Quotation by Marshall McLuhan

It is the inclusive mesh of the TV image, in particular, that spells for a while at least, the doom of baseball. For baseball is a game of one-thing-at-a-time, fixed positions and visibly delegated specialist jobs such as belonged to the now passing mechanical age, with its fragmented tasks and its staff and line in management organization. TV, as the very image of the new corporate and participant way of electric living, fosters habits of unified awareness and social interdependence that alienate us from the peculiar style of baseball, with its specialist and positional stress. When cultures change, so do games. Baseball, that had become the elegant abstract image of industrial society living by split-second timing, has in the new TV decade lost its psychic and social relevance for our new way of life. The ball game has been dislodged from the social center and been conveyed to the periphery of American life. In contrast, American football is nonpositional, and any or all of the players can switch to any role during play. It is, therefore, a game that at the present is supplanting baseball in general acceptance. It agrees very well with the new needs of decentralized team play in the electric age.
Marshall McLuhan (1911–1980), Canadian communications theorist. Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, ch. 24, McGraw-Hill (1964).
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