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A L I V E E A S T B A Y a p r i l 2 0 1 6 26 AND THEN I WROTE . . . April is the Kindest Month EDWIN COHEN Finally, after months of desperation and violence, it has returned. Morning has broken! Dawn lights the sky once more! Life can begin again! Baseball’s back! The winter months brought us basketball, a nice indoor game. They also brought us football, a not-nice, violent, outdoor game. Now the world can breathe again. Baseball slows life into a rhythm that ebbs and flows, but never overwhelms. Football fans need to find another excuse to drink beer and keep from fixing the bathroom faucet. They can no longer watch four hours of gladiators slamming into one another while a director in a booth in some faraway city drools at the thought of screaming, “Go to commercial!” Football can be fun to watch for forty-five minutes to an hour, during which the viewers will see about five minutes of actual play, preceding about twenty-five to thirty-five minutes of commercials. They will also see, however, another five minutes of superbly conditioned, unbelievably strong, totally courageous athletes strutting, beating their chests, and dancing as if they were inhabited by Satan himself. Our capitalistic system, one of the pillars of our society even with its abuses, demands money to bring to you and me the great programming we are privileged to see on our 435 inch television sets. We get to see, without leaving the comfort of our homes and at our choice: opera, pop music, blues, jazz, and any other sounds we enjoy; magnificent or banal comedies and dramas; and any other of a hundred different types of programming. The money to fund sports, of course, comes from commercials, but there is a time when necessary commercialization becomes pure and simple greed. There is a time to be born, and a time to die: A time for war, and a time for peace; A time for profit, and a time to PLAY BALLI In baseball that time comes at normal, built-in intervals, namely at the end of each half inning or when there is a break in the action. In football it comes whenever the man in the booth signals the referees that it is commercial time. The worst abuse comes after a touchdown. A team scores/ commercials/ attempted conversion/ commercials/ kick off, usually with no run back/ commercials/ now we play a few downs before we get more you know whats. Four hours of television to watch sixty minutes on the clock? In baseball an almost infinite number of things can happen on each of the 300+/- pitches in a game: a ball or a strike; a foul ball; a fly or grounder; a hit batsman; an out, a hit or an error; infield or outfield; etc. Football, on the other hand, is totally predictable. If you have watched five or more games in your


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