Category: football

In A World Without Major League Baseball



I spend long stretches of time ’round the midnight hour on any given night watching endless streams of Major League Baseball clip montages. Some of them are year-in-review type videos from last season. Some of them have Willie Mays in them. Though the game has undoubtedly changed, to me baseball is baseball.

Which makes me wonder why I am so distressed at the growing possibility that an entire MLB season may never happen. And if it doesn’t happen, then I wonder what it would be like if Major League Baseball just never came back.

I don’t think that’s how this will all go down, but just what if?

I had a dream a couple of nights ago in which I was at the Field of Dreams in Dyersville, Iowa fielding grounders from my wheelchair. I was flipping my chair over to make a play, and flipping right back up as if it were nothing. A reminder, perhaps that baseball is a simple game of the people. It grew from an absolutely non-formal kids game, to a leisure activity for working class men with written rules, to organized but non-professional clubs, to the professional leagues like we have today.

Even though it came from humble beginnings, a part of me feels like in today’s world, were the professional game suddenly removed from our national consciousness – the TV broadcasts, the merchandising, the obscenely expensive and flashy stadiums – that baseball might be like the ageless philosophical question about a tree that falls in the woods with no one there to hear it.

Another part of me knows very well that even without the pros, baseball would still be a thing, just on a very local level. And we’d all develop our own private histories of the game in our own little pockets of the world. And maybe that would make it more special to us. More intimate. I know many would feel that way about the game if only money were taken out of the equation.

With that in mind, I recently made the bold proclamation on my personal Facebook page that I was starting a new Major League Baseball and that there would be no salaries. I got a couple of guys signed up so far. I’ll keep you posted.

I’m really just speculating, but I can see that the NBA and NHL already appear to be on their way back to “game on!” And if MLB can’t return to the field just as gracefully, then it will not bode well for the professional game. Maybe there would still be some independent leagues around. With the promise of fame and fortune in the big leagues out of the question at least we’d know the players were in it for the love of the game.

Anyway baseball, in the form that we’ve come to know and love it down the generations, will be back. I know, because Terrence Mann told me so in “Field of Dreams.” He said:

The one constant through all the years Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It’s been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game, is a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good, and that could be again.

Baseball will most definitely be back.

The “Winona” Post

The town in which I went to college and lived for seven years was recently immortalized in a Super Bowl commercial.

Sort of.

Around here, for weeks leading up to the Super Bowl the air was thick with speculation over what the ad was for. We knew actress Winona Ryder had been in Winona, MN (her birthplace and namesake) filming a commercial. Some said it was for “Stranger Things.” Some said it was for Ryder Truck Rental, which, I don’t know, maybe they were opening a branch in Winona and were making a REALLY big splash about it.

The commercial ended up being for Squarespace, a website building company. It also ended up being a bit underwhelming for the locals, because it did not show anything of substance about the city of Winona. There are actually quite a few landmarks and businesses that we are known for, far and wide. There was a several minutes long version of the commercial available online which included some of it, but it wasn’t the same.

Not for us.

To be fair, to the rest of the country it was just an ad about a website-building company with a marginally famous actress in it. As far as they were concerned, the town called Winona could have been totally fictional. But there were people in Winona watching for that commercial to see the places they drove by or visited regularly. Some may not have known or cared what Squarespace is. I didn’t.

That dichotomy kind of mirrors how, on Super Bowl Sunday, some are totally indifferent toward the actual game but are absolutely engaged with the halftime show, or vise versa.

That is the fine line you walk when trying to reach your audience, whether you are advertising or marketing. You’re not talking about a million-dollar spot during the biggest TV event of the year, but the same principle applies.

– Do you want to put your products and services in the spotlight?

– Do you want to showcase your staff and the company’s personality?

– Do you want to cover a spectrum of current events relating to your company’s industry to demonstrate your company philosophy?

If this dilemma sounds like your life as a business owner, check in with Dailey Freelance. We can work together and find a good mix of content in order to reach out to all of the various subgroups of your audience who are interested in what you do for one reason or another. We can reach out to them all. It is strategic, and it is not a perfect science. But I think we can cover a lot of ground without watering down your message.


Super Bowl Week Reflections of a Fair-Weather Kansas City Chiefs Fan

When I was a little kid I had this irrational delusion that the Kansas City Chiefs were some unnaturally powerful football team. I feared them. This was in the mid-late 1980s when, back in reality, Kansas City had a losing record almost every year. I honestly don’t know where the notion even came from.

Then, in the early 1990s when suddenly they were an actual perennial playoff team, I began to root for them. This was the era of hand-me-down legends for the Chiefs’ roster. Joe Montana. Marcus Allen. Others. They became my secondary “favorite team” and I thought for sure they’d make their way to the Super Bowl. My tertiary favorite team was the Philadelphia Eagles, for equally hazy reasons. I always hoped to see the two of them face off in the big game, but looking back this would have resulted in some messy and unnecessary internal conflicts, so I’m glad it never happened.

I was always lukewarm about Philadelphia anyway. The Kansas City Chiefs repeatedly let me down all throughout high school. By the time I went away to college, I had stopped caring what they did too. They aren’t even my secondary favorite now. The Saints are. I actually rooted against Philadelphia in the Super Bowl one year!

This Sunday the Kansas City Chiefs will play in the Super Bowl for the first time in my life. I was actually kind of hoping they would face the Green Bay Packers, which was a moral conflict on another level, being from Minnesota. I justified it by saying that I was rooting for a rematch of the first Super Bowl, not the Packers themselves.

You know…for history’s sake. Yeah.

The funny thing is, after years of growing disinterest in what the Chiefs were doing, it is hard to revel in their success without feeling like I am being a bandwagon jumper-onner, or a fair-weather fan at best.

I know I still can root for them. If they win, I can smile at the team I thought so highly of so long ago finally making good. But I know their victory would be all the more sweet had I never stopped following them. A good friend of mine has been a Chicago Cubs fan for over 30 years, and when they won their first World Series in 108 years in 2016, he basically told me he could die happy now.

I’ll smile if “my Chiefs” win, but it won’t give me that sweet, life-affirming culmination of years of faithful fandom that it could have been.

I guess what I am saying is never give up on your dream. When you see it through to the end, I am sure it will be all the sweeter for you. Even more so because it will be something you achieved yourself, a moment that football fandom can never really give you, no matter how good your team is.

Enjoy the game.
Go, K.C.!

On the Subject of Perseverance – The Minnesota Vikings and Your Blog

I am a Minnesota boy, but I do not live and die by the success and failure of the Minnesota Vikings. I can’t remember the last time I referred to the team as “we”. But I do like to see them win.

In my life, I have watched the Vikings get within a game of the Super Bowl only to lose five times. Three of those games came down to the very end. That would take a lot out of most fans.

As a kid watching with my dad and my older brother, I saw them lose the Conference Championship on a last-second dropped pass against the Washington Redskins.

In Community College I sat with my three roommates and watched them lose to the Atlanta Falcons when kicker Gary Anderson who’d not missed a kick all season…missed a kick.

Two years later I was alone when they took on the New York Giants for the title. At some point early in the game I drifted off to sleep, waking up to find the Vikings down 41-0 late in the game, which is how it ended.

In 2010, I probably mortified my wife the way I paced around the living room as they lost a gut-wrenching back and forth game against the New Orleans Saints.

In 2018 my wife would not even stay in the room with me when the Vikings took on the Philadelphia Eagles for the championship. Which was probably good because they got spanked almost as bad as they had against the Giants.

So yeah…0-for-5. They are actually 0-for-6 in NFC Championships all-time. They lost another one before my time. And they have made the Super Bowl four times. Also before I was around. Oh, guess what. They lost all of those too.

For now, they are a team known for these “failures.” I don’t know how far they will go in this year’s playoffs but I do know that when they do finally win the Super Bowl, these six conference championship games, and four Super Bowl appearances will suddenly loom large in their legend. They will become recognized as part of the team’s “tradition of excellence.”

So I guess what I’m getting at is if you are blogging and it doesn’t seem like it is getting anywhere, it will. I know this. This is the fourth blog I’ve started and I remember wondering when it was going to take off.

And then it would take off.

Maybe all the Minnesota Vikings’ timely losing didn’t get to me too much because I have never been a die-hard fan. In that case, it did me good to be a bit detached. When it comes to marketing your business, though I suppose a little detachment is healthy, you certainly should care what happens a lot more than you do about your favorite football team.

It will take off. But even before it does, the people who are really looking for the content you put out are going to find it if it’s done right. That’s where I come in as your freelance writer.

After they find you, your audience will expand so that people who didn’t even know they were looking for you, will find you. And when they do, you’ll have an entire “tradition of excellence”, a history of great work ready for them to discover.

So let’s get to work.