I don't follow professional football much anymore. I watched one game last year, and that was the Super Bowl, but I'd be hard pressed to tell you who played. Or who won.
Hockey? It's a Canadian thing. NASCAR? Really? And then there's the NBA. The traveling freak show where every team except the Warriors qualifies for their post-season. There are other sports leagues and associations where the participants get paid. Soccer, Austrialian Rules Football, Tennis....Other stuff. Don't get me started on golf, though. It's not a sport. It's an activity. Nope, I won't discuss it.....unless you already agree with me.
Which gets me to the professional sport that I do follow. Every year. All year. Baseball. National League Baseball. The San Francisco Giants.
This year has been good for my Giants. They wrapped up the Western Division of the National League last night by thumping the San Diego Padres (again). A good year. When they won the game, and thus the Division Championship (or Pennant, as we call it in baseball), they had a collective dance on the field of play, complete with the requisite hugging, high fives, and such. It was great. Then, just before the players did a lap around AT&T park and slapped palms with the front row fans, they donned the special caps and shirts that had been produced for the occasion. They were emblazoned with the word “Playoffs” rather than the more traditional “Western Division National League Champions”. This bothered me, but I didn't know why at first.....then it hit me.
In baseball, we don't have “playoffs” unless there is a tie at the end of the regular season. Then there's a “playoff” between the tied teams to determine a “champion”. The “playoff” counts as a regular season game (or games, if necessary). In baseball, we call the postseason the Tournament.
It's that friggin' Bud Selig again. Homogenizing baseball. Ending the separation between the leagues. Expanding the teams that qualify for the Tournament endlessly. Just like the despised traveling freak show.
Still, the Giants are the Western Division champions for 2012, even if they can't quite call themselves that. I read the Giants website to bask remotely in the glow, and found a link titled:
“If the postseason started today ...This is how the teams would match up: Postseason Bracket » “
Brackets? BRACKETS??? BRACKETS?????
Jesus Christ. We don't have “brackets” in baseball. We have a Tournament.
Still, the Giants are the Western Division champions for 2012. And Bud Selig can go to hell. Along with his brackets.