The St. Louis Cardinals have had the privilege of playing in and winning several World Series in their existence. On Sunday, the New England Patriots will once again appear in the Super Bowl. A central question is which contest is better.
I love the World Series and not just because the St. Louis Cardinals own many of the titles but because it is pure and it sports-centered. The World Series is- simply put- about baseball. The same, to me, cannot be said about the Super Bowl.
That said, I enjoy the Super Bowl as well. But here’s my hang-up: the commercialization. The Super Bowl is exciting but a majority of the event is devoted to who is performing at half-time, what commericals will air, and any sponsorships the star athletes carry.
Do we hear any of these things around the World Series? No.
Superstars are usually on display in both events, but it seems that the Super Bowl carries with it egos far in excess of those who appear in the World Series (at least in some years). This is likely due to the amount of money earned by NFL stars over those of MLB. This is also likely due to the amount of money earned by NFL franchises over those of MLB franchises.
Superstars like Tom Brady and Troy Aikman have dominated the Super Bowl atmosphere. While stars like Mark McGwire, Ozzie Smith, and Jim Edmonds have roamed the World Series environment. Based on these comparisons, who has the larger ego? Hmm…
These things, however, do not excuse the first offense that I listed: the commercialization. To me, this is the greatest offense and is THE thing that makes the World Series (not counting the simple fact of baseball) elevate above the Super Bowl.
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When the World Series rolls around, we don’t hear countless stories of outlandish television commercial spots being purchased. They are, don’t get me wrong, but not to the same tune as the amount spent for Super Bowl ads. Why is this? The World Series is watched by large amounts of fans, but they are surely outnumbered by those watching the Super Bowl.
The Super Bowl is afforded a half-time that doesn’t appear in the World Series. This is supplanted, however, by the National Anthem and the 7th inning stretch but these will never match the fanfare that surrounds the half-time extravaganza.
To me, the simple observance of the actual sport of baseball is what keeps the World Series higher on my list than the Super Bowl. While I believe the game is preserved in the Super Bowl, all the elements I listed above seem to rise in importance over the purity of the game itself. In the World Series, the game of baseball is strictly preserved.
So, to me, the World Series is better than anything the Super Bowl can offer.
I will be watching the big game, will you? I will also be counting down the days until the St. Louis Cardinals return. Thankfully, once the Super Bowl is complete, we are one step closer to the return of baseball.