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Of course they exist, and of course what I'm saying is hyperbolic, but you have to be honest with yourself and make a clear distinction between two sets of athletes.
---the ones you're talking about, who compete in minor sports, and who compete for the sheer love of sport
---and the ones for whom it's all about marketing
The problem with the Olympics is that it's been completely---as in 100%---taken over by the professional, the commercial, and the corporate ethos. This makes it great for couch potatoes who like this sort of thing, and it makes it great for a handful of jocks who can parlay their medals into a lucrative pro contract (or a more lucrative one), and it makes it even better for the corporations, the networks, and the host governments.
What you're essentially saying is that we should just put up with all the surrounding politics, commercialism, and general bullshlt in order to give a few thousand amateur athletes something to live for every four years.
Which is fair enough, since the unanswerable rejoinder to people like me is "you don't have to watch it." And of course I don't. But I will continue to drop in from time to time to admire the Emperor's New Clothes.
Baseball, however, is about the MLB - that's not a slight to the Japanese, Latin American, or other leagues - facts are facts, Major League baseball is the top of the heap. It's simply the league that all the best players in the world aspire towards
Soccer is played once a week, and the summertime is the off-season for most leagues. Summer is also the off-season for the NBA (the WNBA took a month-long Olympic break, not that anyone noticed). Hockey is played three of four times a week, which causes a two-week break to tighten up the NHL schedule a bit, but it's doable.
Baseball is played every day. Every single day (almost). A two-week break means you have to reschedule 12-13 games, or nearly one-tenth of the season, which already stretches seven months (eight, including spring training games).
and (b) the &(*^#@^$ noise. And by noise I don't mean crowd noise; I mean the stuff blaring over the speakers. Full time. High volume. If only the PA system was limited to announcing the name of the batter coming to the plate or reliever coming into the game, I'd be thrilled.
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