The Major League Baseball season is long. Many would argue that it’s too long. At 162 games it’s almost twice as many games as the NHL and NBA, and ten times more games than the NFL. Depending on the team you follow, that can be a great thing or a frustrating part of the game.

Being a fan of any professional sports teams has its ups and downs. Whether a particular aspect of any game is viewed favorably or negatively largely depends on the person you ask. For example, many baseball fans will tell you it’s easy to follow an NFL team because you only have to watch one game a week. As a fan of both the MLB and the NFL, I would argue that having only one game a week makes it really difficult to get over a loss. You have to stew for a long time before your team gets a chance at redemption. It also means that a loss has more impact on the season. A single game represents 6.25% of an NFL regular season. To put that in a baseball perspective, the Rangers would have to lose 10 games to have the same impact on their record that one Cowboys loss does on theirs.

At the same time, it’s not easy being a baseball fan either. While one loss may not mean nearly as much in baseball (each game represents only .62% of the season), you have to experience many more of them each year. When your team loses four out of six games in a week’s span, it’s difficult to keep the mathematical significance of those games in perspective. Basketball is a game of runs, but baseball is a season of runs. Every team is bound to have a few good winning streaks and a few discouraging losing streaks each year. When following a baseball team closely, you have to always remind yourself to keep the big picture in mind.

The long baseball season isn’t entirely a bad thing. The fact that 162 games are played over a six month period means that there are very few nights that you don’t have the opportunity to watch your team play. It also means that you can miss a game now and then and still be considered a “die hard fan” (a term that I hate). A serious fan of an NFL team can’t miss a game, for any reason. Even preachers know that they better get the congregation out by noon on Sundays so they don’t miss kickoff. Not even the most hardcore baseball fan can be expected to watch all 162 games…that’s just too much to ask.

Sticking with the Rangers for a whole season takes some dedication. At times it’s satisfying, and sometimes it’s frustrating. The good must outweigh the bad, though, because each year I stick around for all 162 and hope for more.  

Chris Kautz is a Senior Staff Writer for ShutDowninning. He can be reached at Chris.Kautz@ShutDowninning.com or on Twitter @SDIChris.
Chris Kautz

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