It seems that the ESPN baseball writers were given a directive to do a column tying in to the Super Bowl this week. Neyer has one up and, as usual, it’s very good. We all came to the man’s work because there was a time when he was the only mainstream writer doing good analysis, but Rob is at his absolute best when he goes historical on us.
Jayson Stark has one up too, but it’s not so good. Not because it’s poorly executed — I think Stark is an interesting writer and always does a good job, this entry included — but because the premise, however tongue-in-cheek it may be, is the stuff of nightmares:
So as another Super Bowl looms on our digestive system’s horizon, we thought this was the perfect occasion to ask a critical question:
Is there anything baseball can learn from the way the NFL milks every Roman-numeralized ounce of marketability out of the Super Bowl?
Broadly speaking, the ideas are to make the World Series a “cultural event” as opposed to a mere sporting event, turn Game 1 into a circus, insert the day’s hottest music stars and MTV into the mix, have MLB adopt the NFL’s micromanaging style, and develop some interactivity tools for the viewers at home so they don’t have to just sit passively and watch baseball.
Stark’s a purist, so I’m guessing he actually hates most of the ideas on this list. My fear, though, is that someone at MLB is reading, doesn’t get the joke and some of this stuff winds up on a meeting agenda at some point in the near future.