By ANTHONY SMITH, LUAN MADANI and JONATHAN MALLON
In a month where all four major sports season collide (when there isn’t a NHL lockout), memories are made and history is written. October is a month where sports fans can rejoice. The events that have taken place over the past month, especially in the Major League Baseball postseason, have given sports fans something to talk and cheer about.
Many moments take place in October that you don’t see any other time of the year. The MLB Playoffs, NFL, NBA, and NHL are usually all in full swing at the same time. It gives fans an abundance of options of what to watch, and makes fans generally excited about being able to watch most of their favorite sports teams all at one time. It gives fans something to look forward to, and something to remember once that magical month is over.
MLB Playoffs Cause Stir Among Fans
The Major League Baseball Postseason has long been something that fans look forward to. But this year, when the postseason arrived, it arrived with a controversy.
New for the 2012 season, Major League Baseball instituted a Wild Card “Play-In” game between the top two teams in the Wild Card standings. The winner of that game would move on to play in the Division Series of their respective league.
In the National League Wild card game, however, a controversial infield fly rule call in the bottom of the seventh inning caused quite a bit of controversy, which raised the question of whether or not the new format of a one-game series is fair or not.
“I think [the playoff system] should have always been like [it currently is],” said Michael Scerbo, Ramapo junior. “It makes things more interesting, and [the added playoff spot] also makes the ‘down the stretch’ part of the season more interesting and definitely gets more viewers to watch their teams and go to the ballparks to watch their teams.”
On the other hand, you have fans who feel that the one-game system is not fair for teams. “It’s unfair because there is no room for mistakes,” said Matt Rainey, Ramapo junior. “One error can wipe out the last 160 games you just played to nothing even if everyone know you’re the better team.”
Since then, the playoffs have gone on without a hitch. Mike Reiner, student at Bergen Community College, thinks that the playoffs have been somewhat entertaining.
“Not so much the ALCS, but the the NLCS is more enjoyable to watch,” said Reiner.
Reiner also thinks that since the blown call in the Wild card game, the umpiring has been sub par.
“Both series, especially the ALCS, there have more blown calls than ever,” Reiner said.
Despite the blown and missed calls by umpires, Scerbo added that the playoffs have been very entertaining from a fan’s point of view so far.
“The Tigers got the Triple Crown king [Miguel Cabrera] and is proving it in the ALCS,” Scerbo said. “It was tough for the quick exiting A’s, but seeing a new team like that was cool, I wish they had performed better. The Giants are the Giants, pitching, pitching, and more pitching.”
Although some fans see the MLB postseason as exciting no matter what, it is becoming clearer that because of unwelcome format changes and poor umpiring, among other things, some fans are losing their interest.
Students Upbeat About Both Achievements
With the two home runs by Ibanez, and Cabrera’s Triple Crown win, students of Ramapo College of New Jersey spoke about their opinions on the events.
With Ibanez’s play, “I was happy because I am a Yankee fan,” said Mike Ferrentino, 21, “because it was exciting that they won.”
“It was really good,” said Jack Nesmith, 20. “It was what the Yankees needed. They needed a good hitter. It hasn’t been star quality basically. A-Rod, Granderson, and the rest of the team definitely have a lot more in them.”
“It was pretty unbelievable how clutch he was and how he came through with home runs, not just hits, but home runs in the ninth inning and extra innings,” said Louis Di Paolo, 20, “especially given how lackluster the rest of the offense was.” He explained how his roommates joked about Ibanez turn at the plate and how he’d hit a home run to tie the game.
On Cabrera winning the Triple Crown, Brian Hund, 18, said that he wasn’t surprised by Cabrera’s award. “He had a really good year,” he said, “and other players didn’t have their best years.”
“Although he’s not one of my favorite players,” Di Paolo said, “it was still fun to watch someone do the improbable and win the first Triple Crown in a long time.”
“He should probably win the MVP,” Ferrentino said.
BIG TIME PLAYS GIVE FANS PRIDE
Raul Ibanez’s efforts in the 2012 postseason has been heroic to some. Ryan DeFeo, a lifelong Yankee fan and a little league coach in Hawthorne will live with these memories forever.
“What he did in that game is something people will remember forever. It was almost like magic, too good to be true,” DeFeo said.
Sports has been integrated in cultures since the beginning of time. Based on geography, certain sports are more watched than others.
However, in the United States, we have come to love more than one. Football, the most popular, is watched by millions and millions every Sunday and Monday, however, no one can dispute the excitement when it comes to playoff baseball.
“October is such a great month. Postseason baseball is when people finally zone in and watch intently,” DeFeo said.
What makes sports and big plays so important to people is a sense of pride. People are fans of teams and players because of what they accomplish on the field, which in turn, allows fans to feel a sense of accomplishment themselves.
Jessie Ramos, a psychology major at Montclair State University, sees sports as an integral part of daily life.
“We are fans of sports because it takes us away from our daily jobs and some people even feel they aren’t successful so we find a bit of success when our teams do well. Plus, it’s entertainment. We like to be entertained and awed,” Ramos said. “These big, game-changing plays build memories. What we were doing at the time and how it made us feel is something that lives with us forever.”
Childhood memories are built for many by sports and role model superstars such as Micheal Jordan, Derek Jeter and Dan Marino.
Steven Imparro, a junior at William Paterson, has many fond memories as child watching sports with his family.
“I remember watching it with family at the house when McGwire was on that homerun streak and when Patrick Ewing would play. A lot of my childhood is based off of those because we were a sports household,” Imparro said. “I hold those memories close because it was so fun. I would do anything to go back and live them again.”