Down to the last game. 161 games down, and here we are tied for the last playoff spot. Major League Baseball has its issues (never-ending season, long, slow-moving games, massive pay differentials, struggling franchises and empty ballparks) but it does teach us valuable lessons. The classics hold true – every game counts, always give it your all, run out every play, focus on one game at a time, concentrate on the task at hand – all those reminders that even the smallest detail can make the difference in the end. 162 games a year is a grind, lose focus and you can blow a comfortable lead in less than a month. Just ask the Red Sox.
But wait, there is one other lesson to glean from this month of baseball, and it is much more than just from the sputtering Red Sox and the surging Devil Rays. You see, the exact same scenario is happening in the National League – the wild card race has also come down to the last game of the season. The Braves have also blown a huge lead in September. The Cardinals have surged into a tie with only one game to go. Yet, the story is hard to find. It is not the stuff of headlines and SportsCenter clips. It is not the fodder of talk radio, bloggers and columnists. It has been relegated to the “oh by the way” story of the year. Amazing the harsh lesson in reality this teaches. You see, the stories are exactly the same, yet we are constantly fed one and forced to find the other.
One has to ask, if we are what we eat, then it might be wise to stop and think about who is providing said food. Same goes for our news and information – we are shaped by what we are exposed too. Who is providing that information and why is a very wise thing to consider from time to time. Is there an agenda in the media? An East Coast bias in sports? A Red Sox-Yankees conspiracy by ESPN? Who knows, but it is interesting to starkly see how much of our daily infotainment is prepackaged and easily provided for our consumption. Clearly population centers matter – we all get it – NYC and Boston far outnumber Atlanta and St. Louis. But still, the difference in coverage is amazing to behold.
Sort of like prepackaged box meals or the fast food that surrounds us. It is all so convenient to have things “served up” in our hectic lives. Then again, think of what a steady diet of packaged meals and fast food does to your health. Same thing goes for your mind; feed it prepackaged, sound-bite clips and it turns to mush. Sometimes it is wise to stop, take a moment and just look around. One never knows what they might be missing.