25 'Sacred' Things in Sports That Are Overrated

Nick Dimengo@@itsnickdimengoFeatured ColumnistApril 30, 2013

25 'Sacred' Things in Sports That Are Overrated

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    In any sport, it's not uncommon for fans to think something is sacred.

    With players becoming bigger and faster, having the opportunity to break numerous records and owners having deep pockets to construct billion dollar stadiums, the word 'sacred' doesn't mean what it used to.

    That's why we're looking at the things in sports that don't carry the weight it may have back when our parents were growing up.

Catching a Foul Ball

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    It's pretty obvious that catching a baseball at a game is one of the best feats that a fan can have happen to him or her.

    Not only does it show that you're not afraid of a ball zipping at you at high speeds, but if you use your bare hands—or an alternate option like the guy in the video—you're acknowledged by the entire section.

    But come on, you're a grown man. There's no reason any of us should be this excited over a $6 baseball.

Your First Participant's Ribbon

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    Go ahead and go back to your parents house and see all the trophies, medals and ribbons they still have from your childhood.

    It might feel good walking into a room where your youth sports career is so appreciated, but how have any of those "Best Little Hustler" awards helped you now?

    Probably very little.

Being a Preseason No. 1 in Any Sport

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    We got this idea after reading Mark Schlabach's most recent "Way-Too-Early Top 25" for next year's college football season.

    Though the title of the article says as much, people still will comment on it and rip him to shreds for moving Ohio State ahead of reigning back-to-back national champion Alabama.

    Settle down, everyone. As we've seen in the past, even if the season started tomorrow, that doesn't guarantee anyone in the top spot of anything.

An Auctioned Item

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    Get this: The baseball that Josh Hamilton so unfortunately dropped in last year's deciding game to win the AL West against the A's was actually purchased for $1,280 the other day in an auction.

    First off, was that play so dramatically historical that it even needed to be auctioned?

    And second, who in their right mind would pay that kind of loot for it?

    Everyone wants something to remember their favorite sports moment or player, but we think a picture with your family or buddies is much more economically friendly.

Rushing the Court

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    The conversation of this becoming too cliche began a couple years ago after a couple unfortunate instances when kids rushed the floor/field.

    At this point, we just don't think it carries the weight it once did say, 20 years ago.

    It seems like nowadays, any college team that beats a squad ranked in the Top 25 will warrant a full-fledged storming by the home team's coeds.

    It's fun as hell and part of the college experience, but there should be official rules saying when and when it's not appropriate.

Pitching a Complete Game Shutout

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    Don't get us wrong, this is a difficult thing to do in sports.

    Think about how many times we see a leadoff hitter in the top of the first go after the first pitch and rope one into left field stands?

    Just like that, end of possibility.

    But as tough as it is to go the distance, it doesn't mean it should be celebrated like it used to—especially since guys way back when used to last a hell of a lot longer than pitchers now.

    These days, pitchers are praised for doing their jobs. Come on, guys!

The Derby

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    Believe me, we love getting tanked and partying with a ton of people all day too, but not for what it costs to do it on Derby day.

    Go ahead and argue that we just don't get it, but trust me, being a UK grad, there were plenty of times we had the chance to make the trip trip to Louisville the day after finals.

    It's great fun and all, but unless you're shelling out big bucks for grandstand seats, you'll probably be passed out by the time the 6:24 post time comes around for the big race anyway—the Mint Juleps will bite you.

Pregame Analysis

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    For all the hype and banter about a sporting event before it actually happens, we sure as hell don't know what we're talking about.

    This goes from the hours-long discussion before title games all the way to the in-depth analysis we get from guys like Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay for the NFL draft—who are anything but accurate all the time.

    We continue to listen to it because we love sports, but just because they're getting paid for their opinion doesn't mean they know how things are going to go down.

Becoming the Madden Cover Boy

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    Forget the cover jinx, Calvin Johnson pretty much wiped the floor of that after his sensational 2012 season.

    To grace the cover of the greatest sports video game ever created is an honor, but since EA allowed the fans to decide who gets it, it's not nearly as fun—or always deserving.

    Just look at this year's winner.

    We loved Barry Sanders when he played, but Adrian Peterson just blew our minds less than a year after tearing his ACL. Where's the love?

Anything Signed by Alex Rodriguez After 2007

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    Just take a look at Alex Rodriguez's stats since he won his most recent MVP award in 2007.

    A-Rod will most definitely head into the Hall one day, but with his career in jeopardy following injuries and inconsistency—as well as his admission of PEDs early in his Rangers career—anything that has his John Hancock on it shouldn't be as valuable to anyone anymore.

Bulletin Board Material

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    In an age where Twitter and Facebook rule supreme as the No. 1 outlet for athletes to say and do stupid things, bulletin board talk should not be a thing anymore—if it really ever was in the first place.

    Guys like Terrell Suggs use the media to bad-mouth opponents all the time, so if an athlete needs his words as extra motivation to gear up for a game against him, we question his motivation to play in the first place.

Playoff Beards

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    So let's get this straight.

    At least a handful of guys decide that to build unity—and fill their superstitions—they'll grow playoff beards in hopes that it helps give them extra power to make a run at a championship?

    Facial hair is great and all, but if there's only one winner in the end, then how can the other teams justify doing this each year if they didn't end up lifting the trophy?

    It's in good fun, but good lord it's played out.

Throwing Octopus on the Ice

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    It's one of the oldest traditions in hockey, but the allure of seeing it happen all the time has just worn off a bit.

    Started by the Cusimano brothers in 1952, Red Wings fans actually have rules to follow before deciding they're going to do it.

    Thankfully, we haven't seen this spread to other sports; otherwise that could get pretty messy.


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    So do sabermetrics work?

    Who really knows, but many MLB teams would have you think it's the only way toward building a contender.

    Considering the Giants have won two World Series in the past three seasons using the "old school" philosophy of scouts actually relying on the eye test, we'll probably never really know.

    But it's something that in our minds is just malarkey.

Any Non-BCS Bowl Game

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    While earning a trophy at the end of the season is always nice, it doesn't quite feel the same when you're holding the one with the killer whale jumping on it and not the one with the crystal football.

    We believe in the old saying, "you always want to win your last game," but work a little harder in the games in between the first and last one, and there might be a better chance at playing in a more meaningful postseason game.

Wrigley Field

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    Wrigley Field is one of the most majestic parks in all of sports, and it has a ton of history that we respect—even if most of it is bad.

    But just because it was the set for one of the best baseball movies ever created, doesn't mean it's something it's not a dump.

    Just ask some of the players how they feel about the place, and you'll see why it's not as cool as it might appear.

Any All-Star Game Appearance

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    We have a very hard time accepting the fact that the Chiefs—the same team that finished with the worst record in the NFL and selected No. 1 in the draft—could send six players to the Pro Bowl.

    There once was a time when being called an All-Star meant something, but nowadays, with the way the voting process is with fans stuffing ballot boxes, it's nothing but a popularity contest.

    Hopefully we see some changes to make it a privilege again.

Breaking a World Record

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    If you're a child of the '90s, you probably remember a fella by the name of Michael Johnson from the 1996 Olympic Games.

    Johnson not only had the brash attitude needed by superstar athletes, wearing the gold spikes and chain while running his events, but he overpowered his competition in his events, taking home four gold medals in his career.

    But all of his world records have since been surpassed by athletes since, meaning that even though it's hard to imagine anyone faster than Usain Bolt, it will happen someday—rest assured.

A Super Bowl Ring

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    Since the beginning of time, athletes have told us that it's all about one little thing—a championship ring.

    But how can we take them seriously when we see so many athletes pawning off their bling on ebay and other auction sites to make a couple extra bucks?

    We know not having the ring around their finger doesn't discount the accomplishments in the record books, but why aren't these things more valuable to so many guys?

Having the Top-Rated Recruiting Class

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    As a Kentucky grad, you don't need to tell us what it means have the best recruiting class in the nation year after year.

    Just as the previously mentioned "accomplishment" of being a preseason No. 1, having the top talent in the nation means absolutely nothing if things go awry on the field of play.

    Seeing how Southern Cal and Big Blue's season's ended so unceremoniously in 2012 and '13 should remind people that games aren't won on signing day.

Overpaying for Tickets

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    Fans have a pass when it comes to overpaying for tickets to a big game, but it's only when the team that they've given their blood, sweat and (lots of) tears to is playing in a title game.

    Yes, the Super Bowl is amazing to experience, the problem is why are you willing to drop so much money on something that you don't really care about?

    As a Browns fan, we had no dog in the fight when it came to this year's contest between the Ravens and Niners, so why spend so much to make the trip to NOLA to see it in person?

Getting an Invite to the NFL Draft

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    Assuming you watched the most recent NFL draft, you know exactly why this isn't an honor worth accepting.

    Just ask Geno Smith what it's like to be anticipating going somewhere in the first round, yet with each pick getting a little more nervous as you continue to get passed over.

    Some who fell may use it as motivation to their careers—Aaron Rodgers maybe?—but we'd rather just save the drama for our own living room with friends and family than national TV.

Air Jordans

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    Our adoration for Michael Jordan is pretty well-known if you've ever read any of our articles, so this one was tough to add.

    Though MJ took sports marketing above and beyond anything people imagined it'd ever be, doesn't mean people should still be going ape for his kicks, spending over $200 for a pair.

    Admittedly, we got the newest ones from like second grade all the way through ninth, but that's when he was still playing. It's time to move on now, sneaker heads.

Winning a Tour De France

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    This one's laughable.

    Though it's one of the most grueling challenges in all of sports, testing someone's mental and physical capabilities, it means very little to finish with the yellow jersey these days.

    With all the allegations and admissions of PEDs, regardless of someone being clean or not, there will continue to be questions on if the title is legit—or not.

Touchdown Jesus

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    Growing up in the Midwest, we've been to Notre Dame's campus multiple times.

    Yes, it's gorgeous and something any college football fan can appreciate, but trust us, it's not because of this mural that you're excited.

    In fact, we've never even snapped a picture of the thing.

    From 1950-90, high school kids cared about all these little things that Notre Dame had to offer because of its great history, but not until Brian Kelly rejuvenated the program by having it step outside its traditional tightened-up policies have recruits started taking notice of the Irish.