Friday, March 18, 2016

Who's the Best... Sporting Event?

Doug: This is my absolute favorite time of year, sports-wise. The NCAA Men's Basketball tournament has begun, and in my family that is the greatest sporting event in America. My brother-in-law will be fixated on the Masters golf championship in a couple of weeks, and that time will also be the beginning of the Major League Baseball season. Spring has sprung, and so have some great sporting events! What is your favorite? Is it the Super Bowl? One of the major auto racing 500s at Indianapolis or Daytona? Do you like to watch Wimbledon? Shoot -- maybe the World Series of Poker is your thing... Whatever it is, take today to tell us your loves for both watching and attending. And play fair!


Martinex1 said...

While I love the NFL, and I'd probably love it more if the Bears put a competitive team on the field, I'm not an avid Super Bowl watcher. And I've gotten into hockey with the Blackhawks, but I don't watch the cup if they are not in it. Sox and Cubs same thing.

So like you this time of year is absolutely the best without question. Just days ago my youngest started basketball and it has been a blast. He is so excited. So the NCAA tournament couldn't have come at a better time. Our whole family filled out brackets. People at work like talking about it and comparing notes. These first couple of days are awesome with 32 games. And on the underdogs, you have to love the underdogs. It is unpredictable. And great games. And these college age athletes play their hearts out. Not to mention that it comes at a time of year that needs a spark (although the weather in Chicago has been awesome).

Go Yale! Go Little Rock! Wow.

J.A. Morris said...

I'm going to say it's the NCAA Tournament. Nothing else in sports I can think of makes people cheer passionately for schools and players they never heard of until the day before. The fact that it's a one-game format also makes it special. If Yale plays Baylor in a Best of 5 games series, they probably lose. The fact that there 68 teams and 4 games going on at once also makes it fun to watch. We usually get at least one buzzer beater ending every tournament.

The Stanley Cup playoffs are in second place. There's just something about playoff hockey that makes it more exciting than regular season games. Plus, there's the nostalgia of watching so many great games in the 70s/80s that featured names like Gretzky, La Fleur, Cheevers, Bossy, Tiger Williams, etc.

And the NFL playoffs are #3. Especially the first two weekends when there are games all weekend. There's always some serious drama or great comeback. The Packers/Cardinals game this past season was crazy.

Since we have some folks in the UK who visit here, I've gotten interested in the FA Cup in recent years. Mainly because it gives small football (soccer) clubs from small towns the opportunity to face world famous teams like Manchester United and Liverpool. Sometimes the small town teams beat the big teams.

Redartz said...

Baseball fan that I am, I'm going with Opening Day. The long offseason is over, every team is even and optimism reigns everywhere! Cincinnati always holds a parade on opening day, and WLW is on the air all day with coverage...

Doug said...

In addition to the NCAA Tournament, we enjoy the week before, watching the smaller schools play for the conference titles. There is always excitement and drama then, as only the winners will advance to the big tournament.

I find that I enjoy college football these past several years much more than I do the NFL. I have been very soured on the dangers of the game in general, however, and that has taken some of the joy of watching any football at all -- even at the high school where I teach. And I don't know, knowing what we do now about concussions, that the game can be made safer.

Many find baseball boring, but our family has always loved it. Both our sons played from the time they were five through high school, and although each chose a different sport to play in college (oldest - one year of basketball, younger - four years of soccer), I think their best sport was baseball. There is so much anticipation for this year's Chicago Cubs team that I can't hardly stand it. I'd given up on the team after 2004, 2005, etc. One can only get kicked in the teeth so many times! But last year's coming out party was awesome, so I'm eagerly awaiting this year's team. That, and I bought the coolest Cubs shirt to wear this year: Cubbie blue with the tagline "Dressed to Kill" and a graphic of KISS's Dressed to Kill album cover, but with the boys wearing Cubs uniforms! It's a hoot.


dbutler16 said...

As a baseball fan, I'm going with the Division Series round of the playoffs. I love having two or three playoff games each day, and it's about the only time yu get afternoon playoff games. I'm an early bird, so I love playoff baseball.

However, the first two (or four, really) days of the NCAA Tournament ir pretty awesome, too.

The earlier rounds of the NFL playoffs, with four playoff games each weekend, is pretty cool, too.

Anonymous said...

Who's the best ? NONE. If anything comes on TV or the radio about sport I can't switch off fast enough.

Edo Bosnar said...

I have to admit, most days I'd agree with Colin, in that I'm just not much of a sports guy, and don't really have an interest and generally switch the channel if some kind of sporting event is on.
However, when I was still living in the States, I did tend to get caught up in the excitement of the NBA playoffs (basketball is the only American pro sport I found watchable). For whatever reason, though, I just never found the NCAA tournament all that captivating - even back when I was in college.
Now that I'm living in Croatia, I often find myself getting caught up in the excitement of the World and European Cups (in soccer, in case anyone's wondering) and also the European or world championships in "lesser" sports like water-polo or handball if the Croatian team is participating. For a while in the first decade of this century, I often found myself watching women's world cup skiing, but that's just because at the time there was a powerhouse Croatian competitor, Janica Kostelic, who just dominated the field.
And sometimes I like to watch the track and field events during the Olympics...

Anonymous said...

I watch the Super Bowl and Grey Cup (CFL) every year. I used to watch the Stanley Cup, but kind of lost interest...unless Montreal makes it in, but that doesn't seem likely. I love the World Cup (soccer) every 4 years. I was big into baseball as a kid, but haven't paid attention for a long time now.

Mike Wilson

Humanbelly said...

I'm actually kinda pleased to see some folks that enjoy a bit of sports-spectatoring on the board, here! I mean, Doug you've always been an engaging and open sports enthusiast & participant-- but man, that is SO not the stereotype that one attaches to aficionados of the comic-book pastime, yeah? YOU-- are the ambassador between these two often mutually-exclusive groups!

The NFL is the only really regular sport I tend to follow-- and that's something I picked up as a young adult, really. But I've been solidly enjoyed it for, like, 30 years now--- although, yeah, it's tarnishing quickly. And if it did somehow disappear, I can see that my life would not be terribly diminished. I mean, both boxing and horse-racing used to be the BIGGEST EVENTS EVER-- and both those worlds are seriously, seriously declining.

To answer your question though-- I'm gonna go with the Olympics, yep. The quality of the coverage can often ruin a lot of the experience-- but the fact that one can get completely caught up in competitions for sports that one may have never HEARD of before (short-track ice-skate races??)speaks volumes to universality of the appeal of athletic competition. I probably favor the Winter Olympics just a bit-- but both together are the Best Sport Event Ever.


William said...

As a typical (and stereotypical) nerd, I suppose, I never got into watching team sports like football, baseball, or basketball. Probably because my father was never into any of that at all.

The only sport I watch on a regular basis is Tennis. That's because I like to play it, and because my father liked tennis and played in high school. So, we watched quite a bit of tennis when I was growing up. I guess my favorite event is The U.S. Open, followed closely by Wimbledon (it's basically a tie).

The only other sports I remember watching when I was a kid was stuff like bowling, because my father was an avid bowler. He also would watch a billiards (pool) tournament every once in a while.

Anonymous said...

Although I never watch any sport nowadays back in the '80s and '90s I did watch the Olympics and the Football (soccer) World Cup. I remember the complaints about how hot Atlanta was in 1996 - British athletes weren't accustomed to that kind of heat and Great Britain only won 1 gold medal, our worst ever Olympic was because of the heat, that was our excuse anyway :D

Humanbelly said...

Hooo-- and then Brazil this summer, with heat, pollution, and a desperately poor underclass in dire straits.

The Mexico City Olympics in. . . '68, was it. . . also had issues with heat and performance-effecting altitude, IIRC.

And William, no need to discount your tennis affection one iota, brother. Sports are a HUGE umbrella, aren't they? And it's a matter of engaging one's body in a physical activity, regardless of proficiency and even if it's solely for the fun of it. There were few worse high-school athletes than I, believe me-- (won the "best singer" award on the JV baseball team; came in dead, dead, DEAD last in the slowest heat in the mile race at our Conference track meet; tripped over the down-chain the one year I played football and sprained my ankle; etc, etc, etc) but there's just no question that the connection gained between mind and body through all of that has served me tremendously through the rest of my life-- even to this day. Really, DOING some kind of sport, at any level at all, far far surpasses watching them, in my mind.

Hmm-- very soap-boxy tonight-- sorry. Been off-blog for a few days. .


Anonymous said...

Hmm OK like Edo I'd have to say the Football (not American football but what you guys call soccer) World Cup is tops; whenever it rolls around every 4 years it gets massive viewership down here. I like it too but what irks me is multimillionaire players taking a dive when they barely get touched, all just to try to win a cheap penalty!

Also, like HB I have a soft spot for the Olympics - you get a smorgasbord of different sports, although drug cheating is a big turnoff for me and many people complain about an over abundance of US-skewed coverage of athletes. All I gotta say is I hope my Caribbean brother Usain Bolt wins again. His place in Olympic history is already assured but I hope he goes out a winner again.

- Mike 'still fuming over limited coverage of handball' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Rip Jagger said...

I'm not much of a sports fan really, but I find that I do love the annual festival of absolute hope against hope which is Baseball's Spring Training. It's a glorious time when all the teams have equal claims to going to the World Series and being champs. No other sport to my mind has this dazzling period of complete aspiration. Basketball and Football get discussed ad nauseum in their off seasons, but with an eye on personalities. While Baseball does that too, the chatter in that sport mostly on the prospects of teams and not so much on individuals. Now of course after only a week into the season the dreams of a successful summer begin to quickly fade in some quarters, but Baseball offers us all (at this time of year) a time of faith and cheer. (I'm a Reds fan and believe me we need this time to get us through.)

Rip Off

Ace Hamilton said...

The NCAA tournament is amazing. Different storylines develop, characters emerge, surprises abound! I love the first Thursday and Friday especially with 16 games each day. I play in the office pool but never sweat it when my bracket blows up. I did win twice so it's fun to have bragging rights for a year.

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