You can't help being swept along with the excitement fans unleash as the baseball playoffs head toward a World Series climax. It's contagious. Ordinary people everywhere transform into eager admirers and devoted fans mutate into vehement zealots as passions heat up... and often boil over. Just playoff fever? No way. It's much deeper - far more intense and visceral - as even casual fans are possessed by a delirious addiction for baseball that October alone can't explain.
Playoff fever doesn't explain why avid fans line up overnight in March, or wait out a rain delay in Sept in Kansas City, or argue online over pitching in February. Passion around baseball is in the fan, like hormones, not the schedule. The national pastime, all the time, the universal urge. And here's why: Baseball is really Sex in disguise.
At first glance you might overlook it. The clues may be subtle, but all the indications are there. Consider a few examples... and as the evidence builds up, you'll see baseball in a new light (a post-conjugal smoke, maybe?).
Some of the less obvious ways * Sex and Baseball * are more alike than you think
Well... after all, IN BOTH...
- Amateurs get together everywhere and play. Doing it for money, however, is another league.
- It's a confrontation between 2 people, one pitching to another. Then they take turns.
- It's not over until the last player has come up ..and gone down.
- You can't score if you don't step up to the plate. And take your licks.
- Playing with yourself is ultimately unsatisfying. It's ok as practice or to relieve tension,
but it doesn't feel the same. Everyone does it... but won't say so.
- Men are obsessed with it. They think about it all the time, which often annoys their partners.
- Men talk about it at length with friends... women talk about length (or lack thereof) with friends.
- Some women tolerate it, reluctantly... but would rather be doing something else.
- Some women play along... but are really thinking about players they prefer. Or shopping.
- Other women are total fans, often much more passionate and noisy than their partners
(who should count themselves as very, very blessed).
- Many rookies are just happy to get to 1st base, but veterans are always looking to score.
- Some players brag about statistics.. usually the ones not playing.
- Experienced players aren't shy about grabbing their crotches. On TV, even.
- Switch-hitters see more playing time. And while everyone has that ability, many decline.
Some say it's unnatural. Or even perverse. Others really want to... secretly.
- Players excell at their favorite position... though it helps to be versatile.
- Professionals play almost every day... amateurs envy that but can only do it once a week. Or less.
- Playing at home is favored, since away games can be riskier... away from wives and such.
- Players lose sleep on long road trips ... but they see new fans that way.
- A Sunday double-header is rare treat. (Provided you stay for both games)
- Street or business clothes aren't usually worn... though, a serious player
*really* appreciates a good looking formfitting curvehugging uniform.
- Only 2nd stringers stay clean. Real players are proud to get down and dirty.
- It is considered good form for men to wear protection. Or else.
- When players feel a glove or hat is lucky, they make a real fetish of using it all the time.
It's only a problem when they can't play without it. Or their teammates object.
- Stopping in mid-delivery is a "balk". It's not allowed, it's penalized.. and you can get injured.
- All playing fields are different sizes, but... the mound and the turf are usually very familiar.
- Both sometimes end for a player with an early ejection.
- While moistening a ball is technically illegal... it is very, very effective.
- If you see four balls, you walk... (except under very unique conditions).
- Purists frown on a designated hitter. But then... some players say it livens the game.
- Though people say size doesn't matter, players with a big bat are much sought after.
- Weak hitters don't make it unless they have good hands. Or other special talents.
- Smart players jump at the chance to get a few lessons from an experienced coach.
It's usually better if it's not a relative, though.
- While all-female teams play in a league of their own, they enjoy a devoted following.
- A dribbler that runs foul is disapponting. A frozen rope is a very good thing.
- People admire you being "up for a big game"... though, it's expected by serious players.
- A fastball suddenly coming up and inside can be intimidating, but you have to expect a high
hard one. It's always been part of the game... and real players say it gets their juices flowing.
- Sneaking a glance at a friend's box is ok when you're up. Encouraging, even. But when
you're playing the field, it's dangerous. You might get hit in the face. Or worse.
- Everyone enjoys watching... but nothing beats being at the ballpark.
- Screaming is common. Even encouraged. The noise seems to excite the players, too.
In fact, you can tell a lot about what's going on just by listening.
- Many people collect pictures of their favorites... often compulsively.
- Die-hard fans watch all the time. This annoys people close to them, who would really
prefer that they get out and actually play, instead.
- Names can inspire dreams.. (Expos, Giants, Tigers, Aureoles, Twins)...
and some names disappoint (Brewers, Red Sox, Cubs, Padres).
- No sound gets players excited like the crack of rawhide in the spring.
- Some are free swingers.. others wait for a pitch in a preferred location.
- Players send secret signs by touching the body, chest, head and lips. Repeatedly.
- Autographs are sought after... but signing during play is frowned upon.
- Players usually ignore hecklers... unless the putdown is really below the belt.
But most importantly: In BOTH...
- The very best men who ever played *never* finished first!
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