My Favorite “Sportsball” sports – from least liked – to favorite…

We had a pretty big “sportsball” event in my ‘hood Monday night, with the University of Michigan unsuccessfully battling Villanova for the NCAA Championship title. The University of Michigan is just a stone’s throw from where I live, so obviously that was a pretty big event Monday night! I’ll play the “fair weather friend” game with sports from time to time, although I’m generally not really a sports fan. At all. But some of them I like a bit better than others! And I will attempt to say something good about EACH sport (hey check out how open minded I am, lol). With all of that said, here are my least favorite to favorite “sportsball” games ranked according to my level of interest, among other factors:

1. Basketball

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Comedian Dave Chappelle pretending he’s Prince playing basketball. Prince actually played on his junior high school team!

I really, really don’t like basketball. I don’t know if it’s because of the noise, the cramped indoor surroundings, or what. One theory I have about my distaste for basketball is I dislike it because in junior high/high school, I was almost CONSTANTLY pestered by basketball coaches about joining the team. People love to assume that tall people are going to be good at basketball (which is a fair assumption). I, however, was TERRIBLE at basketball. I have a second cousin whom, when fully grown, reached about 6 foot 9, and he also went through the same rigor morale with coaches. Like me, he was more interested in music/band than “sportsball.”

Basketball pros

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Can you spot Paula Abdul in this photo?
  1. Games tend to go fairly quickly, and unless there is a tie, usually has a “set” time that they end.
  2. Sometimes there are cheerleaders. I think there should be a full-time “cheerleader cam” available during all sportsball games. Sometimes the game action gets kind of dull, after all! When I become the Grand Commissioner of All Things Sportsball, this will be my DECREE! These girls/guys work awfully hard on their routines. And some of us…want to see them! Ditto for marching bands. If people want to be able to see the marching bands, then there should be an app…or something…for that, too!
  3. Slam-dunks and successful free throws are kinda cool to watch (poor, poor U of M had no love with the free throws in Monday’s game, apparently).
  4. Sometimes the coaches get angry and throw chairs. Lots of basketball coaches lose their shit…a lot. Well, actually, lots of coaches lose their shit when games go poorly!

Basketball cons:

  1. Noisy
  2. Unflattering uniforms (I just don’t dig baggy tanks and basketball shorts).
  3. All the back-and-forth action makes one’s eyes tired

2. Hockey

lisaandbarthockey

Lisa and Bart Simpson on opposing pee wee hockey teams. This episode was actually kind of touching to me (reminded me of the rivalry my brother and I had while growing up).

Though technically not played with a “ball,” I’ll still give hockey an honorable mention among the main “sportsball” sports in the United States! I rank it just slightly higher than basketball, for the following reasons:

Hockey pros:

  1. Watching the Zamboni clean off the ice (it’s SO mesmerizing). Usually you only get to enjoy this experience if watching a live game in person (or sitting through your niece’s ice skating show two days in a row).
  2. Watching the players get into fights (even though some are very obviously staged). The potential for violence is a definite plus.
  3. Hockey players tend to be cuter than most other pro athletes (except soccer players)
  4. The hockey padding/gear is kind of “metal”
  5. The acrobatics of goaltenders is sometimes pretty awesome

Hockey cons:

  1. Hockey fans, in general, are annoying bastards
  2. Throwing the octopus on the ice in Detroit Red Wings games offends me (I like octopuses)
  3. Like basketball, the constant back-and-forth can get tiring (and dull) to watch
  4. No cheerleaders

3. Baseball

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Baseball tends to be pretty ripe for comedy! Here’s Leslie Nielsen pretending he’s an umpire in The Naked Gun.

I’m ranking baseball higher than both hockey and basketball for one reason and one reason alone – it’s a pretty fun sport to watch live! I actually prefer watching this type of “sportsball” live as opposed to televised, because I like seeing the “big picture.” It’s fun watching the guys run around, steal bases, get dirty, jump around like idiots trying to catch the ball…Minor League games in particular are a lot of fun to attend in warmer weather! I live in Southeast Michigan, so I have a choice of trekking to Grand Rapids’ 5/3 Ballpark and watching the Whitecaps, or driving just about an hour to Toledo to watch a Toledo Mudhens game.

Baseball pros:

  1. Fun to watch live
  2. You get to be a bit obnoxious sitting in the stands and nobody seems to care
  3. Beer makes it more fun
  4. Greasy smear marks under batters’ eyes (it’s like war paint)
  5. Baseball announcers can be fun

Baseball cons:

  1. Boring to watch on TV
  2. No cheerleaders
  3. The costumed mascots are very, very disturbing
  4. Slower paced than hockey, basketball and soccer
  5. Nobody looks good in baseball pants
  6. Games don’t have a “set” end time (extra innings can last longer than the Hundred  Years War)
  7. Ditto for the World Series…boy can THAT drag on, and on, and on!

4. Football

 

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Burt Reynolds in The Longest Yard, which featured a no-holds-barred cons vs. wardens football game.

Watching this type of “sportsball” can be fun to do in a social setting, either at someone’s house, or watching in a bar. Though I don’t really understand the mechanics or finer points of football, except that it’s like a little ground war, it’s something that you can pay attention to if you want, or just tune it out and socialize. I like watching it on TV better than watching it in person, although the energy of being in the stands at a college football game can be kind of fun!

Football pros:

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The Chicago Bears got super excited when they won the Super Bowl in 1985…and expressed their excitement with a musical number! I know this pissed off some football fans, but honestly…I have NO problem with this!
  1. It almost ALWAYS has cheerleaders
  2. Grandstanding when touchdowns are scored
  3. Sometimes the uniforms are kind of pretty
  4. I like helmets
  5. Greasy smear marks under the eyes (it’s like war paint)
  6. People get SO serious about it when they’re watching it
  7. Super Bowl commercials
  8. Shirtless, drunk uberfans in war paint (can you tell I like war paint by now?)
  9. Watching the coaches get all intense while wearing sunglasses/ headsets (Bo Shembechler wore the headset best)

Football cons:

  1. The games can take a really, really, really, really, really long time.
  2. You can’t see what the cheerleaders are doing all the time
  3. Costumed mascots are disturbing
  4. It’s not exactly a fast-paced kind of game and the play stops very, very frequently

And my number one favorite kind of sportsball (drum roll)…

5. Soccer

 

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Ireland player Robbie Keane calmly gets ready to score against Germany in the 2002 World Cup. Ireland was the only team to have scored a goal against Germany up until the final match vs. Brazil.

What’s not to love about “the beautiful game?” Sure, some people like to rip on it because scoring is so seldom…and it’s not very “American.” Pffft…. And some people say it’s annoying that some of the matches (though not all) can end in draws! I was turned onto soccer in the early 2000s when I had a co-worker whose enthusiasm about the sport wound up rubbing off on me. I was really into it for a while, following the English Premier League, UEFA Champions League, and in 2002, I followed my first World Cup. I even played soccer recreationally for a couple of years (indoor and outdoor). Main highlights were me taking another players teeth in my shoulder, and me getting patted on the ass by a male goalkeeper after making a good defensive play (it was all in the spirit of the game). Though I no longer follow it as heavily or watch it regularly, I still love watching the World Cup matches every four years! Now that’s the level of sports commitment I like! Only get involved every four years! I’ve even done brackets for the World Cup a couple of times, too…I’m sure I’ll do one this year and will post it here!

Soccer pros:

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Former Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas defying gravity
  1. Usually has a “set” time to end, barring matches that need to declare a winner via penalty kicks, sudden death, golden goal, etc. Watching a match isn’t a huge time commitment.
  2. Uniforms are flattering.
  3. Soccer cleats are cool.
  4. Games are “usually” played outside.
  5. Goalkeepers are awesome (they are ALL superheroes as far as I’m concerned). Plus, you have to be pretty crazy to do the job (all goalkeepers’ brains are wired a bit differently than normal folks).
  6. Fairly easy to see “big picture” when watching it televised
  7. The commentary in Mexican soccer is…well, you just gotta hear it! There is NOTHING quite like it (even if you don’t understand Spanish). The unabashed enthusiasm when a GOOOAAAL is scored simply cannot be expressed by anyone better than a Mexican sports announcer!
  8. The only better sports announcer than a Mexican sports announcer is Tommy Smyth. Hands down…listen to him here
  9. Great way to learn about colors in the flags of the world (helpful for trivia nights)
  10. The guys tend to have the best hair out of all of the professional sports
  11. Long soccer socks. LOVE THEM! I have several pairs!
  12. Soccer rivalries between fans can be so fierce that “hooliganism” is a thing. I just think that’s cool. But wouldn’t think it was so cool if I were mugged for wearing the wrong jersey in Glasgow or Rio de Janeiro, lol!
  13. Even the fans are great fun to watch
  14. Coaches tend to be very, very handsome

Soccer cons:

  1. Sometimes there’s more drama than on a movie set – players “pretending” to get injured, playing dirty, deliberately injuring other players, etc. Italian/Brazilian players are notorious for this. Not to mention Zinedane Zidane and his famous “head butt…”
  2. The fans can be VERY obnoxious. If I had my way, I’d ban the use of those stupid plastic horns (vuvuzelas). Though it works both ways – I had a BLAST playing one of these things at a Columbus Crew game!
  3. FIFA is essentially run Mafia-style. And…that’s all I have to say about THAT! Well, this article does have a bit more to say about that!

One thought on “My Favorite “Sportsball” sports – from least liked – to favorite…

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