Baseball just began another regular season. The NHL playoff season is about to begin. The NBA is grinding toward its postseason. And the World League of American Football is approaching mid-season. Spring is in the air, which means, of course, that for many of us it's allergy season.
I happen to be allergic to season overlap.
If you press your ear to the television set—even when it's not on—you'll hear a game going on somewhere. (This phenomenon operates on the same premise that you can hear the ocean if you hold a seashell to your ear. And even if you can't hear a game, just the sensation of feeling your ear against a TV screen is, well, sort of neat and tingly.
Quick quiz: Which are the only three days of the year when no major league baseball or professional basketball, football or hockey games are played?
Answer: The day before and the day after baseball's All-Star Game and Christmas Eve.
The games never cease. Leagues grow larger, seasons grow longer. You used to be able to name a lot of the star players on every team; now, you can't even remember the nicknames of some of these teams. The standings look like stock listings. Season overlap for professional team sports doesn't even take into account the endless swirl of college basketball and college football, of golf and tennis and auto racing. There's too much of just about everything—except bowling, that is—and there's not enough of other things, such as life itself.
Baseball is the summer game, yet it starts a bit too early in the spring and ends a bit too late in the fall. Football is autumnal, yet it's midsummer when NFL teams go to training camp. Basketball and hockey are indoor games best played in the wintertime, yet they stretch over two thirds of the calendar.
As spectacular as sports can be, the sensations would be sharper if sports were fewer. Yes, less is more. (Granted, I have to believe that; after all, I don't own anything.)
I am president of the Society To Ostensibly Prevent The Heinous Evil Growth in America of More Endless Sports, better known as STOPTHEGAMES. We are a small group—I am the only member at the moment—but expansion is expected as soon as I can afford business cards. STOPTHEGAMES is dedicated to the cause of shorter seasons in each sport, as well as shorter lines in supermarket express lanes.
Here is our simple four-point program to eradicate season overlap.