The BBC’s Washington Bureau Chief Simon Wilson understands America’s way of life by reporting on… baseball. He said the game is very similar to how Americans live each day:
At baseball, the crowds are constantly on the move – buying beer, hot dogs and popcorn, except of course when they stand motionless together, caps over their hearts, for a belting rendition of the Star Spangled Banner or God Bless America.
On the surface, this is the America of my imagination – loud, proud and in your face.
But that is not what says the most about the country. The most successful players in baseball are successful only a third of the time, and Americans, like baseball players, are resilient, making baseball the perfect pastime for the gritty nation.
Now, there are many, many, statistics in baseball. But the single most astonishing one is that this is a professional sport where the very best players in the world only actually hit the ball successfully a third of the time.
The other two thirds, they miss completely, are caught or thrown out and face the long, humiliating walk back to the team dugout.
Wilson points out children are told they can be anything they want, including president. But do most people actually succeed? During his time here America’s economy struggled, and China is on the rise as the world’s dominant power.
It sounds depressing and like it is a jab at America, but Wilson does have a point. He continues to say that just like baseball players, America always picks herself up and recovers.
Failure – the theory goes – will breed the next success.
When the going gets tough Americans do not give up. They pack up and move to states and cities with jobs. North Dakota is booming with new energy and computer engineers are thriving in Silicon Valley.
Just as Wilson’s adopted team the Washington Nationals, Americans will learn and thrive from their failure. And baseball will always be the national pastime.