The Ultimate Sports Tryptophan

Dan Carson@@DrCarson73Trending Lead WriterNovember 27, 2013

The Ultimate Sports Tryptophan

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    Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

    Remember tryptophan?

    It's that amino acid found in turkeys that people blame for the sleepy feeling they experience after every Thanksgiving dinner.

    "It's the tryptophan!" your aunt crows as she lies on the couch. "It makes you sleepy!"

    This is a misnomer, as it turns out. Tryptophan does not make you feel tired—eating pounds of rich food like a starving Kodiak bear makes you tired. And while the tryptophan myth doesn't hold up, the following sports phenomena have been scientifically linked to fatigue and/or sleepiness in fans.

    These athletes, teams and occurrences are the tranquilizer darts of sports—and unlike tryptophan, they've proven their ability to put fans to sleep.


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    Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

    NASCAR is a sport—just not a sport some of us can get into.

    I could run down the age-old yarn of why watching people drive around a track for hours is boring, but the truth is, it all boils down to personal preference. 

    NASCAR fans say "tomato." I turn the channel.

Tim Duncan

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    "Aw, man...why you got to go pick on Tim Duncan?"

    [Sigh] I'm sorry, guys, but Tim Duncan is boring. He's a great ballplayer. He wins games. However, watching Tim Duncan work through his expert post game is like watching a hermit crab move into a new shell.

    You respect it, and you know you couldn't do it yourself—but if Most Extreme Elimination Challenge is on the other channel, you're touching that dial.

Trent Richardson Runs

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Handoff plus falling forward equals touchdown.

    This is the formula for a Trent Richardson run, which is the white noise machine of rushing touchdowns.

Big Ten Football

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    Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

    As a Big Ten football fan, I have to say: A change is a-coming in the conference.

    Big Ten football games are becoming less boring, and the stereotype that these schools can't play flashy football is crumbling at the edges. Case in point: A basement squad like Indiana has begun throwing up arcade numbers almost every game.

    The conference has seen the likes of Terrelle Pryor, Denard Robinson and Antwaan Randle El—all electrifying quarterbacks in their own rights.

    That being said, the conference has developed a sticky reputation for bad weather, low-scoring affairs and weak showings against athletic, non-conference opponents. Until the B1G starts playing against, and winning, over teams like Alabama and Oregon, it'll have to contend with the "boring" label pushed by SEC fans and the like.

Conspiracy Theories

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    Oh, so you think that David Stern rigs the NBA Draft lottery? Go on.

    [Passes out into bowl of French onion soup].

Steroid Scandals

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    Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

    We don't care anymore.

    Steroid scandals would remain a tantalizing issue if they weren't always an issue now. The sheer amount of coverage they demand is desensitizing and muddling for sports fans. Steroids scandals are giant, televised blame games that lag on for years.

    On a day-to-day basis, it's nearly impossible to maintain a sense of outrage toward the players and entities involved—a truth A-Rod is putting to the ultimate test. 

    However, until he admits re-upping his PED usage or the federal government finds him guilty of perjury, the truth is we're vaguely interested at best.


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    Craig Hacker/Getty Images

    Unless it's a game between The Dude, Walter Sobchak and The Jesus, no average sports fan is going to stick out an entire televised bowling match.

    Hey, I didn't make the rules. That's just how it is.

Midseason Baseball

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    Sarah Glenn/Getty Images

    There is a magical time of the season in every sport where the games are incredible, the matchups are compelling and each outcome means everything.

    The midseason of Major League Baseball is not one of these times.

    Sure, the games still count—but the newness of the season has worn off and the postseason remains a speck on the horizon. Unless your team is in the middle of a magical win streak or you've signed your very own Puig, chances are you aren't glued to the television every night.

Wisconsin Basketball

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    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Pesky, time-killing awfulness—awfulness that works.

    Watching Bo Ryan's team win a game is like watching a swarm of goofy ants devour a caterpillar in real time. They're not bigger or stronger than their prey, just more annoying and persistent. 

    The worst part is, they're highly effective.

Stodgy Sportscasters

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    Without calling anyone out by name, I think it's safe to say a lukewarm, pedantic sportscaster can turn almost any contest into a snoozer.

    Sportscasters with monotone voices and minimal inflection are the opposite of Gus Johnson, and therefore the opposite of edge-of-your-seat, moment-capturing entertainment.

End of Game Fouling Frenzies

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    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Just let it go, man.

    There are few things more boring and infuriating than watching a basketball team that has no chance to win go into foul mode for the last three minutes of the game. 

    Coaches are paid to do everything in their power to win a game—I understand that. However, when you're down eight points and there's minutes of game left to be played, don't play Hack-a-Mole.

    Watching a team draw out a contest for another twenty minutes by fouling to the bitter end is tantamount to cruel and unusual punishment—especially if the contest bleeds over into your team's game.

The Tour De France

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    USA TODAY Sports

    "It's just a bunch of guys riding bikes."

    I hear you, America, and coming from a weirdo who actually does road-riding, believe me when I say that the post-Lance era of professional cycling has taken a nose dive in watchability. 

    It's still entertaining for those who already enjoy the sport, but today's grand tour events lack the star power and name-brand recognition to draw in new fans.

    Sad as it is, the sport markets itself much more effectively when a cocky American is utterly dominating the field.

Any Draft After the First Hour

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    Mike Stobe/Getty Images

    The first hour of any draft is electric.

    Expectations are shattered, moves are made and uncertainty builds before every pick. After that first hour, however, the proceedings become exponentially less gripping.

    Once the top talents are off the board, drafts become a grinding process of teams thinning the ranks. The only drama left at this point centers on the one poor sap still sweating it out in the green room—and even that situation is more awkward than it is suspenseful.

Alabama Football

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Nick Saban is morose, his wins are predictable and the national title games in which Alabama plays don't offer a speck of competition.

    Alabama football is a machine—which is a compliment to the level of excellence Saban and his program have been able to maintain.

    However, machines are not living, breathing organisms. They don't offer much drama. AJ McCarron and the offense get the job done in methodical fashion, while the defense continues to devour opponents as per standard operating procedure. 

    They are elite—and no fun to watch for anyone except 'Bama fans.


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