How long!

The thing with many sports over here, is that we can settle for a draw, a team doesnt have to win every time they play. Indeed with football, that can be a blessing at times, as some games I’ve had the misfortune to see at work would probably end up 0-0 if they played for 3 days. Of course in cricket, they do play for 3,4 or even 5 days, and the game still ends up a draw.

But over in the good old USA, they dont go in for draws, or not if they can really help it. Well, alright, in soccer they do, but otherwise…The NFL can have a regular season tie, but only after an extra 15 minute period when neither team scores, and yes, they are pretty rare. In the play offs, they do carry on until there is a winner, but even then, one period of overtime is usually enough.

The NHL has one period of overtime, but after that they go into a sudden death shootout to get a result, they dont go on forever. The NBA does continue with overtime periods until a winner is found, but the nature of scoring here tends to get a result in 1, at most, 2 periods of overtime.

But then we come to Baseball. Last night, just after 6 pm, I got home, and ESPN America were just about to start showing Texas playing at Toronto. When I went to bed, at 10.50 pm, they were still playing, at the end of the 15th innings. At that point I gave up, but its still the most innings of baseball I’ve ever seen in a single game. They finally decided it after 18 innings apparently. The thing is, it wasnt even the longest game of the day, Miami and the NY Mets went a mind numbing 20 innings before a winner was decided. Seriously, is the need for a winner really that great? Both of those are the equivalent of 2 normal games, or more!

And seriously, no, they are nowhere near the record for the longest game, that stands, and will probably always stand at 33 innings, back in 1981, between Pawtucket and Rochester, two teams I actually saw play a normal length game back in April. That did stretch to two nights, but 32 innings were played on the first night, play ending at 4.19 am!

So, in tribute to the MLB, and its desire for a winner in every game, I offer…