It’s amazing how often “purists” hate entertainment in sports. For the last two decades or so, the NFL has been nicknamed the “no fun league” due to their hatred for entertainment. Gone are the premeditated (aka awesome) touchdown dances, including sharpie pens, cell phones and other props. They are no longer allowed to celebrate as a group, drop to the ground, or dunk the football through the goal posts. Basically, if you reach the end zone, you are allowed to Gronk spike…until the NFL realizes this will deflate the football and then hell freezes over. The NFL HATES fun.
Major League Baseball fans and historians seemingly despise when players show emotions. All of the talk over the past week has been about the bat flip revolution, from Yoenis Cespedes, to Jose Bautista, to Daniel Murphy and how disrespectful it is. Babe Ruth would never flip a bat; Willie Mays wouldn’t dare, forget Hank Aaron. Certain fans despise these bat flips, because “that’s just not what you do”. It’s an unwritten rule. Yet, MLB is tweeting about bat flips. It’s the most talked about aspect of the playoffs on social media. Fervent and casual fans alike are talking about how great the bat flips are, while pitchers are getting ready to plunk the hitters for this tremendous show of disrespect. Nevertheless, despite the haters, the bat flips are entertaining in a league that rarely promotes itself as overly joyful to their fans.
Although professional wrestling isn’t nearly as competitive as the NFL or has nearly the amount of unwritten rules that the MLB has, no one can deny that professional wrestling is exactly what it sets out to be: sports entertainment. There’s rarely a Sunday that goes by in the NFL that SOMETHING isn’t dubbed over by the legendary Jim Ross. For everyone that hates professional wrestling because it’s “fake”, when a major sporting event happens and the refs screw it up the common refrain is that the “refs are on the take! They are WWE officials”. Or when a football players has a brutal hit on an opposing player, “he suplexed him!” WWE is very much a part of pop culture lexicon, despite what the mainstream media wants you to believe.
It’s for good reason though. If you forget the millions of people that watch or the millions of dollars the company makes, if nothing else, it’s entertaining. Not the lame jokes or the 11 year old low brow comedy, just the show in general. The goal of Monday Night Raw each and every week, besides to push people to buy the WWE Network, is to be entertaining. Not everything works obviously and I can sit here pretty much any week and complain about countless things. But I still to watch in order to be entertained. When the Super Bowl is a blowout or the World Series is a sweep, MLB and the NFL are crushed. The ratings are down and ultimately the money made is much less than it could have been. In WWE, the company has the ability to manipulate the outcome. That’s why you get the crowning achievement of a Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania or when Roman Reigns isn’t working, we see the elevation of Seth Rollins. WWE has the ability to change the plans on the fly, in order to be more entertaining. Real sports can’t do this; sports entertainment can.
The NFL and MLB are not scripted and sometimes their results don’t work out for the best. They don’t always get the magical touchdown or the Cinderella home run. The bat flips don’t always come at the most opportune time. When the magic works out, it’s incredibly entertaining. However, more often than not, there’s a bit of a letdown. Here are five currently storylines that the NFL and MLB would change if it were scripted: