Since the Gold Glove has been covered in a previous Top 7 (the worst Gold Gloves handed out of all-time), we’ll make that a segway into this week’s topic: the biggest wastes of time in sports. I am going to save the biggest wastes of time in baseball for next March to get ready for the season–these will cover all other sports. I’m sure that there are some wastes of time that I left out, for that I apologize.
7. NBA Regular Season
This particular entry is more of a protest against the insane amount of teams that make the playoffs (and you could include hockey in on this as well). More than 50% of the entire league makes the playoffs. It definitely waters down the regular season, and it occasionally will allow for teams to coast and turn it on in the playoffs (the ’95 Rockets for instance), especially since the big prize is having one more home game per series than your opponent. If baseball allowed 16 teams in the playoffs, the Yankees and Red Sox would make it 3,000 consecutive seasons, while under .500 teams would get in nearly every season.
Complain all you want about the length of the baseball season, but their playoffs sure are not watered down (even if they are compared to the miniscule four teams that used to get in just 16 years ago).
6. The NCAA Play-In Game
Using the same NBA formula, if the NCAA Tournament were expanded to more than 50% of Division 1 teams, I really don’t think that’s a bad thing. A 128-team tournament would only extend the gambling and pools for another couple of games, and it would be hard to find someone against that. That being said, it’s hard to get too excited for the McBad State versus Less Than Stellar University playing on a Tuesday night for the right to get the living crap kicked out of them by a #1 seed a couple of days later. Most (all?) pools don’t even include that particular game in their total simply because there isn’t anyone picking the team to advance except for mentally insane people.
If you made a Top 7 of “most exciting things yet to happen,” a 16 beating a 1 would have to make the top three wouldn’t it? Especially since a 3-0 comeback has happened now…###MORE###
5. Starting Lineup Intro Videos for Bad Teams
Honestly, after the Jordan Bulls were out of the NBA, starting lineup intro videos should have just been retired altogether. Compared to the “Eye in the Sky” Ray Clay intro, anything was minor league. I remember the Utah Jazz intros during the Bulls/Jazz finals were pretty bad, but at least they were a good team. It’s embarrassing to watch a team 35 games under .500 get introduced with the lights off and lasers flashing while players and fans feign excitement. Shouldn’t there be a rule that you have to maintain a certain winning percentage to be excitedly introduced or at the very least have a decent crowd on hand?
And if you are below a certain threshold, Steven Wright should introduce the team, or just not even introduce them at all, they just stroll onto the floor. In this intro video below, the Miami Heat aren’t a terrible team, but there are roughly 250 people in the stands and they’re supposed to get hyped up based on some techno music and flashing lights?
4. WWE Tag Team Titles
Back in the first wrestling boom, the tag team titles meant something. These were the days of the Hart Foundation and the British Bulldogs (with Matilda). Not the second wrestling boom, when they would throw together tag teams four seconds before the show went on the air and have them win the belts a week later. It was amazing how badly they watered down all of their titles, but the tag belts were the worst of them all. I’ll still say that the Legion of Doom was the best tag team ever incidentally.
3. NFL Preseason
I went to a St. Louis Rams preseason game once and left at halftime. I saw Space Jam, My Giant, White Man’s Burden, Blankman, Jerky Boys, and Police Academy 4 (twice), in the theater, and didn’t walk out of any of them. Let’s just say that there are better entertainment choices than going to an NFL preseason game.
2. The BCS
If you’re simply going to vote on the best team in college football to determine the winner at the end of the season, why not just do that for every game? Don’t keep score. Simply have the teams play for 60 minutes, and then have a panel of experts—coaches, former players, and Athletic Directors—vote on who they think the best team was for that particular game.
I realize that the BCS has helped a little bit in getting the top teams to play each other, but in any sport that makes sense, there could not nor would never be an undefeated team at the end of the season that was not the champion.
1. The ESPY Awards
Evelyn Ashford is responsible for the one of the most asinine comments that I can remember since I have been following sports. At the first ESPYs in 1993, the former sprinter said that her ESPY award was “better than a gold medal.” People in the audience gasped when she said it. It’s almost like ESPN paid her off to do so.
How could she possibly say that? Dressing up in suits to accept awards about sports from a sports cable network is about as absurd as it can get.