By Eric Thomas
We all love sports. There are very few people in this world who are completely sports illiterate any more. The rise of 24 hour sports media and the internet has made the games more exciting, accessible and fun. With blogs, call in radio, and several networks we can have as much or as little as we want. How many people, only a few weeks ago, swore up and down with red faces that they’d NEVER watch soccer because it’s boring, only to find themselves standing on a chair cheering team USA? A lot of people, because games are awesome.
But nothing’s perfect. Nothing can possibly be perfect.
There are things in sports so boring that it’s hard to justify their existence. While HDTV has done a lot to make things more exciting, there are some rituals that technology can’t help. Here are the five most crushing bores in sports:
5. Halftime shows — Yes, EVERY halftime show is boring. Even the Superbowl halftime show. Even a decent artist can only play for three seconds, so they result to a mashup of classics alongside a full version of the new single everyone hates. You could get Bad Brains to play and it would still be boring. Why does there need to be extra entertainment in my entertainment? Why not just reserve the time for bathroom and beer refills, like the almighty intended? Why must you be tortured by the relentless pounding and bleating of a marching band? Horns are the worst invention in human history. They sound like someone beating livestock to death. Sure, it sounds okay in SOME jazz, but we have to be willing to make sacrifices if we’re going to make the world a better place. All wind instruments should be melted down tomorrow.
4. Pre-game introductions — This is one area where pro wrestling ruined sports. Every athlete needs “walk on” music now. Players used to walk on the field and start. Now we have to have fireworks, loud music, spotlights and ridiculous amounts of people waving flags and screaming. Maybe this was a good idea at one point, but it’s past the point where it makes any sense. Run onto the field or floor as a team and skip the nonsense.
3. “Preseason“ — Exhibition games are the worst, and they come at the worst possible time. You’ve been STARVING for your favorite sport, it’s SO CLOSE to the season, and what does your favorite franchise do? They play a series of meaningless games for practice. You get excited about it EVERY YEAR. You may even buy snacks and invite a few friends over. You may even buy tickets to the game. By the time you reach the second quarter, you’re probably already over it. You’ve gotten whatever small taste you need, and now you and whatever friend you’ve taken to the game become locked in an unspoken endurance competition. You both want to leave, but you don’t want to be the first person to suggest it. You don’t want to be rude, but you’ve wanted to leave since the second offensive series. You’ve dragged this person to the preseason game or you’ve agreed to go with this person and it would be rude to suggest leaving. So you sit there through the third quarter endlessly analyzing blocking schemes and linebacker speed, even though you have no idea what you’re talking about. When one person finally surrenders to the crushing boredom and asks if the other person wants to leave, the suggestion is usually so welcome that it’s almost greeted with a hug or an overeager “YES!” and then the two of you have to drive home pretending that you’re glad you left the house in the first place.
2. All-Star Games – There is nothing, NOTHING more boring than an All-Star game in any sport. Exhibition games are bad, but All-Star games take it to another level. No one is playing their best because they know it doesn’t count, and because it doesn’t count there’s nothing at stake. It’s a useless exercise; the entire thing a throwback to when you didn’t have the internet. It used to be a chance for fans to see other teams’ star players, because there were no highlight shows or cable channels devoted to a single sport. Now it’s just a silly exercise that everyone wishes would go away. There is nothing, NOTHING more boring than an All-Star game.
1. The Home Run Derby – I lied. There is something worse: ANY SKILLS COMPETITION. The Three Point Shooting Contest, the Dunk Contest, and the Home Run Derby are like watching grass grow. I can’t believe people actually pay money to see what amounts to batting practice. They can put as much pomp and circumstance into it as they please, there is simply no way to ever make the Derby exciting. Its the worst thing on television, and Chris Berman gets pilloried every year but deserves a medal. He’s forced to host the two most horrifyingly boring broadcasts every year—the Derby AND the NFL Draft—and somehow he keeps his sanity. Is there anything more boring than a skills competition? Is there?