And Speaking of Baseball...
I meant to write about this a couple of days ago, but I got distracted. Still, I think it's timely enough.
Why is MLB the only professional sport in which teams celebrate by uncorking Champagne at every single level of advancement in the post-season? This used to sort of make sense in the old days, when each league would crown a pennant winner based entirely on who had the best record during the regular season, and those two league champs would meet in the World Series (which, for many years, was actually looked at by players and fans as sort of an afterthought to the Pennant races, kind of like the NFL's Pro Bowl is today). Then when the leagues each divided themselves up into two divisions, you could still sort of argue that being division champ was an accomplishment worth celebrating, even though it was just a lead-up to the League Championship Series.
But now it's gotten a little ridiculous. The other night I watched the St. Louis Cardinals celebrated their win in one-half of the NLDS (that's National League Division Series to those not in the know) by dousing each other with Champaign as though they had just won a championship. Only they didn't. They advanced from the first round of the playoffs to the second. Now that each league sends three division winners and one wild card team to the playoffs, winning your respective NLDS or ALDS is just another step along the way to a much larger goal. I'm not trying to single out the Cards here, though they are the hated nemesis of my beloved Cubbies. The Detroit Tigers did the exact same thing after beating the Yankees, and although I didn't get to see it firsthand, I'm sure the A's and Mets also followed suit in their respective series.
It is now a given in baseball that every team clinching the playoffs or winning even a best-of-five playoff series will celebrate as though they'd just won the whole thing. The stupidity of this seems obvious to me, but so far it seems I'm alone on this. Would you have expected the New England Patriots to celebrate with baths of bubbly after beating Jacksonville in the NFL playoffs last year? Of course not, that would be ludicrous--it was just a first-round win. But in baseball, by the time a team is crowned World Champs, they have enjoyed four separate Champaign baths--one each for making the playoffs, winning the Division Series, winning the League Championship Series, and finally the World Series. If you do the math, that's 15 separate exuberant celebrations on the way to crowning one (alright maybe two--the Pennant still means something to purists) real Champ.
I'm not trying to be a spoil-sport here. All I'm saying is that you shouldn't celebrate like you've won a Championship unless that's what you've actually done.