|Readers: Overrated sporting events
From the Page 2 mailbag
Earlier this week we presented our choices for the 10 most overrated events in sports and we asked you to offer your choices.
Page 2 readers responded with more than 700 e-mails. Below we've listed your top 10. Be sure to vote in the poll at right to crown the No. 1 most overrated event in sports.
1. Pro Bowl (62 letters)
Speaking of the beach, isn't that where Robert Edwards blew up his knee? Sure, it could have happened anywhere, but you can't tell me the thought of a career-ending injury in a glorified scrimmage hasn't gone through the minds of the players. Thus, the players play safe, and don't go all out so they don't hurt themselves or others.
The only difference between the Pro Bowl and the all "insert preferred football commentator here" team is the Pro Bowl has a game and gains a few extra bucks from the contract. Either way, the point is that the best players are recognized, and we have the highlight film to showcase that fact.
There is also very little rivalry between the AFC and NFC. In baseball, you can argue the DH, basketball has East versus West, and hockey has the East/West thing and World vs. North America to a lesser extent. Football is about the divisional rivalry, because of its short schedule. The only AFC/NFC rivalries involve Super Bowl teams of the past three years or so, Jets versus Giants, and a few other scattered games where a coach or superstar player changes teams.
Nothing like trying to build interest in a game six days after the season's climax. It is the worst of the major All-Star games, which is saying a lot, since all of them are pretty useless.
It's sad, but the most excited I ever got watching one of these snooze-fests was when some guy won a million dollars for kicking a field goal during halftime.
2. Heisman Trophy (49 letters)
Look at this year's selection. Leading up to the national championship game, college football fans were treated to two breathtaking clinics in the art of quarterbacking by Rex Grossman and Joey Harrington. Then Ken Dorsey dissected Nebraska. Eric Crouch quite literally did not belong on the same field with Dorsey. He has no future in professional football at any position.
And while we're at it, why don't we just go ahead and call it what it is: The award given to the best quarterback or running back from a really big school.
Who cares about who wins or not? All it does is gives us a chance to see who is going to flounder in the NFL. When is the last time a Heisman Trophy winner has been successful in the NFL? I believe it was 1995 with Eddie George and before that was 1988 with Barry Sanders. Other than that, it is the "Who is the Most Overrated Player?" trophy.
3. Indianapolis 500 (32 letters)
When they get the best drivers in the world back to the Indy 500, it will regain its status. Until then, it's nothing more than just another IRL event.
4. NBA slam dunk contest (28 letters)
It's all been done, move on.
The guy who thought the wheel was a good idea this year should be tied to it and subjected to Charles Barkley throwing knives at him. It was horrible.
5. BCS college bowl system (25 letters)
Without a viable playoff system, the Division I-A college football regular season is about as useful as Dennis Miller is on "Monday Night Football." As soon as a team loses its first game, it only has a shot at a national title with good schedule strength. And if it loses twice, then they just set their sights on a useless bowl bid.
The BCS doesn't work. It causes more problems than it solves. Why don't we just use the bowls as sites for playoff games, and we could rotate which bowl gets the national title game? That way the galleryfurniture.com Bowl might actually mean something as a first-round playoff game.
6. NIT (18 letters)
Show me another tournament where the winners should chant, "We're 66th, We're 66th!"
Without a doubt, the most overhyped sporting event is the Super Bowl. The game is usually lopsided, the halftime show is ridiculous, and the commercials are, well, commercials. This year's game was one of the best Super Bowls ever, and it only fell in the range of good to very good.
To be overrated, an event must fall short of expectations. Plenty of sporting events are bad, but people have no expectations that they be anything other than bad. The expectations of the Super Bowl are exceedingly high, being the championship game for the most exciting professional sport. The game never lives up to expectations.
Do they stop the Wimbledon finals halfway through and drag out Barry Manilow to sing a couple of songs? Why do they think this is a good idea for football?
8. X Games (12 letters)
It's never eventful, and these sports will never be truly accepted in American sports culture, which in my opinion, is the way it should be.
If I wanted to watch pothead shoplifters compete against each other, I'd tune in to more NBA games.
9. NBA All-Star Game (11 letters)
I do not care if the NBA thinks people want high-scoring games. Watching one conference beat the other by a score of 150-140 in a regulation 48-minute game is ludicrous. All that is missing is the 50-point basket used in MTV's Rock 'n' Jock Basketball game. Wait, let me take that back before David Stern decides to use it.
10. Olympics (nine letters)
Maybe this was a good time back in the day when people ran away from lions a lot, but now that we have real games (which at least have some interesting points, not counting the slam dunk contest), do we need to be subjected to this? I mean, why don't they add some interesting twists, like spinning in a circle on a baseball bat, then running in a straight line. At least that would be amusing.
Please, someone call Bill Veeck and get him in here to add some spice to weeks of really boring events before I fall asleep.
Got to be the Winter Olympics: They're giving gold medals for events so goofy that they could have been dreamed up by a bunch of fifth-graders bored on a snow day.
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