Per Evan Grant, last night's Rangers game was the highest rated Fox Sports Southwest baseball game ever, shattering a record that has stood since the Rangers overtook the division lead against the Angels in September of 1998.
Think about that. This game has very little leverage, as the Rangers are completely running away with the division. And yet it got enough ratings to surpass, by a lot, a viewership record that has stood for more than a decade, which was set during one of the most meaningful games in franchise history. Last night's rating was 8.0 compared to 6.9 from the '98 game.
Over at Lone Star Ball, Adam Morris adds this:
Rangers fans are starved for winning baseball. And the Rangers, right now, are well placed to capitalize on that.
With the Rangers having won last night, and with Cliff Lee going tonight, I expect the record rating to stand for exactly one day, with a new record being set tonight.
This is exciting to me. I have to admit, as a Cowboys fan, I love how nationally relevant they are. People constantly hating on the team can be annoying, but, mostly, it's a really awesome feeling to have other people care that much about your team. And things like Dez Gate can be sickening, but knowing there's a good chance I'll hear the national media talk about my team has always been a small bit of pride. And being a fan of a team that can boast one of the hugest fan bases on the planet just feels cool.
Obviously the Rangers will never reach that point, but, behind seeing the Rangers win a title, seeing the Rangers become a nationally relevant franchise with legions of fans and awesome coverage is a dream of mine. And I've always wondered if the Metroplex had it in them to get really excited about the Rangers.
This seems to go a long way to answering my question.
And for anyone afraid of band wagoners, just remember this: Everyone has to become a fan at some point, and more fans means more money and more importance. Don't shun new fans, welcome them with open arms and tell them how awesome Ivan Rodriguez was and how awesome Elvis Andrus will be. And don't get angry at them for not suffering the awful years, feel sorry for them, because when the Rangers finally win something, it will never be as sweet for new fans as it will be for those of us who have passionately endured the losing.
Anyway, this is cool.