The Morning After: A Fantastic Night in Philly Sports, Phillies Win Ratings Battle

Ryan Madson's new Halloween mask that he's been wearing around the clubhouse.  For real.

Last night was one of those rare, but welcome, instances where you need two televisions.  A Phillies playoff game and an Eagles prime time game on head to head.  The last time such an event occurred was on Memorial Day weekend, when the Flyers were playing Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals and Roy Halladay was throwing a perfect game.

If you only had one TV, my philosophy is a simple one: you watch the playoff game.  No matter what sport it is, you always watch the playoff game.  And that’s what happened (for the most part).  Early estimates say that the Phillies game received a 27.7 rating and the Eagles game a 24.1 rating- meaning roughly 100k more households watched baseball in Philadelphia.  Nationwide, however, the football game received an 11.7 rating, while the baseball game had just a 3.9.

You can look at that one of two ways.  Either Philly has become a baseball town over the last few years, or, given the fact that it was a playoff game, the Phillies should have crushed the Eagles in ratings and didn't.

I’m torn.

One thing is for certain, there appears to be a disconnect between local media and fans.

The overwhelming sentiment from readers, commenters, and informal discussions is that the Phillies are king.  But tuning into local radio and television might give you a different perspective.  The amount of Michael Vick coverage two weeks ago seemed vastly disproportion to overall public interest on the matter.  One local radio host told me “for talk radio, the Eagles are king.”

Perhaps having something to complain about beats general euphoria.

Last night, Phillies post-game live was immediately cut short (although they did come back to it later) on CSN in favor of Eagles coverage.  A very impromptu poll on Twitter asked fans “would you rather see Chooch with champagne or Eagles interviews?”  There was not one pro-Eagles response.

That’s not to imply that this might not still be a football town, but right now the Phillies are the team people care about and have a positive opinion of.  Even Eagles wins are marred by controversy and questionable coaching decisions.  The mere mention of Andy Reid and the Vick-Kolb situation elicits an eye roll from most.  The Phillies, however, are beloved from top to bottom.

In either case, last night was a spectacular night for Philly sports fans.  The Phillies have advanced to a third straight NLCS and the Eagles won a road game on prime time television.

All is good.

Philly Sports Daily has a great timeline of events from Rock Bottom.  My favorite line is from 9:12 PM: "It’s obvious Cole Hamels is dealing."

More on Madson's mask at The Wiz Wit.

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  • Thom Yorke October 11, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    Hey look it’s Miguel Cairo

  • chris c. October 11, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    more like joe girardi

  • chris c. October 11, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    bring on the giants or braves,don’t matter.either one has no shot.go phils!

  • John E. October 11, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    Besides football being a better TV sport (more breaks to eat, drink, etc), I think the nationwide ratings sort of reflect the problem baseball has created for itself. By focusing so much of its coverage on teams with big payrolls in NY, Boston, Chicago, LA, St. Louis, and now Philly and SF a little more, and with no salary cap, 2/3 of the teams in the league know they have no chance to compete for a title unless the stars align for them. Only a handful of teams can afford to pay for the starting pitchers it takes to win in the playoffs.
    A team like Cinci or Minnesota can win 90 games, but can’t win in a short series against the big boys with superior starting pitching. If you’re a sports fan from another city than one mentioned above, your football team probably has a much better chance to win a title than your baseball team does. So that’s where the majority of the country’s attention is. Competitive imbalance is the problem.

  • John E. October 11, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    Also I agree, the Eagles generate more coverage because there are more issues to talk about. And negative feelings elicit more reaction than positive ones. There’s only so much you can say about a team playing great baseball.
    Also football with 3 units and more “set plays” there is just more to talk about. When you have a baseball game with 2 good starting pitchers, there’s not much more analysis you can offer than “wow, these 2 guys are pitching great.” Not alot of “managing” needed. It’s only the late inning chess matches with lefty/righty matchups and pinch hitters vs relief pitchers, bunt or don’t bunt, where there is real opportunity for analysis, 2nd-guessing, etc that feeds media coverage.

  • Iron Balls McGinty October 11, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    “No matter what sport it is, you always watch the playoff game.” That’s like, the 11th Commandment, before Moses accidentally broke the 3rd tablet:

    As far as more Football coverage on the radio… Radio is for all the same old neanderthals that also listen to Rush.

  • Ijfri October 12, 2010 at 10:39 am

    While searching for this article I came across Madson’s Twitter @RyanMadson46. Check it out if you’re interested.

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