9 Most Boring Sports to Watch on TV
Sometimes, the “next best thing to being there” can be pretty damn boring. Many sports hinge on atmosphere or a sense of intimacy that the camera just can’t capture. And sometimes, boring sports are just made more boring by not being there. The good news is, if you’re watching a boring sport on TV, you can always go out and do something else. The bad news is you’re too lazy, so that doesn’t apply to you. So if you come across one of these gems, don’t feel bad about closing your eyes and dozing off for a 3 PM Saturday nap. We won’t judge you.
I’ll grant that watching golf on television is better than watching it in person, but that’s not to say it’s still not a total snooze. You lose the ball in the sky, you can’t see the course, and they’re constantly jumping from golfer to golfer to give no real sense of continuity. The announcers are reminiscent of your boring uncle, and you’re not even getting fresh air or a walk. There’s a reason this sport on TV knocks people out faster than Ambien.
I’ll be the first to admit, 2008 went a long way towards developing appreciation and interest in swimming. I’ll also be the first to admit that I could make painting my bedroom a national fascination if I it was an Olympic sport. You can’t see the swimmers, so you can’t cheer or appreciate your favorite. Instead, you end up rooting for a rubber hat and goggles. When the moving yellow lines that represent the world record and Olympic record make the sport about 70% more interesting, you’ve got a boring sport.
7. Auto Racing
So much of enjoying an auto race has to do with the environment, so to do away with that aspect in a television broadcast is to essentially neuter the sport. Television makes the cars seem as though they’re going about 15 miles an hour, which torpedoes the thrill aspect. Further, not experiencing the deafening sound or even the smells of the cars is a big factor in making this sport a total dud on TV.
6. Horse Racing
Unless you’re a degenerate gambler that can’t make it to the track, don’t bother watching the ponies on TV. You’ll get sucked in to 45 minutes of crap in anticipation of two minutes of action. I suppose you can throw a Kentucky Derby party and enjoy yourself, but the race on television won’t be the star. Even a trip to your local divey track is better than the finest the sport has to offer on television. On TV, you only get to watch one race, and you probably aren’t gambling. Pass.
Yeah, we’re gonna call poker a sport. It’s on all the sports channels and it’s people competing for money. Close enough, okay? It may be a sport, but it’s one hell of a boring sport. Besides the fact that watching people match wits with playing cards is not, how you say, fun. The drama is sanitized out. These poker players show absolutely no emotion, so it’s damn near impossible to care if these guys win and lose.
I like watching baseball on TV. But when I say “watching,” I mean “having on in the background while I live my life.” It’s pleasant, and I enjoy the sounds of the crowd, the skill of most of the announcers (no sport has better announcers than baseball, by and large), and the periodic moments of action. However, it never captures my attention. I have tried to focus on a baseball game for three hours and succeeded during the playoffs, but in July when the Royals are playing the Angels, you already know that none of this is going to matter, so leave on the TV, but you better find something else to do.
While people could argue that bowling is just a boring sport and would probably be right, the TV makes it more boring. It’s not like bowlers have magnetic charisma, and you must experience the sport in person to enjoy it, but bowling seems very one-dimensional when being broadcast. Pool for instance, gets surprisingly watchable when aired on TV. Not so with bowling. Factor in the announcers with all the charm of your high school driving instructor, and you’ve got a dud.
2. Medium/Long Distance Running
Step, repeat. Step, repeat. Repeat until bored. If I have to tell you why watching a person run (especially on a round track) for anything more than four minutes is boring, then you should go to the doctor, because you might be a moron. The last moments may be a competitive struggle, but the wait is arduous. If I wanted to watch people run all day, I’d…I’d…well, I can’t imagine an instance in which I would want to watch people run in a straight line all day.
Sure, the novelty of the brooms, the pucks that look like Snorks, and the crazy Norwegian trousers kept our attention to the point where the sport became something of a cultural phenomenon, but make no mistake: the sport is enjoyed by 90% of its audience on an ironic level. If this sport didn’t play on a scale as grand as the Olympics, people couldn’t change the channel quick enough. Every four years is just the right amount of frequency.