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9 Sporting Events Somehow Less Relevant Than the Pro Bowl
This is probably my most difficult assignment in 6 months of making these lists. The task: Find 9 sports events that are less relevant than the Pro Bowl. Is anything less relevant than the Pro Bowl? That was rhetorical. No. Nothing is less relevant than the most anticlimactic event in sports. That’s my opinion. But like a smoker licking an ashtray for a nicotine fix, I would run to the Pro Bowl knowing that it would be 7 long months before I got any more football. You may feel the same way about some of the following 9 events. There’s no accounting for taste. Let’s just agree to agree that all these events are truly, truly, awful.
9. NBA Shooting Stars Competition
The low point of NBA All Star Weekend, which is saying something. How do you make a stupid skills competition less relevant? Dilute the participating talent level by including a retired player and a WNBA-er. Mission accomplished. Everyone’s a winner in this contest. Except the fans.
8. NBA Slam Dunk Contest
Fortunately, with Blake Griffin in our lives, this is going to change. But for the past 15 years or so, with the exception of the Vince Carter years, what was once the most exciting All Star event in any sport became an exercise of do-overs, boredom, and frustration. David Stern: Make the best compete for the good of the league. That’s not unreasonable. If you make LeBron compete, he won’t phone it in. These guys want to win. Fortunately, the Blake Griffin era could usher in excitement without the commish’s help.
7. NFL Preseason Games
When people are thirsty in the desert, they’ll drink the sand. Well, preseason football is definitely sand. No action, no excitement. It’s like watching a cooling class at a community college two weeks before watching Top Chef. We’ll keep watching because we’re desperate, but as football creates more and more injuries for its players, expect preseason football to get worse and worse. Seriously. Two games is plenty.
6. Any College Football All-Star Game
There are approximately 5000 CFB All-Star games. The best players in the game will attend 0 of them. They have pro careers to look after. Why would they want to risk injury for alumni and virtually no one else. There’s nothing at stake, and they’re not even being evaluated. Stop it. There are 16 college football All-Star games every year. It’s called the NFL.
5. MLS Team vs. Foreign Teams
The MLS teams can’t hang. I understand the “friendly” concept between national teams. It’s about pride. If the Galaxy beat Ecuador, does everyone in Los Angeles get to talk smack about Ecuadorans? What about the Ecuadorans in Los Angeles? Who do they side with? I suppose it’s to build fan loyalty and the notoriety of the MLS in the global arena. Well, that’s the job of the MLS, not mine. My job is to enjoy sports. If I want to watch good soccer, I’ll watch the national soccer. If I want to watch bad soccer, I’ll watch the MLS. I will never want to watch good soccer players play bad soccer players in a meaningless match.
4. Any Golf Celebrity Pro-Am
Hey! Alice Cooper is playing with Craig Stadler! That’s great! No. It’s not. The pros don’t get to play their best and the celebs can’t have fun because there’s too much pressure with the pros standing over their shoulders. It works out well for charities, I guess, but that has nothing to do with the entertainment factor, which is nil.
3. The ESPY’s
What’s better? Andy Roddick’s ace in the Wimbledon semis or Peyton Manning’s performance in the 4th quarter of the AFC Wild Card game? That’s like asking someone if they like hot air balloons more than fresh-squeezed orange juice. There’s no way to come up with a definitive answer. It’s an excuse for athletes to party. Which is totally great…if you’re an athlete.
The drama to determine which college basketball team is the 69th greatest in the country! I could go on, but I don’t need to.
1. Bowl Games That Aren’t the National Championship
Not as ridiculous as the NIT, but considering the whole season leads up to dozens of bowl games, only one of which has any meaning, is ridiculous. We. Need. A. Playoff. System. Sure the Rose Bowl is steeped in tradition and Auburn-OU will probably be a pretty good matchup, but if they’re not ranked 1-2, it’s essentially the Little League “everyone gets a trophy” concept. Then when you get to the lower-tier bowl games, it’s just kinda sad. I will still watch them, but I’ll be the first to admit that I’m fooling myself.