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.

Here's how Page 2 editors ranked the 10 most overrated sporting events:

1. Any boxing match involving Mike Tyson
2. Heisman Trophy
3. French Open
4. Pro Bowl
5. NIT
6. Major conference postseason hoops tournaments
7. PGA Championship
8. Army-Navy football game
9. Heavyweight championship fight weigh-ins
10. NBA slam dunk contest

Honorable mention: Major League Baseball draft, any Skins Game not involving Tiger Woods, Preseason NIT, NBA lottery draft, NHL draft, Winter Olympics, Australian Open tennis tournament, Any college football game played before New Year's Day, Goodwill Games, Super Bowl

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)
Many players haven't seen action for a month, and have been recovering from the beatings of the 16-game season (not training for a game versus the best players in the NFL). The only reason these guys would want to worry about their physique for this month is because they get to spend a week in Hawaii, which means partying and being at the beach ...

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.

Kurt Warner
Few dispute that the Pro Bowl is the worst of the major sports All-Star games.
Lastly, the Pro Bowl was played last weekend, and I couldn't tell you what happened. Moreover, it doesn't really bother me.
Scott Friemann
Lawrence, Mass.

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.
Austin, Texas

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.
Marc Cohen
Tempe, Ariz.

2. Heisman Trophy (49 letters)
What makes the Heisman Trophy so awful is that it's voted on by people who get paid to follow college football, yet they almost always choose the wrong guy. Andre Ware, Gino Torretta, Rashaan Salaam -- the list goes on. What sport are the voters watching?

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.

Eric Crouch
Was Eric Crouch the wrong guy?
Am I the only one who noticed that every year the Huskers win 10 games, compete for the national championship, and run up the score on crappy teams? It's been this way for 25 years! Giving Crouch credit for the Huskers' success is like giving the rooster credit for the sunrise.

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.
Jeffrey Staggs

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.
Chris Breseman
Aurora, Colo.

3. Indianapolis 500 (32 letters)
This event, once the pinnacle of auto racing, has become a joke. The best drivers don't compete there anymore, and when they do, they win going away. It wouldn't be so overrated, except for its history. There is so much TV coverage for an event that in all reality comes in a distant second to its sister, the Brickyard 400 for the NASCAR circuit.

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.
Earl Reed
Newark, Del.

4. NBA slam dunk contest (28 letters)
Jason Richardson
Too bad for Jason Richardson and any new contestants. It's all been done.
The slam dunk contest this year was better than years past for the sole reason that it showed off Dr. J, Dominique, and other guys who used to make it exciting to watch. When Steve Francis is your "Big Name," you know you're in trouble.

It's all been done, move on.
Ryan Kiefer
Ithaca, N.Y.

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.
Ryan Nilsson
East Windsor, Conn.

5. BCS college bowl system (25 letters)
They have totally taken the thrill and joy out of a hungover New Year's Day. Now you have meaningless games and bowls with teams no one really cares about. Who really wants to watch Bowl? Figuring out the BCS is more complicated than figuring out women or QB passing efficiency ratings. Those are three things that man will never fully grasp.
Quincy, Mass.

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 Bowl might actually mean something as a first-round playoff game.
Sam Wade
St. Louis

6. NIT (18 letters)
Not that it receives much hype, but the fact it exists and is actually televised is one of the biggest jokes in sports. The invitees are like the people who don't get an invitation to your wedding, but you invite them to meet you at the bar after the reception.

Show me another tournament where the winners should chant, "We're 66th, We're 66th!"
Ron Council

Adam Vinatieri
Adam Vinatieri made Super Bowl XXXVI merely good to very good.
7. Super Bowl (16 letters)
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.
San Jose, Calif.

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?
Tim Lester
Chaska, Minn.

8. X Games (12 letters)
As a full-time veteran in "extreme sports" for more than 10 years, these games are appalling. Its like the NFL Pro Bowl. Hardly any of the sports' true stars would be caught dead there. The whole point of these sports in the first place was so you could be athletic, while not being lumped in with the rest of bone-headed jock America.

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.
C. Brown
Bellingham, Wash.

If I wanted to watch pothead shoplifters compete against each other, I'd tune in to more NBA games.
Shawn Miles
West Jordan, Utah

9. NBA All-Star Game (11 letters)
Kobe Bryant, Ray Allen
All Kobe Bryant, left, and Ray Allen missed was the 50-point Rock 'n' Jock basket.
Without a doubt, the most overrated sporting event is the NBA All-Star Game. Who wants to sit and watch overpaid millionaires miss dunks, hang out on the bench to talk with celebrities and play no defense?

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.
Stephen Frickx
Oak Park, Ill.

10. Olympics (nine letters)
Summer or Winter Olympics. I don't understand, does anyone really care? What is the point? Why is running really fast in a straight line and jumping over things special? Do we really need three or four weeks devoted to this?

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.
Greg Kushto

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.
Jubal Miller
Richmond, Ky.

Also receiving votes

  • Any fight involving Mike Tyson
  • ESPYs
  • NBA regular season
  • Boxing weigh-ins
  • NBA "lottery" system
  • NFL draft coverage
  • WNBA
  • Army vs. Navy college football
  • Tour de France


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