I got rid of my cable TV about three months ago. I was watching a little too much of it, and it costs $50/month, but it was all the same old crap again and again -- I'd seen every episode of Star Trek:TNG about three times, and every episode of Seinfeld at least five times, and I felt I was starting to seriously waste my time. I haven't really missed it until the last few days when the days are becoming noticeably short and the baseball playoffs are on. The MLB playoffs are usually about the most exciting sports drama around, in my opinion, and I definitely miss not being able to tune in and be part of the story for three weeks or so. I have great memories of watching the Red Sox win the World Series in 2004. It definitely mattered that I was in New Hampshire then and there was a real feeling of team identity and even of history--at least for those who grew up soaked in the story of baseball. I remember the crisp, cool nights back there and the feeling that baseball mattered. That was reason enough to watch.
Here in Portland there is basically no team identity whatsoever, not for the city, and not for the entire state. A few people cheer for the Seahawks, but really they're pretty far away, and usually losers besides. And I'm sorry, but I just can not care less about the Trailblazers, or anything to do with basketball for that matter. It is a game for mutants, not the average person. It is meant to be a winter game, when the gym is warm and the security guards struggle to keep the doors closed again the cold and the locker room smells like used-up socks. Here in Portland we get none of that, just pissy rainy that sadly passes for a season. It is not really fair that Portland lives without an ML baseball team, and I hope that someday it gets one. Even if they are perennial losers like I'm sure they will be, like my boyhood Pirates. There is just something noble about baseball, that other sports lack.