Must-See BCS TV?: Ranking the 20 Biggest Worldwide Sporting Events
Entertaining things are to come with the BCS Championship game less then two weeks away. Certain sporting events simply capture the moment. Champions are crowned, and hearts are broken.
Every fan will watch their favorites without hesitation. There are certain sporting events that are a must to see regardless of who is playing. From Africa to Canada, the world produces amazing moments in sports every year.
Here is an American prospective into the 20 biggest and best worldwide sporting events.
20. NBA All-Star Game
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
The annual midseason NBA All-Star Game began in 1951 at the Boston Garden. The game matches players voted on by the fans and coaches from the Eastern and Western Conferences.
A reward for fans and players, the event has became a weekend showcase including a dunk contest, three-point shootout and a display of the league's young talent.
Playing little defense, the best in the NBA play an entertaining game of "rat ball" featuring fancy passes and amazing displays of athleticism.
19. The Summer X-Games
Harry How/Getty Images
Not to forget about the Winter X-Games, but the annual extreme summer events showcase now held in Los Angeles is far more entertaining. The Summer X-Games first took place in Vermont in 1995.
The brain-child of ESPN, the games use a format similar to the Olympic games in rewarding athletes with gold, silver and bronze medals in their individual events.
Notable moments include Tony Hawk's 900 in skateboarding, Travis Pastrana's double back-flip in freestyle motocross and Anthony Napolitan's double front flip on a bicycle.
18. Wimbledon Tennis Tournament
Al Bello/Getty Images
The Championships in Wimbledon is the most recognizable tennis tournament in the world. One of four grand slam events, it has been held at the All England Tennis Club in the London suburb since 1877.
Every June, the top players from around the world compete on rye grass for Wimbledon titles. The facility includes 19 tennis courts and spectators must adhere to a very strict dress code, and show Royal patronage.
17. College World Series
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
The first College World Series took place in Kalamazoo, Michigan in 1947. The CWS has took-up permanent residence in Omaha, Nebraska since 1950.
Using regional and super-regional sites, 64 NCAA Division I squads reach the postseason each year. Of the 64, only eight will advance to Omaha.
South Carolina took home the title in 2010, and USC has claimed a record 12 NCAA titles in baseball.
16. Daytona 500
Robert Laberge/Getty Images
A five-hundred mile auto race held in Daytona, Florida the annual event is regarded as the "Super Bowl of Stock Car Racing."
It was first held in 1959, and won by Lee Petty. The racing event has grown in popularity over time and was last won by Jamie McMurray in 2010.
Richard Petty has won the race an amazing seven times. The race has become a week long event, and kicks off the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
15. The NFL Draft
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
This event includes no competition, but fans are just as passionate about personnel moves as they are about performance on the field. The NFL held their first annual draft in 1936 and has continued to draw more fans every year.
Moved into prime time to accommodate the public, analysts such as Mel Kiper Jr. have made careers focusing on the importance of this event.
The decisions made by NFL teams during this event provide the hope and expectations for the upcoming season.
14. Indianapolis 500
Vincent Laforet/Getty Images
While the importance of the Indianapolis 500 has diminished in recent years, their is no denying the tradition of this great race. Indianapolis Motor Speedway was built in 1909, and the first race was won by Ray Harroun.
Between the stands and infield, it is believed the speedway holds a capacity of nearly 400,000 racing fans. Traditionally held on Memorial Day, the Indy 500 has been captured four times by A.J. Foyt, Rick Mears and Al Unser.
13. UEFA European Football Championship
Ryan Pierse/Getty Images
Widely overlooked state side, the "Euro Cup" is held every four years and began in 1960.
Over 50 European countries are eligible with only 16 teams reaching the finals. Very similar to the FIFA World Cup, qualifying begins nearly two years before the finals, and uses pool play to determine the final teams.
The Euro Cup engulfs the attention of a region with football (soccer) running through their veins. Spain won the title in 2008, and Germany has held the Henri Delauney trophy a record three times.
12. The Winter Olympics
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Other then an interruption due to World War II, the Winter Olympics have been held every four years since the first winter games in 1924.
In 2010, the games held multiple events in fifteen different winter sports. The games draw countries from all around the world. Fan favorites include speed skating, figure skating, bobsledding and skiing.
The International Olympic Committee selects the location of the games and is usually held in a cold-weather city. The 2010 games were held in Vancouver, Canada and the 2014 games will be held in Sochi, Russia.
11. The British Open Golf Tournament
Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images
Held in July, the British Open Championship is the oldest of the four grand slam events on the PGA tour. The event first took place 1860, and is played every year on one of nine links courses in Scotland and England.
Harry Vardon has won the British Open six times, and Tiger Woods holds a tournament record shooting a 17-under-par 72-hole mark in 2000. Louis Oosthuizen took home the Claret Jug in 2010 at St. Andrews.
10. The NHL Stanley Cup Finals
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Much like the NBA, the Eastern and Western Conference champions meet in a seven-game series to determine the winners of the Stanley Cup trophy.
The Montreal Hockey Club claimed the first Stanley Cup in 1893. Donated by Lord Stanley of Preston in 1892, the Stanley Cup is kept by the winning team until another champion is crowned the following year.
Montreal has won the title a record 24 times.
9. The Rose Bowl
Harry How/Getty Images
The "Granddaddy of Them All" is the oldest, most prestigious bowl game in college football history.
The Rose Bowl game is usually played on New Years Day and traditionally matches the champions from the Big Ten and Pac-10. With the creation of the BCS, the Rose Bowl has had to transform with the new system.
It was first played in 1906, and is paired with the Tournament of Roses celebration and parade. The USC Trojans have won the Rose Bowl a record 24 times.
8. NBA Finals
The seven-game championship series of the NBA was first held in 1947. The Lakers and Celtics have been dominant forces over the past 63 years of professional basketball.
The seven-game format usually allows the better team to prevail. The NBA Finals is either a boring four-game sweep or concludes with a dramatic Game 7 battle.
7. NCAA March Madness
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
The NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship first began in 1939. The tournament known as "March Madness" now features 68 seeded teams fighting through a true "one and done" playoff system.
For three straight weeks, the best teams around the nation fight to reach the Final Four and a potential national title.
Oregon won the very first title and UCLA holds a record 11 NCAA men's titles. CBS has paid a ridiculous amount of money for exclusive rights until 2024.
6. The Masters Golf Tournament
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Started by Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts, the Masters Golf Tournament is held at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia. The first tournament was won by Horton Smith in 1934.
The winner of this prestigious event wins the "Green Jacket," is given a gold medal and has his name etched into the Masters trophy, which remains in the clubhouse.
Jack Nicklaus has won the event an amazing six times. Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods follow Nicklaus with four victories in Augusta.
5. The Summer Olympics
Stu Forster/Getty Images
The Summer Olympics are held every four years and now include over 300 events. The 2008 games in Beijing, China featured participation by over 10,000 athletes.
The 2012 Summer Olympics will take place in London, England. Popular athletic sports include track and field, swimming, diving, gymnastics and basketball.
4. The World Series
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
The "October Classic" holds a deep place in the hearts of many Americans. Now competing in the fall with the NFL and college football, the tradition of the World Series cannot be diminished.
Pairing the American League and National League champions, the seven-game series first took place in 1903.
The New York Yankees have won a remarkable 27 World Series rings.
3. BCS Championship Game
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
A lack of history and tradition certainly hurts the BCS Championship game. The first NCAA football title game was held in 1998 between Tennessee and Florida State.
Ten different schools have won the BCS title, and only Florida and LSU have won more then once. Epic games include the 2002 and 2005 contests. The game rotates locations between Glendale, Pasadena, Miami and New Orleans.
The Auburn Tigers and Oregon Ducks will square off on January 10, 2011 for the BCS Championship.
2. FIFA World Cup
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images
Much like the Olympics, the FIFA World Cup attempts to bring the world together in an athletic competition. Held in South Africa in 2010, Spain won its first World Cup title. The 2010 World Cup featured 204 world qualifiers and 32 final teams.
Played every four years, the 2014 World Cup will be in Brazil. The month-long event is the world's most viewed sporting event, and the 2006 final game was seen by an estimated 715.1 million people.
Brazil has claimed the Jules Rimet trophy a record five times.
1. NFL Super Bowl
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Held since 1967, the Super Bowl is usually the highest-rated event on television. Super Bowl Sunday ranks second behind Thanksgiving Day in terms of food consumption.
While the Super Bowl is under the age of 50, its short history has been memorable. The majority of Super Bowl contests are competitive games that end in thrilling style. Super Bowl XLV will be played in 2011 at Cowboys Stadium.
There is nothing like the action from "Super Bowl Sunday."