I must admit, as someone who was brought up around cricket, and soccer, the idea of a draw, at the end of a sporting match just seems natural to me. However, when it comes to US sports, it seems the concept of a draw, at the end of a match, seems a complete anathema to them. Yes, fine, in knock out competitions in the sports listed above, and seemingly nowadays, at the end of that ghastly 20 over form of cricket, a winner is needed, but at other times, its fine for the game to end as a draw.
Of the ‘Big 4’ American Sports, the only one nowadays that can even theoretically have a draw, is the NFL. And that only after a 15 minute overtime period, so they dont happen all that often. The other 3, there must be a winner. Basketball just plays overtime periods until there is a winner, Ice Hockey goes to a shootout after overtime, until a winner is decided, and Baseball, well, the match just goes on forever, until there is finally a winner!
At least with Ice Hockey, and team losing beyond the standard 60 minutes, gets a consolation point for its efforts. The other 3, well you might as well have been thumped in the standard period, you get nothing! And last night, 3 baseball matches went on, well, forever! The amusing thing, I’ve got to see the recorded version of 2 of them today, albeit cut, to keep them within the 3 to 3.5 hour range for viewers. The ironic thing, the longest one, the game in Washington, playing Minnesota which lasted a marathon 16 innings, is the one I havent seen.
Next in the order of dragging things out, was the game between Pittsburgh, and Arizona. It lasted 13 innings, and basically, both teams ran out of players. Indeed, Arizona ended up with a pitcher playing in left field at the end, had completely ran out of available bodies. Not helped by the fact that one of their players got ejected (sent off), but even so…Not helped by the fact that being a National League game, players get substituted quite often towards the end, anyway. I assume the same happened in Washington, though as I havent seen that one, so?
The last one, which at 12 innings, was the, err, shortest, was the American League game at Houston, against Boston. Still lasted more than 5 hours, mind!
All this, because American sports seemingly must have a winner! Funnily enough, no, I’ve never yet been to a Baseball game that went to overtime, phew! Of course, none of this gets close to the longest baseball game, a mere 33 innings! The longest MLB game, 26 innings! And the latter still didnt produce a winner, it was in the days before floodlights (1920), and darkness ended the game! 25 is the longest, with a result!
Baseball, I love you, but seriously…
OK, the video. What seemingly has to be the case, in so many American sports!