October 23 , 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 30  

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Damn you, baseball playoffs!

Mark Polishuk

Opinons Editor

An amazing thing happened last week: baseball once again mattered in the grand scheme of TV programming.

NBC and CBS pulled new episodes of some of their top programs (Friends, West Wing, CSI, etc.) so as not to waste these new shows to inevitable low ratings against the deciding seventh games of the League Championship Series. The reason being is the matchups (Chicago Cubs/Florida Marlins and Boston Red Sox/New York Yankees) not only involved three major TV markets, but also because the general public was captivated by seeing the Cubs and/or Red Sox try to end their combined 180 years without winning a World Series. Ratings were up almost 50 per cent from last year's playoffs.

Of course, Florida and New York won, thus creating the least intriguing World Series in recent memory. The real loser in all of this (well, besides Cubs and Red Sox fans) is the FOX network, who were this close to actually making a profit on baseball.

Shed no tears for FOX, however, as they orchestrated their own destruction. They were the ones who:

a) employed blatantly pro-Yankee announcers Tim "He's a gamer!" McCarver and ball player Bret Boone, whose brother Aaron is the Yankee's third baseman.

b) showed more shots of celebrities in the bleachers than the actual games themselves.

c) showed the same damn promos for Skin and the new Joe Millionaire over and over again.

Forget about the "Curse of the Goat" or the "Curse of the Bambino." FOX now labours under the Curse of Show The Damn Game. Have fun airing baseball games from Miami, FOX; I'll be watching West Wing.




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