by Eric Storms
Is America’s pastime past its time among high school students?
“Kids are watching it much less, definitely less than football and basketball,” senior Kevin Campanello said. “It’s a dying sport.”
The number one reason given by students: The sport has become too boring.
Said senior Phil Zanfagna: “I think it’s a little slow. I think times are changing. Everything with smart phones and technology moves so quickly now that people don’t really want to sit down and watch a three-hour baseball game.”
Others cited the rise of fantasy football, which to some makes even early-season NFL games more important than the MLB playoffs.
Senior Matt DeBenedetto said: “When you’re actively involved with a game, especially with your friends, the sport becomes more engaging.”
According to Zanfagna, Comcast dropping the YES Network (the channel most Yankees games are aired on) also plays a role.
“I couldn’t watch the Yankees games this season, so it sort of took away from wanting to watch baseball in general,” he said.
With many WHS students living busy lives, not all can keep up with all the games throughout the lengthy season.
Said senior Jack Meiselman: “When I was in elementary school I knew like every record and stat. I used to be able to watch the Yankees game every night and I did, but by middle school and high school I couldn’t and so I lost interest. I couldn’t even tell you the Yankees’ starting lineup right now.”
Other students felt that the everyday nature of baseball makes it become more background noise than something that drums up attention.
Junior Rob Norris said: “I definitely feel there would be a lot more build-up if it was more like once a week as opposed to every single day.”
However, there are still many who have not given up on watching.
Said senior Bobby Catania: “It’s my favorite sport; I love the way it’s played. It’s just the best.”
Still, the Nielsen TV ratings show that for the week ending Oct. 16, all three nationally broadcast NFL games drew at least two million more viewers than the most-watched MLB playoff game that week. Even the NBC Sunday night pregame football show outdid every baseball game. The MLB is in no danger of disappearing, but the league needs to do a better job appealing to younger audiences if it wants to compete with other sports.