I realized this weekend why I like watching in order, football most, then basketball, then baseball. I think it’s because in any given game, the better team is most likely to win in football, then basketball, then baseball.
Like in baseball, a very very good team will win 100 of their 162 regular season games. That’s just a 62% winning percentage. Bob Costas noted in Fair Ball how this comes out to just over 4 games of a 7 game series. His argument being extra playoff series (with a wildcard) are bad, because even the best teams win just over 4 of every 7 games. And there’s so much variability that the best team will often not win. I’m not explaining it well; hope it makes sense. But I never bought that argument. If you extend that logic, then there should be no playoffs at all, because any 7 game series will be unpredictable. You should just have a regular season and that’s it. But regardless, his point is correct. Baseball’s just too variable over a series and more so for a given game. Who feels like Minnesota is a better team than Oakland? The better team doesn’t win that much more often.
In basketball, a really good team will win say 60 games (only the Kings won this many last season). That’s a 73% winning percentage. Which is much better than baseball. And in football, a good team will win 14 games, an 88% winning percentage. I just feel like in football, the “better” team (not the favorite, the better) will win a given game much more often than in other sports. And I like that. I just feel like the results of every game should reflect who is actually the better team, not just how things happened to come together that game, and the results are most consistent with football.
At least until the past 5 years. Nowadays with parity and everything, anything can happen. It’s not that the better team doesn’t win I think, it’s just that the distance between good and mediocre got a lot smaller. But I dunno, just my opinion.