Today's electronic conversation between sports columnists Gary Shelton and John Romano:
GS: I know you were giggle-happy over the thought of the Super Bowl coming to Tampa Bay in February, so you must be absolutely bubbly that the World Series is here tonight. So which event are your neighbors more excited about?
JR: I've always thought the World Series was more of a fan's event, and the Super Bowl was a corporate junket. The Super Bowl may make for better television, but I'd take a World Series given the choice. I would also take Springsteen, Dylan, U2 and the Dave Matthews Band instead of the Super Bowl, but I've got several screws loose.
GS: Yeah, it's a wonder you don't fall apart. But basically, I agree with you. The World Series is more attainable to the folks who have been in the bleachers all year long. You can own season tickets to a football team for 10 years, and when the Super Bowl comes, you're likely to watch some clown from Gossip Girl in your seats. The Super Bowl is great, but it's an event; the World Series is sports.
JR: The World Series has history. It has a dramatic narrative that builds day after day. It has guys spitting and scratching themselves on national television. What's more American than that?
GS: You don't have to tell me. I string World Series lights around the tree every year, and my kids go out singing baseball carols. You haven't lived until you've heard Tori sing Centerfield.
JR: So now that we've established the World Series is more fun than the Super Bowl, Christmas and eating Ding Dongs while lounging in your underpants, tell me what we should expect to see over the next week.
GS: You will see a 10-day drama with momentum swings and legendary performances unfold as slowly as a wrapped present. Either that, or you will go to bed early and watch "highlights." These days, those are what passes as memories.
JR: Yeah, after bragging about baseball's love affair with fans, it is important to point out the commissioner's office has sold the game's soul for prime-time television dollars.
GS: To be fair, John, you would have to say it's for LOTS of television dollars. Also, for merchandising rights. Not only that, but Bud Selig might be a cameo on an upcoming Gossip Girl.
JR: Is that the show with Coco Crisp and David Ortiz?
GS: Shhh. The Red Sox Nation is having a moment of silence. It's been going on for three days now. Do you imagine the Boston faithful are still admiring their silver medal?
JR: Either that or they're continuing to explain why it made perfect sense for thousands of them to leave Game 5 early.
GS: Hey, don't jump those guys. They just wanted to get a good seat on the couch so they can watch the World Series. Watching the Rays play the Phillies won't take any more than, say, nine years off of their lives.
JR: Okay, since you and I have been on the bandwagon for, heck, hours now, what should we expect in the first two Series games?
GS: Not me. I'm not a bandwagon guy. I'm the guy on the bicycle writing that the bandwagon is driving over the curb. As for the first two games, I think the Rays and Phillies will split. If so, which game do you think the Rays are more likely to win?
JR: I've been wrong quite a bit this season, but I feel pretty good about this pick: the Rays win the game they score more runs in.