Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Dancing as a Sport
As my close friends know I am "old school" -- I love tradition. Examples of traditions that I hold dear include but are not limited to -- the fraternity/sorority system, the election of US Senators by state legislators (to return authority to States), one speed bicycles, and wooden baseball bats.
Wood was the standard for the great hitters like Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth so why do we allow the use of metal bats in the Great American Pastime? Beyond a love of tradition there is a safety concern which was highlighted by the July 2003 death of Brandon Patch. Brandon was a pitcher for the Miles City (Montana) Mavericks American Legion baseball team (junior high school kids if you don't know) who was killed by a line drive hit off a metal bat. (USA Today, November 1st). The Mavericks have refused to play games against teams who use wooden bats -- I applaud their decision because it helps return baseball to its roots and because of the player safety implications.
While the Mavericks' action is encouraging for the game of baseball the past week's TV audience ratings clearly show that overall baseball viewership is fading in the USA. Here is the Top 20 TV program rankings (note: sports events highlighted in "bold" typeface) from last week as reported by today's USA Today:
1.) Desperate Housewives
2.) Dancing with the Stars
3.) Dancing with the Stars -Results
4.) CSI: Miami
6.) Sunday Night Football
8/9.) TIE: CSI and Criminal Minds
10.) 60 Minutes
11.) World Series Game 5
12.) World Series Game 4
13.) Deal or No Deal
14/15.) TIE: Ext. Makeover: Home and World Series Game 3
16.) Two and a Half Men
18.) Cold Case
19.) Without a Trace
20.) Ugly Betty
Of these Top 20 shows that only 4 of them were sports events with the highest ranked sports event being "football" which was ranked at #6 on this list. Since I love sports and because I can not dance -- since I quit drinking alcohol years ago :-) -- I am very concerned that "Dancing with the Stars" in more popular with the American TV audience than the World Series of baseball!!!
So what is next -- ticket scalpers pricing Dancing with the Stars audience tickets higher than Super Bowl tickets??? Let us hope we never see that day in our lifetimes!!
Baseballs not ballerinas,