Yesterday was billed as a great day in sports, headlined by the Kentucky Derby and Mayweather-Mosley heavyweight boxing title fight. In supporting roles were the NBA and NHL playoffs, a random NASCAR race, several MLB games, and some non-major PGA event sans Tiger (and his harem). I love sports. Guess what? I watched exactly zero hours of sports yesterday, despite having the house to myself.
That's right, I just don't give a flying pig about any of these sports events. Hockey is awesome fun to watch in person, but is terrible to watch on TV. Baseball is also much more entertaining in person, but as the league's current financial structure makes it tough for most teams to compete, unless you are a lifelong fan of one of the perrenial powers, there is little reason to care until the pennant races heat up just before Labor Day. Golf is only interesting if it's a major. As for NASCAR, I've tried, really tried, but I just don't get the mass appeal; it's probably like soccer, where fans need to be indoctrinated "into" the sport/cult as a kid. The NBA playoffs only are worth watching if: a) the Dallas Mavericks are losing (Mark Cuban losing is almost as entertaining as a Phil Hellmuth rant); or b) it's reached the conference finals (the NBA's dirty little secret is that there are only 3-5 teams worth watching any given year).
So that brings us to the two headline events that dominated the sports news cycle this past week—the Kentucky Derby and the boxing match. The Derby is billed as "the most exciting two minutes in sports"; obviously the person who uttered that nonsense has never seen a two-minute drive in football. More to the point, horse-racing isn't a sport at all, it's a gambling event. The Derby is only covered by the sports media because of tradition. Think otherwise? Quick, name the last five Breeder's Cup winners, or the leading prospects for next year's Derby, or the top three horses with a shot at winning the Belmont Stakes that didn't run the Derby. If you could answer those questions, you're either in the horse industry or a degenerate gambler on the ponies.
Finally, boxing. The golden era of boxing passed long ago. There have been, at most, two boxers worth caring about in the past two decades—Mike Tyson and George Foreman, and they were interesting more for their lives outside the ring than how they performed in the ring. With the rise of mixed martial arts (MMA) over the past decade, boxing is simply boring. MMA offers more athleticism, more drama; it's compelling in a way that boxing once was but no longer is.
So when do preseason NFL games begin?