Put the kettle on, smash down an energy drink – do whatever you have to do to stay awake because watching these sports is the equivalent of taking an Ambien. Even talking about them will make the most attentive person want to get cozy and drift off into a deep slumber.
Now to many thousands of fans around the globe watching golf is an exhilarating experience. The tension of seeing the great players walk up the green on the 18th hole with a championship on the line, the pressure of making that one shot with all those eyeballs watching: the appeal is there for the purists but for the rest of us, well, other sports just have better sex appeal.
Football has the big hits, basketball has the amazing dunks, baseball the home runs, soccer the goals – the list goes on. A hushed polite gathering of wealthy white men watching someone tap a ball into a little hole can leave the average sports fan a little underwhelmed to say the least. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, yet the beauty of golf to the naked eye isn’t as obvious to most people.
So it’s not a blockbuster sport, who cares? The good news for golf lovers out there is that there is at least 10 other sports that make it look like a thrill-a-minute in comparison. Some of the following games are so dull even the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have said, “Thanks but no thanks.”
Sports fans are a resilient bunch, they can go a lifetime watching their team win nothing but they draw a line at games that offer zero entertainment value. These are the sports that only the diehards love, the 10 more boring than golf.
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The Big Lebowski tried to make it cool, but the art of bowling struggles to gain traction as a serious sport and an event to schedule on the television. It was given a window in the 1988 Olympics before it was ditched soon after. Remarkably enough, it’s been revived for the 2020 Games with other heart-stopping sports like squash and wushu. There are many reasons why guiding a heavy ball into a set of pins or smaller ball feet away isn’t an attractive prospect for punters, so we won’t expand on them here. Unless you’re a retiree then it would be a fair assumption to say the sport of bowling is not for you.
No you’re not mistaken, in a certain context fishing is actually considered a sport! Rebranded as “fly fishing” or “sport fishing,” throwing a line out into the ocean to hook onto a salt-water specimen is ranked in various competitions and tournaments around the world. Depending on the type and size of the catch, fishermen and women vie for top billing among the angler community. Needless to say it’s hard enough keeping concentration when you’re fishing first hand, let alone watching someone else do it. Unlike the fish, punters are yet to be hooked into the sport as a mainstream entity.
Once the obvious attraction of the gorgeous and tanned exotic beauties of beach volleyball take the stage and the aesthetic appeal wears off, the sport of volleyball is mundane at best and boring at worst. One side serves, they exchange a bit of back-and-forth before a player spikes it for the point. That process it repeated over and over until someone wins. When you break any game down to it’s essentials they seem dull, but there’s a reason why volleyball remains a niche Olympic event and not a game broadcast on ESPN every week.
7 Marathon Running
Probably the most original sport ever invented because of it’s simplicity, the art of marathon running is grueling. The miles covered by these athletes are remarkable and television just doesn’t do justice to the physical intensity required to finish these events, let alone win them. But come on, for entertainment value marathon running is right down there with the worst of them. We watch players in other sports run with a purpose – to score a goal, a touchdown, something with a tangible reward at the end of it. Even Forest Gump required a montage of the infamous running scene because seeing Tom Hanks travel on foot across the country in real time is not something people would pay to see.
Who approved this as a sport? Who was sitting on the committee to decide this is now a thing that people (and horses) compete for? Let’s break down the pitch for a moment – rich, pampered horse riders will train these animals to raise their hooves in an elegant fashion and prance around a stage where they’ll be ranked by a team of judges. We’ll call it “Dressage,” translated in French to mean “training.” Mitt Romney likes it so it must be popular. Right?
Navigating through choppy waters on a single vessel takes a lot of courage and skill. The sport of sailing has inspired some of the great moments in modern cinema including White Squall, Dead Calm and Deep Water to name but a few. With that being said, sit down and watch a fleet of sails head out to the ocean to compete for a place at the finish line. It can’t be done. Literally it can’t be done, because television cameras don’t head out that far to cover it. One of the few sports in the world where you see the start and finish but nothing else.
4 Figure Skating
Figure skating is a lot like the movie inspired by the sport, Blades of Glory. You can see where the appeal is, but more than 10 minutes and you’re scrambling to find the remote. There is elegancy and artistry, just a lack of competitive tension because the goal is simply to look good on the ice and nothing else. A common thread throughout boring sports is the existence of a judging panel. If you can find it on a Best in Show dog competition, then there is every chance your sport needs a makeover.
3 Test Cricket
Cricket is midway through a revolution. The advent of Twenty20 cricket is a concise format which has been packaged and sent to the USA to generate MLB type excitement. It’s doing this because the traditional form of the game in Test Cricket is dying. Unless you have been born and raised on the game, then it is a completely foreign concept to understand that a sport played over 5 days can result in a draw with nobody winning. Runs are always scored at a slower rate than limited overs cricket and players break for lunch and tea. To many outside observers it’s a game stuck in the 1940s.
Curling has to be the very definition of a niche sport. Known as chess on ice, the object of gliding a stone down on a pathway called a sheet towards a bullseye target as two individuals with brooms sweep it is bizarre to say the least. Originally invented in Scotland hundreds of years ago, it’s since been picked up by the Canadians who have sort of adopted it as their thing. Why? Well, there’s a lot of ice up there and they do have a liking for things a little left of centre. While other athletes work on their tackle or dribbling, these people finesse their sweeping technique. Wake us up when it’s over.
1 Formula One
At the risk of dividing opinion, Formula One is the premier boring sport going around the track on four wheels these days. It had a glory period even up until the 1990s before Michael Schumacher developed a vendetta against the concept of competition. His retirement opened up a window before Lewis Hamilton shut it, winning almost everything at stake with the odd exception of Sebastian Vettel. The teams are run by wealthy, out-of-touch manufacturers and raced by wealthy, out-of-touch drivers. The man in poll position takes most victories and the continual change in rules makes it infuriating to follow.
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