenbaum is a freshman majoring in political science and philosophy. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org