We have come to that days that every spots fan hates. The 2 days after the MLB all-star game. It’s the 2 days all year that here is no games in any of the big 4 sports. The NBA and NHL free agency has cooled now that all the big names have signed and NFL training camps have yet to start not that they bring much enjoyment unless you’re there. On this the day when there are no games going on let’s look at the top 6 most exciting non-game sporting events
6. Nathans hot dog eating contest- this event draws around 30,000 fans to the event and is nationally televised on ESPN. Now being an avid competitive eating fan this is like the super bowl of the sport. It brings one of the biggest prizes and the famous mustard belt. It’s a Fourth of July tradition. It combines all the things Americans like. Hotdogs, competition, and a long running champ trying to win another. For those in the Philly area I believe Wing Bowl is a way better competition but it’s not nationally known as Nathans.
5. MLB home run derby- the only thing good about baseball is the long ball. Baseball got big during the steroid era when everyone was hitting home runs left and right. Who didn’t watch the race between Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire. Say what you want about how steroids ruined the game but the homerun is an exciting thing. The home run derby is exciting. It’s the best hitters in the game all trying to hit it out of the park. It’s the only highlight of the all-star weekend in baseball
4. NCAA basketball selection Sunday- this is a great day for most people. It sucks for the teams that don’t get into the big tournament. Every year there are at least 6 teams who think they should be in but don’t make it. Sucks for them, win more games next time or transfer to a better conference. March madness is one of the most bet on and watched events in the country. I myself who doesn’t follow college basketball that much get into at least 2 bracket pools a year. March madness has it all. Compelling story lines, underdogs, favorites and it all starts on selection Sunday. On selection Sunday the collective college sports nation lives and dies on every breath of the announcer. Living in Madison and working at the University of Wisconsin I got a first had experience of that. There was no doubt that the Badgers would get it but what seed would they get was a much talked about topic on campus.
3. NHL skills competition – Every league should take a clue from the NHL. The skills competition is one of the greatest events there is. You get to see players with such great skill and finesse do things that every youth hockey player will be trying to emulate the following day. It’s got something for everyone. Great passing, speed skating, hardest shot and crazy break away goals. The NBA has tried something like this with their 3 point shooting and other various competitions but it just doesn’t measure up to what the NHL puts on ice.
2. The day of your fantasy football draft- fantasy football is huge. It dominates ESPN on the web and air. It has numerous magazines and websites dedicated to it alone. Fantasy football has grown because it enhances people’s football watching experience. It gives you something to root for during games where your team isn’t playing. You can watch a game between the redskins and the browns and have a vested interest. Your whole experience of watching football will hinge on your fantasy draft day. Your favorite home town team can run the table be undefeated and win the superbowl yet you will be disappointed when your first round pick puts up numbers of a 10th rounder and you miss the fantasy playoffs. The day of your fantasy draft is the culmination of hours and days of reading magazines, ranking players and crafting a well-balanced draft strategy
1: The NFL Draft- the king of non-game sporting events. It has been stretched out over 4 days and still gets millions of viewers. It’s no denying the fact that myself and a few other Bleeping Idiots writers love the draft. Unlike other sports the NFL draft can change the fortune of your team. NFL draft picks are expected to play right away. MLB draft picks may never start. NHL picks can take up to 5 years to break into the league. NBA first rounder’s are expected to play but not as much as an NFL player. You can have 3rd or 4th rounder’s starting week 1 in the NFL. The right picks can take you from the bottom to the top and the wrong picks can set your team back 5 years. Just look at the Ryan Leafs of the world. The difference between drafting Tim Couch and a pick later getting Donovan McNabb. The draft is exciting; it has suspense and the joy of seeing young men’s dreams come true. In my mind its one of the best events in all sports game and non-game.