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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Basic Biittner: No "off-season" anymore

Thursday, October 26, 2006

When I was a youngster - you know, two or three years ago - life seemed to follow the text found in the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes - "to everything there is a season" - which, as all we Baby Boomers know, was set to music by Pete Seeger, and turned into a hit record by the Byrds. But I digress (as usual).

My point is- the regular baseball season always ran from mid-April until late September, with the World Series in October - "The Fall Classic."

Pro football's season ran from from mid-September until late December, with the post-season (that is, the league championship game) played in mid-January. College football ended in late November, and the Bowl games- all four of them - were played on New Year's Day, or January 2nd , if January 1st fell on a Sunday.

Pro hockey and basketball were played in the winter, and were finished in time for baseball to begin.

In the 21st Century version of professional sports, the "normal" season has ceased to exist, as additional teams and longer schedules have led to a situaton where all of the seasons just seem to roll into each other, with no break, and a lot of overlap.

Baseball , with its added tiers of League Championship and Division Championship Series, has gone into the non-baseball-like weather of November on occasion; the Super Bowl has pushed into February, and basketball and hockey play into the very "non-winter" month of June - finishing just in time for the new season to begin in September.

Sports isn't the only area where the "old schedule" no longer exists. The new television season always used to begin in September, about the same time the new school year began. These days, new television shows seem to be cropping up at all times of the year, what with more over-the-air networks than before, not to mention cable and satellite networks.

It's not all that unusual for networks to "pull the plug" on some shows before viewers even realize they were on. Networks stockpile many shows to bring out as replacements for the shows of which they thought so highly last summer. Leading, of course to the question - "If you didn't think we'd like this show in September, why do you think we'd like it now? "

I really think they had it right in the old days - everything should have a distinct, limited-in-time "season" - including, of course, political campaigning. If the election is in November, for example, candidates may begin campaigning in early October, They may air one ad during the first week of the campaign, then up to two ads per week for the next two weeks, three spots during the week before the election, and none in the seven days preceding the election. To clarify, when I say two-tree ads per week, I don't mean two or three different ads, as many times as they care to pay for. No, I mean two or three one minute "spots" in a week's time. Newspaper, magazine, and internet ads would not be limited. Think of all the benefits of this proposal! Candidates and/or their political parties would save a lot of money, for starters. Voters would not feel inundated with the political advertsing. If candidates were limited as I suggest, also, maybe-just maybe- they would spend the available money on ads which are positive about their ideas, and not on all the negative slurs against their opponents.

Ye, sir - a time and place for everything . I kind of like the sound of that.

Dan Whitney
Basic Biittner