Watching the 2013 World Series and being obsessed with what is being said about the game, I hear many pseudonyms: The Great Game, A Talking Sport, The Game About the Numbers and The National Pastime.
The last one is the oldest moniker for baseball, which makes it the most ironic considering this story by Bloomberg’s Jonathan Mahler.
He cites an alarming statistic for season-ticket holders, casual fans and bandwagoners alike — The median age of the 2012 World Series television viewer was 53.4, the highest in more than 20 years. This is compared to the 2013 NBA Championships, which garnered the attention of not-so older fans who average age 41. For the NFL season, the average viewer has been 45 years old.
Ever notice why you see so many friggin’ advertisements for Viagra, Cialis and whatever other elixir the older fans are using to rise to the challenge? Whelp … there you have it. Those statistics of elderly viewers are popular. From luxury cars to prescription medication, advertisers have flocked to the local VFW and determined that is the house of the holy demographic.
This year, nearly 75 million people went to games at Major League ballparks this season, the sixth-highest total of all time. Almost half of those fans registered for discounts with the help of their AARP cards. Back to the story:
The first thing to note is the alarming upward trajectory: The median age for the 1991 World Series … was 44.8. The World Series is hardly the only major sports event whose demographics are trending up. (We are, after all, an aging society.) Even the 2012 summer Olympics had a prime-time median age in the 50s. Those are older fans, kids. And they own the TV broadcasts from pre- to post-game shows. Why? Ka-ching.
Ever heard in a bar, or even on your couch, that listening to Tim McCarver call a game is a journey back in time for a codger afflicted with Good Ol’ Day syndrome? And speaking of which, rumor has it Bud Selig is retiring soon to his steroid-stained throne room in Florida or Wisconsin or somewhere. Now these numbers prove why?!
This is horrifying.
What’s going to happen when all those fans prepare for retirement? Will baseball go back to the dead-ball era? Maybe we older fans should start calling the game “Town Ball” like they did in the 1850s. Perhaps the first team to score 21 runs should be ruled the winner without question, like in 1859. I mean, given the steroid era, that would be every other day. In 1882, seven balls was required for a walk. I say bring it back, because with these older fans, that is how long it will take with a walker to make it 90 feet.