Descartes and His Mummy
I had two things happen to me this Sunday that made me feel like an island. One, I went to a Mariners game and felt nothing. At least not anything that had to do with the appreciation of sport. Also, I got reminded that Adrian Peterson is now in the NFL, so that makes three players I'll watch. I fucking hate straight lines and hard-earned inches, but a back who uses space creatively makes me as chipper as any NBA All-Star. Seeing all edges of the field at once is pretty tantamount to sublime court vision, which is why I think someone like Peterson—not Chad Johnson—practices the most basketball-friendly kind of football.
Anyway, after an inning or two at the ballpark, I got into an argument with a friend on, surprise surprise, the NBA vs. MLB. She's a baseball snob, which means she thinks her game is the king of kings; as illustrated above, I can scarcely be bothered to acknowledge that "sport" exists as a general category, which is at least representative of a few other NBA fans I know. The culprit in all of this was those intro songs they play at every at-bat, which are either symptomatic of or a direct cause of baseball's return to goodwill. She insisted that they also proved how massive 'twas the sport's cult of personality. I sneered that, on the contrary, they were to create one where there was none.
I know that some of you probably enjoy the national pastime, and I certainly have a soft spot for much of its pre-1988 history. As a youth, I regularly snuck Bill James into services, and was obsessed with Pete Reiser and Herb Score when FreeDarko was negative eighteen years old. I still get chills from seeing a triple, since no other athletic event so deftly combines human excellence and circumstance's chaotic indifference. But there's no way it exudes individuality like the NBA does. The easiest way I can prove this: having intro music for NBA players would be outright redundant. As lame as Pharrell's ad campaign of a few years back was, it made one thing clear: NBA stars don't need soundtracks to define them. They make people want to make music. They get name-checked in lyrics because their respective games stake out meaning on their own.
That's as close as I can come to defining style. And that's why pitchers—the most FD position of them all—rely on their theme music less than anyone else in the sport.