Power Ranking the Super Bowl and the 10 Greatest Sporting Events

Andre Khatchaturian@AndreKhatchCorrespondent IIIFebruary 4, 2012

Power Ranking the Super Bowl and the 10 Greatest Sporting Events

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    We all know the Super Bowl is the most watched sporting event in America and with the advents of the NFL International Series, the game is gradually becoming a worldwide event.

    There are, however, more established events around the world like the Olympic Games and the World Cup that draw in the entire world. 

    Some of these events are rarely watched in America, but that doesn't mean the rest of the world doesn't watch them.

    Here are the 10 greatest and most captivating sporting events in the world.

10. Cricket World Cup

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    You may have not heard of the ICC Cricket World Cup if you live in the United States, but it's huge in countries like Pakistan, India and England.

    Cricket World Cup matches are daylong events where fans go and literally hang out at the stadium for eight or nine hours. Matches last extremely long. Baseball games are track meets compared to cricket matches.

    That being said, it's a worldwide event with huge popularity in the second most populous country in the world, India. 

    Also, because of the large Indian population in the United States, it can be argued that the event is growing in popularity in America.

    During last year's event, I witnessed as a student at the University of Southern California, World Cup watch parties held in the middle of the night when India and/or Pakistan would be playing.

    Numerous students would attend because of their passion for the sport.

9. The Masters

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    The Masters is unique in so many ways. It's not only the best major event in golf, but it's also one of the best sporting events in the world. 

    First off, unlike the other three majors, the Masters doesn't move around every year. It's located in Augusta, Ga., every single year. 

    Also, the legendary green jacket, which is awarded to the winner every year, adds to the aura and mystique of The Masters. 

8. Rugby World Cup

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    Like the Cricket World Cup, the Rugby World Cup isn't too popular in the United States. 

    That being said, the U.S. actually was one of the 20 teams in the World Cup in last year's event in New Zealand. 

    Despite the fact the event has only been around since 1987, multiple countries from all six continents compete in the event.

    The event captivates mostly the Southern Hemisphere. In fact, there's only been one instance where a country from the Northern Hemisphere has won the tournament, when England did it in 2003. 

7. Wimbledon

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    Wimbledon is the oldest tennis tournament in the world. That makes it the most prestigious event in tennis.

    Winning this event means that your legacy is set.

    It's just different than the other four major tournaments. 

    For one, it's played on grass, one of the more difficult surfaces to play on. (If you don't believe me, then go bounce a tennis ball on grass, and then bounce it on a regular tennis court. See what happens.)

    A few more traditions that make Wimbledon unique are the consumption of strawberries and cream by the fans.

    Also, if you look carefully there are no sponsorships or advertising at Wimbledon. Finally, the players must abide by a strict dress code and wear white. 

6. UEFA Euro Cup

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    Although this event is strictly regional, the UEFA Euro Cup tournament is televised worldwide. It features 16 of the best European nations playing in a highly competitive tournament. 

    Europe arguably contains the best soccer teams in the world, so essentially this is a mini-World Cup minus Brazil and Argentina. 

    Still don't agree?

    In the United States, ESPN paid broadcasting fees to show the event. ESPN understands that the Euro Cup is a worldwide event and it will generate interest in the States.

    If it wasn't going to draw any viewers, why would ESPN decide to carry the event? 

5. Super Bowl

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    The Super Bowl is easily the biggest sporting and television event in the United States. Last year, the Super Bowl drew 111 million viewers.

    And those are just households. Many people go to bars and restaurants to watch The Big Game. There are also people who host Super Bowl parties and the Nielsen Ratings only count households, not the number of people that watched in the household.

    Therefore, the Super Bowl is essentially watched by everybody in America. 

    With the NFL International Series in place, football's popularity is increasing all around the world, especially in England, Canada and Mexico. 

    It's also important to note that the Super Bowl isn't a continental or world tournament like the previously mentioned events. It's a league championship.

    It can be easily argued that the Super Bowl is the world's most popular league championship event. 

4. Winter Olympics

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    The phrase, "the Olympics bring the world together," has turned into an obligatory cliche used every Olympics, but it's true.

    For two and a half weeks, athletes from all over the world convene on one wintry city, sometimes town, to participate in events that they've been dreaming about for years. 

    The event would be higher up on the list, except it's regional to a certain extent. Countries in warm climates may show some apathy toward the event because they don't send many athletes. 

    That being said, countries in colder climates like Denmark and Norway are probably more captivated by the Winter Olympics than the Summer Games. 

3. UEFA Champions League Final

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    The world's best soccer leagues are in Europe and once a year the two best European clubs square off in the biggest association football match of the year.

    It's the Super Bowl of soccer, except it features the two best teams in the continent, possibly the world, rather than just one country. 

    Just in the United States, the UEFA Champions League Final drew 4.2 million viewers, which is impressive considering that people consider soccer as a dead sport in America.

2. FIFA World Cup

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    Here's an unbelievable stat:

    This means at least a third of the world population tuned in. That alone puts the FIFA World Cup at the No. 2 spot in this ranking. 

1. Summer Olympics

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    If you thought the previous stat regarding the World Cup was impressive, then brace yourself for this next one:

    4.7 billion viewers tuned in to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. That's almost 70 percent of the world population. 

    If it's one event that literally brings the world together, it's the Olympics. Pretty much whoever owns a television tunes into the Olympics. 

    In the United States, NBC would draw in 27 million viewers on a nightly basis. That's an absolutely ridiculous number.

    What makes the Olympics so special is that every country has its own niche to follow. For instance, handball might not be popular in the United States, but Germany loves it.

    Weightlifting is huge in a small country like Armenia, and beach volleyball, of course, is highly popular in the States.