Well, sports fans. We’ve reached a time of the year that so many lament for being the driest stretch of the sports calendar. While this is technically true—of the four major American men’s sports, only Major League Baseball teams will play a competitive game before September 7—the inactivity from the other sports opens the door for one of the best summer traditions imaginable: the humble baseball nap.
With apologies to golf, which also happens during the summer, baseball is the premier nap sport. Dozing off during a golf tournament, you run the risk of waking up to a leaderboard that looks completely different from when you conked out. How did that guy make up four strokes in the span of one nap? Ah jeez, did the person who I actually tuned into watch already finish their round? Who on earth is this guy—and what the hell are they wearing? These are all questions you may find yourself asking, dazed and perhaps a bit sweaty, upon waking up from a golf nap.
Falling asleep to golf is not the problem—the tranquil, unhurried stillness of the whole operation, plus commentators speaking in exclusively hushed tones, can be more powerful than any brand of melatonin. If you put on golf specifically to induce a nap, great job, you succeeded. But if you actually wanted to follow the action on the links, instead succumbing to sleepiness, a lot of the time you’ll wake up having missed the parts you initially settled in for.
This can certainly happen with baseball, too. But here’s the thing: it doesn’t really matter. Let’s say you were couch-locked for your favorite team, one whose day-to-day events you follow every year from April to October. In that situation, missing a nap-sized chunk of one game means missing a miniscule portion of the entire season. Also: odds are they play again tomorrow, and probably the day after that as well. You can get caught up very quickly. And even if you were catching some Zs during a big, game-swinging rally, any good broadcast will get you back up to speed with some informative replays. There’s a lot of empty space during a baseball game, after all. They’ll find some time to show you who drove in all the runs, or which reliever wriggled out of the messiest jam.