It’s a beautiful day for a ballgame… let’s play two! Tonight, the Fall Classic moves to St. Louis with the series tied 1-1, and so many questions abound…
-Will Fox’s ratings continue to disappoint? The ratings average is down about half a million viewers from last year’s Series (between the White Sox and the Greatest Team Of All Time, The Houston Astros, In Their First Ever World Series)… and the bad news for Fox is that last year’s Series was the worst-rated of all time. All hope is not lost – Game 2 on Sunday night garnered a respectable 18.2 million viewers, up from 12.8 on Saturday, when, clearly, everyone watched at a bar – but the net heads have to be praying for this series to go 6 or 7 games to make up for all the lost time.
-Will Fox find more ways to make people change the channel? Frankly, they deserve all the mediocre ratings they can get, so long as their broadcast team includes the semi-literate Tim McCarver and they see the games more as a way to jack up the ratings for Justice than, you know, the WORLD SERIES. (Sure, they got rid of Scooter, the Talking Baseball, but he never should have existed in the first place.) And now, with their decision to renew their broadcast contract through 2013, they’ve announced their intention to extend the length of commercial breaks between innings.
-Could the commercials that fill those breaks make me less inclined to continue breathing? So far, it’s been an incessant cycle of promos for Fox’s fall shows (no, I’m still not going to watch Justice), Ron Livingston inexplicably shilling for Sprint (although you should all be watching Standoff), and Jay-Z making us beg him to return to retirement. But no commercial has gotten under my skin more than John Cougar Mellencamp’s “This Is Our Country” spot for Chevrolet, a commercial so horrid that it’s already spawned a parody and plunged me into existential dread because I do not have room in my apartment for a Chevy Silverado and thus have begun to question if I do, in fact, still live in America or not. (Perhaps the one bright spot in Mellencamp’s patri-erotic ubiquity? We have yet to see a Toby Keith Amerigasm Ford commercial.)
I’m trusting at least some of you care about this, so – what’s to be done? How could Fox make its sports coverage somehow more palatable? How many of you are forced to watch baseball with the sound off at home, or spend way too much money on beer down at the sports bar just to escape? And is Joe Theismann’s yapping on Monday Night Football better than/worse than/exactly as horrific as McCarver’s? Discuss.