HUSKER, IOWA – For those of us that watched the Bombers get their hearts ripped out on Thursday it was a wonderful end to a wonderful game in a wonderful place. However, the level of pomp and circumstance missed the mark.
The Field of Dreams was about players playing for the love of the game. The love of the game does not include an electronic scoreboard in left field. The love of the game does not include shameless ads over the umpire’s shoulder for national tv. The love of the game surely does not include violating small town Iowa’s noise ordinances between innings by pumping out a plethora of decibels of bad music.
Major LeagueBaseball had an opportunity to take something pure and allow it to be pure. Instead, it became a three-hour bastardization of a holy place. The broadcast and the setup of the field were the religious equivalent of sending out Don Cherry and Craig Sager to call Jesus’s birth at a roadside motel under a neon XXX light.
Thankfully, there is an organization in this country that hosts a sporting event that has laid the foundational groundwork for how this kind of event should be done. That organization is Augusta National Golf Club.
At The Masters, there are no ads… At The Masters, the patrons are held to a dress code… At The Masters, the natural beauty of the place is posited on equal level to those competing upon it… At The Masters,, the event in and of itself is a celebration of history… The Masters even purchased their own airtime for a number of years to air the tournament commercial free and with their own chosen announcers because they lost trust in CBS.
The Field of Dreams can be that for baseball one day a year.
Imagine a broadcast for one game with no stat cast, no led scoreboard, no ads behind home plate, no pitch clock testing, a radio-centric play call and most importantly no commercial breaks or even more interesting… period-correct commercial breaks.
“Does your man smell like a barn when he comes home from a long day’s work? Nothing masks body odor like the sweet smell of Beechnut Chewing Tobacco.”
“Singer sewing needles and thread. Guaranteed to keep a kids mouth shut or your money back”
“Johnson & Johnson’s extra strong cough syrup. Safer than laudanum and now with more cocaine!”
“Colgate tooth powder. Cleans teeth and takes rust off of steel bumpers”
“Is your wife mad because you have more kids than bedrooms? Upgrade now with SEARS house in a box starting at just seventy five dollars!” These houses really existed.
“Field of Dreams Cranberry Juice. Because it’s hard to have a catch with your kid when you catch VD from your secretary.”
If we are going to celebrate a special place let the place be special and the experience be special as well.