I’ll be the first to say it: we need baseball to be back. After the final out of the World Series, I can take a few days without missing baseball. I can bask in the highlight videos, postgame interviews, or watching the parade to see which player spills the most beer all over themselves. But I don’t feel the need to check up on a mid-level Detroit Tigers prospect that might have a slim chance of ending up on the Marlins one day. I’m not wishing I was spending time trying to decide if I want to listen to the home or away radio broadcast on an Angels-Pirates game. The end of the baseball season is a symbolic moment for my yearly calendar as significant family time and the Holidays are right around the corner. It is a bittersweet moment, the end of the long march of the baseball season, as it means another year has practically come and gone.
But then comes January. Oh, January. I’ve lived all across the country, from the Northeast to the Deep South, and now on the West Coast. January is always, always bleak. My wife and I are both lifelong baseball fans, and we will occasionally watch other sports together. In the bleak mid-winter, we’ll catch up on some of the binge-worthy shows we heard about throughout the year, but we both miss baseball.
To fill that void we typically try to find a sports that is a little off the beaten path and watch that until the end of Spring Training. One year it was Ligue 1 soccer, last year it was the UFC and Bellator, and this year we have been hooked by...Curling Night in America. Yes, dear reader, that’s correct: my wife and I actively choose to watch curling until baseball is back.
It started like so many other things—I was cooking dinner and my wife was picking up in the living room. She turned on the TV, laughed, and said, “How about some curling?” We found ourselves watching the rest of the event throughout dinner and cheering along as these very normal people pushed and brushed a 44-pound block of granite down a sheet of ice in a tense game of mere millimeters.
No, I really don’t know how it works, but it can be fun to watch, plus it passes the time until baseball is back. I enjoy my sports as entertainment, and I (oddly enough) really find myself engaging more in sports that feel inconsequential. That’s why I really enjoy watching those Marlins vs Giants games in early June or listening to a radio broadcast where I can just sit back, enjoy a beverage, and be entertained. Don’t get me wrong, when the Marlins are back in the playoffs, I’ll be the first to jump up and down and scream for nine consecutive innings. But for now I’m just here to have a good time.
I think that’s where I have a hard time with watching the NFL. If a team loses the first three games of the season, then that season is a practically a wash, and all of the fans pretty much have to wait until Draft Night to regain a modicum of hope for the future. If the skip and the sweepers do a poor job of communicating or someone burns a stone, then...who cares? When Ian Happ hit a no-doubt home run off of José Ureña on the very first pitch of the 2018 season or the Phillies won 20-1 a week later, I definitely didn’t enjoy it, but that didn’t discourage me from watching the other 160 games that season.
So what do you watch when baseball isn’t around? Is there something in particular that you and your family gather around to enjoy? Do you catch up on movies or TV, one of the other Big Four sports based in Miami, or something a little more off-kilter? If you still aren’t sure...
Let us know in the comments below!