This may seem like homework, but I encourage all readers to listen to his rant. It’s starts at the 9:06 mark of the link below and only lasts a couple of minutes, but please try and listen to it before reading on. Spoiler: it’s really good.
You finished? Okay.
Right off the top, Russillo hits on a major point that every modern sports fan should be self-aware of: “We are obsessed with change.”
His follow up examples of that charge are also spot on, and provide a real argument to the major problem plaguing sports fans in the modern day.
No sports fan is happy anymore. No matter what is going on the world today, with some of the best talent we’ve every seen across every spectrum of the sports world, we want more. And we all want it (and when I say we I’m referring to individuals) is these sports to cater more to our personal needs, and even when they do we still aren’t happy. At that point we are already thinking about what we change next.
Here’s my favorite two points in this rant:
-If the College Football Playoff Committee expands the playoff to eight teams, it will only be a matter of time before people start clamoring for 16. If you want an example of this, just look at the steps before it. When the NCAA had the BCS in tact, fans begged for a playoff system. After years, they finally got it… and what do they do? Start complaining that four teams isn’t enough.
– If the MLB changed from 182 games to 160 or from nine innings to seven, nothing would change. Exactly. Russillo nails it on the head when he proposed that nobody is going to start watching baseball because it now takes 2 and a half hours instead of three. It’s an argument made to encourage people to make baseball more interesting and “watchable” but at the end of the day it will change nothing.
The gist of the whole rant is that all of this change is lateral if we aren’t willing to be satisfied with the outcome. If you want something in sports changed, and it does, then you need act on that change rather than move onto the next thing that you would like fixed. Russillo calls it a “selfish” culture, and it is. Minor tweaks in sports are great, but lets not lie to ourselves and say that most major sports leagues are doing fine and would continue to do so if they didn’t change anything again.