The NFL Draft, which, against all odds, has become must-see TV for football aficionados. Realistically, though, sports already has almost nothing to do with our real lives; finding out just who may or may not be making the roster as a first-year player in the new season is one step even further removed. That got us thinking: As exciting as sports are, there are a number of sporting events in the year that are trumped up as a big deal but are actually as uninteresting as watching a snail race. So, what are the least interesting (major) sporting events on the annual athletic calendar?
The NFL Draft
Really, any of the pro sports drafts could go in here, but we’re running with the NFL draft both because it inspired this article and because it’s the most trumped-up of all of them. Somehow, ESPN has brainwashed football fans across the country that the draft is an opportunity to throw parties and sit in front of the TV for a day. And for what? For the chance to see a bunch of twenty-year-olds, most of whom you’ll never hear from again, take pictures with jerseys and fist-bump Roger Goodell. If you’re a true fanatic, it’s just as easy to periodically check in on your smartphone; if you’re anyone else, there’s almost no reason to invest any energy at all in the draft.
The Pro Bowl
It feels a little bad to beat up on the NFL twice in the same article, but given that football is America’s most popular sport, it may not be surprising that it also has engendered more onanistic excess than the others. And, as far as All-Star games go, the NFL edition is far, far sillier than those of the other major sports. Where the baseball, basketball, and hockey games all occur in-season and feature almost all of the top players in their respective sports, the Pro Bowl amounts to a glorified game of touch football. And, because it takes place the week before the Super Bowl, it always lacks many of the sport’s marquee names, either because they’re playing in the big game or because they’re too injured by the course of the season. Is this game even televised? No one knows, because no one cares enough to watch.
Probably not a particularly well-known event outside New England, Boston’s annual four-school hockey tournament is treated with a peculiar kind of reverence by local sports fans; winning the Beanpot arouses the same kind of fierce pride that one would expect from a team going to the Frozen Four. In essence, though, the Beanpot amounts to one more chance to watch BC and BU renew their rivalry after steamrolling lesser rivals at Harvard and Northeastern. And, while rivalry hockey games like those between BC and BU — almost always two of the top teams in the country — are among the most entertaining sporting events you can find, there’s little reason to get excited about the trophy that they get to take away.
Tennis End-Of-Year Championships
Those in the tennis world like to talk about the Year-End Championships, played on indoor hard courts in London, as a sort of fifth Grand Slam, as if anyone in the world cared about any tennis match that wasn’t a part of the four majors. To the event’s credit, the Year-End Championships at least usually feature tennis’s big names, which is more than can be said of the host of lower-level pro tournaments. Unfortunately, by the time that they roll around, tennis fans have already gotten their fill of top-level tennis, and at four tournaments where the stakes actually kind of matter. If a Nadal falls in London, and nobody’s there to hear it — does anybody care?