Though the Cardinals won their eighth consecutive World Series title by sweeping the Mexico City Vaqueros and outscoring them by a combined score of 48-3, the lopsided series was watched by record crowds on black and white televisions around the globe. All major television networks covered the series, played in relative isolation on an uneven grass and mud surface behind a barn in an area previously used to hold rock festivals on Max Yasgur’s farm in upstate New York. Some networks used multiple cameras, celebrity announcers and special effects to create virtual crowds approaching a million people. The Rolling Stones provided entertainment between innings until they fell asleep.
The combined efforts of league commissioners from all major sports was widely attributed by sportswriters, pizza delivery boys, casual fans and Marge and Art at Frank’s Diner in revitalizing fan interest in professional sports after a two-decade long season of apathy. The now nearly forgotten pandemic of 2020 which started the public’s indifference toward sports, organized religion and barbers with the name Terence was rarely mentioned by five-term president Joe Walsh.
Grand Supreme President Walsh, whose initial suggestion of having all sports teams dress up as their team nicknames was met with scorn and derision, had the last laugh. After attendance skyrocketed to nearly a hundred people per event, politicians, late night television hosts and out of work teaching assistants around the globe were claiming the idea as their own.
For several teams the switch in uniforms was relatively easy. The Cardinals, Orioles, Hawks, Eagles, Blue Jays and other teams named for birds, simply added feather to their uniforms. The Pirates and Buccaneers were handicapped by their eye patch and several members of the team were injured when they tripped over their swords. Other teams struggled to maintain a high level of athleticism. The Dolphins tried in vain to use their flippers to catch the football. The Marlins suffered much the same fate. The San Francisco Giants found using stilts slowed them too much and changed their name to the Average-Sized-Humans, but league commissioner Benjamin McGee vetoed the change. The Indians, Braves, Warriors, Chiefs and Redskins were allowed to ride horses and shoot the opposition with bows and arrows. Teams were often decimated after these games. The Cowboys and Texas Rangers rode the Colts and Broncos into the ground.
The Miami Heat withered midway through the year. The Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards would disappear at times in the middle of games. The Charlotte Hornets buzzed about their new uniforms to all who would listen but were swatted away by the Nets. The Grizzlies, Timberwolves, Bears, Panthers and other teams soon learned to run on all fours.
The Saints, Angels and Padres were blessed by new talent. The Utah Jazz played well, but struggled with following set guidelines. The 49ers found new Nuggets when Joe Montana came out of retirement, but were buried under an Avalanche of Maple Leafs in the Rockies. The Predators, Coyotes and Sharks feasted on weaker teams like the Ducks, Penguins, Pelicans and Cubs. The LA Lakers and Clippers drowned in a rough sea of turbulent waves caused by the Thunder, Lightning and Hurricanes. Interest sparked by Lebron James, playing in his tenth season for both LA teams simultaneously, reached an all-time zenith when the Lakers played the Clippers on Christmas Day. James guarding himself scored a record 137 points and blocked his own shots 18 times in the game before taking himself out of both lineups due to exhaustion and old age.
The Kings, Royals and Senators played as though they were above the laws of the game and created new Bills to suit their needs. Emperor Walsh signed a decree that expanded the new uniform craze to include minor leagues as well as the majors. Players for the Biscuits, Skeeters, Canaries, Milkmen, Poodles and Jumbo Shrimp began a petition to boycott the season unless the Goats and Flying Squirrels were excluded from the new directive.
Will professional sports on any level ever regain the mystic and allure they enjoyed in the heydays of Jordan, Manning, Brady, Trubisky, Ruth, Gehrig and Valmy Thomas, or is that era lost forever to the Sounds of Wind Surges and the rattling of Sabres?