I ALWAYS watch the baseball All-Star game (and World Series), at least the pre-game stuff.
I always want to see if they top LAST YEAR'S calculated, throat-lumping theatrics.
You don't see this in the other sports. Football and hockey don't seem to have that vibe. Soccer, don't even get me started. Basketball is way to flashy and doesn't lend itself well to the tearjerking and oh-so solemn grandstanding.
But baseball! Hoo boy!
It's almost become a cliche: the sappy, swelling, stirring music, the old B&W montages of the greats, the images of children, "simpler times", Gehrig's "I'm the luckiest man..." footage.
Riding on top of all the visual hoo-ha, you have a stone-voiced announcer (usually a Bob Costas type, lunging for ever trick in the eye-tearing book) going on about The Game and all.
It's just funny, and I never miss it.
Don't get me wrong, it's sweet. It's expected. It's "the thing to do", I guess.
It's just funny, since I started noticing it a few years ago.
It's almost as if "Field of Dreams" and the recent fall of some longstanding records has given baseball a license to pour on the sap.
All of this goodwill and cheek-dabbing on the eve of yet ANOTHER possible strike.
Rings a bit hollow, I guess.
Always nice to see the old timers come out in their old hats and jerseys. But halfway through it, I feel a bit force-fed, and it seems a bit piled on and orchestrated a bit TOO much.
Anyone else feel this way?
In any case, that whole style and trip is SCREAMING for a good skewering or parody at this point.
[violin music, soft and wistful, building slowly and accompanied with choppy B&W footage and American flags waving...]
"He sold the stuff of dreams. He graced the stands and looked out on the field of heroic men, engaged in the battle of sculpted ash and shaped leather. The smell of fresh grass lingered through the air and we stood and majestically cheered the hot dog vendor...".
Sorry. Just watching the All-Star game tonight and they don't seem to be missing an opportunity to milk the waterworks every chance they get.
Enough already. We GET it, okay? It's "America's pasttiime", yeah yeah...