Super Bowl XLVI is upon us. The New York Giants and New England Patriots are going to meet each other for the second time in four years in the biggest showcase of a single sporting event in the United States. The World Series is a week and a half long and features the two best teams in Major League Baseball. America's pastime has had the World Series ever since 1903.
The Super Bowl is known for its commercials, lavish halftime shows and plays up the week-long celebration of professional football. Despite cold weather in the middle of winter, the Super Bowl always seems to outshine the World Series in terms of glitz and glamor.
Will the World Series ever overtake the Super Bowl? Not likely.
The NFL, despite having its lockout in early 2011, will have nine more years of labor peace. That gives the league another decade to keep fans happy and interested in a sport that is nearly a year-round spectacle. With the Super Bowl in February and the NFL Draft in April, there is almost little-to-no offseason. Even the NFL Combine is televised on the league's own network.
Major League Baseball has suffered somewhat since the World Series was canceled in 1994. That's why the league expanded the playoffs when play resumed in 1995 in order to draw in more fans. The Super Bowl, even in a strike-shortened year, was still a special game. No one ditched the postseason because of a labor dispute between NFL players and team owners. There has been trepidation between both sides, but never to the point that the entire playoff format was done away with due to greed. The Super Bowl has showcased 46 years of relative NFL peace. Major League Baseball had a massive upheaval that hasn't quite been forgotten.
The World Series is seven games. There are always chances for teams to come back and win. The Super Bowl is one and done. If a team has one bad game in the NFL playoffs, the season is over. The World Series doesn't have that until seven games into the contest.
The World Series and Super Bowl are apples and oranges. Yet the Super Bowl will continue to dominate the American sports consciousness for the next 10 years thanks to the NFL's preservation of the huge end-of-year party where the entire country celebrates on a Sunday night in early February.
William Browning is a fan of the Kansas City Chiefs after latching on to the team during the lean years of St. Louis football. Born in the gateway city, he is also a lifelong St. Louis Cardinals fan. He currently resides in Branson, Mo.