All this week Jason Myrtetus (@JasonMyrt) is filling in on the morning show at 97.5 The Fanatic as the regular hosts are on vacation. This morning he ranked the sports in terms of quality, by which I think he meant entertaining and competitive play. So I’ll give his rankings and then I’ll comment on them.
This is America, so none of them funny European world sports.
- College Football
- College Basketball
- ATP (men’s tennis)
College Football rightfully belongs at the top. The players in the top conferences (Big 10, SEC, etc.) give their all every game because they’re all playing to make the NFL.
The NFL is number 2 practically by default. The NFL is worse than decades ago because so many penalties slow down most games. People complain about the length of baseball games but a lot of NFL games regularly go 3.5 hours.
The NHL and NBA are really hurt by regular seasons that are long and boring. Teams just play hard enough to make the post season which isn’t that difficult. The NHL just ekes out the NBA because they’ve really de-emphasized fighting, the sport is much better for it.
PGA, no comment – I really don’t follow golf. Most Americans like to cheer on an American in individual sports like golf and tennis.
WTA and ATP, women’s and men’s tennis. There aren’t many Americans contending for the number one spot in women’s or men’s tennis at the moment so there’s little interest. Oh, I know Serena Williams is still a force in women’s tennis, but she’s at the end of her career.
College Basketball players are playing to make it to the NBA, so why isn’t the sport ranked higher? The best players play just 1 season of college ball before heading to professional basketball.
UFC, street fighting in the octagon! You can’t get much more competitive than that.
MLB – so many long, long, boring games. If baseball plays any games this summer they will be longer than usual. Rosters are expected to be expanded. Teams will add pitchers so that means more pitching changes – and longer games!
Boxing, with so many options available today for athletes why box and have your brains scrambled. Also, the kids today prefer UFC so there’s money and glory there. And there are so many weight classes and boxing associations who can keep track of all the fighters? What are there now, like 12 classes and a half dozen associations?
I would put Boxing higher than UFC. Most boxing matches I’ve seen are at least competitive while I’ve seen some ‘big’ UFC matches that are over in a few rounds. I like tennis and I don’t really care if an American is playing or not. Tennis these days is more competitive than ever. When I got into tennis in the 1980s players came mostly from America, Western Europe, and South America and now you can add players from Eastern Europe and Asia. Tennis, both women’s and men’s, is much more competitive today.
So what’s missing? Major League Soccer (MLS) and the Canadian Football League (CFL) are both entertaining. MLS has come a long way since it started. It’s still a developmental and retirement league but the quality is decent these days. Young players are playing to get attention, so they can move on to the top clubs in Europe and the older players from the European clubs still have enough skill to play in MLS. NFL fans should give the CFL a look-see. The CFL really likes passing and that’s what NFL fans like, right? In the U.S. fans can watch the CFL on ESPN and online at ESPN Plus. I would put both MLS and CFL at around the mid-point of the rankings.
There you have it. Maybe some day I’ll rank my own personal favorites that includes some of them European and world sports.