Yesterday we brought you our 3 Most Underrated Sports : Rugby Union, Gymnastics and Volleyball.
Today, we thought we’d balance the ledger and open up a bottle of refreshing Hate-orade for our 3 Most Overrated Sports: Cycling, Horse Racing and MMA/UFC.
I get it: Cadel’s awesome. I was impressed at his Tour win, too. The fact that cycling puts most sports to shame for endurance is not in dispute. And after years of rampant drug use, the sport has finally scaled back doping to “only a little bit fellas, and please for the love of God don’t get caught!”
But as a spectator sport, cycling is God-awful. I can watch the Tour de France, but would I watch it taking place on the spectacularly boring stretch of Princes Freeway between Melbourne and Avalon? No freaking chance. If it weren’t for Chateaus and spectacular mountain scenery, I doubt it would get any audience at all.
As for the actual riders, as far as I can tell a race consists of 80 guys riding in a pack while 6 or 7 break away to ride in their own clique. Infuriatingly, the sprint is generally won by a rider with zero chance of winning the overall race. So why the hell did I just watch 6 hours of racing to see someone win, but not really win!?
I’ve never cycled competitively before, so I can only assume that the people who enjoy it are the same people who enjoy a frontal lobotomy followed by a really good tax audit. Monotonous doesn’t even begin to describe actually riding a bike. Pedalpedalpedal. No dynamic element whatsoever – Just the same function performed over and over.
“Oooh, look at me, I mastered riding a bike at 7 years of age but today I’m more efficient at it!”
YAWN! As far as I can tell, elite cycling fans are mainly from the corporate set, which makes sense. Teamwork that requires sacrificing any personal gain for the glory of a hyper-competitive alpha-male leader? Sounds like a Boardroom!
So aside from the (suspiciously) superhuman endurance of pro cyclists, there is no skill whatsoever in cycling. It’s overrated.
Horse Racing in a nutshell
I’m not one to question a random day off. But Melbourne Cup Day…are you serious?? Ask yourself: Would this event be able to survive since 1861, if we took gambling away from it? Would Horse Racing still draw the same excitement if you separate it from the captivating possibility of ‘winning big’? The answer is no, and no.
Let’s be honest, horse racing isn’t even a sport. Last time I checked, sport requires sportsmen or sportswomen…and jockeys are neither. The closest thing to a sportsperson in horse racing is the actual horse! Make no mistake about it. But let’s delve into this a little deeper; the requirements of a jockey are as follows:
- Weight: Must weigh between 50-54 kilos depending on the country’s restrictions.
- Height: There is no height restrictions but a shorter stature is encouraged as “it will govern your weight and aerodynamics in the saddle,” according to the International Racing Bureau.
- Other: Must be at least 16. Education is not important.
What these guidelines are basically saying is that there is no skill involved. Any Joe Blow that weighs less than 54kg can whip the crap out of a horse to victory if the horse is strong and powerful enough.
It’s called Horse Power
Some may argue that timing and positioning is important. I say that’s a load of BS. The aim is to get to the finish line first. Now I’ve never ridden a horse before but if you gave me Black Caviar, I’m infinitely sure that training would not be required for me to finish first.
Furthermore, aerodynamics?! Since when did aerodynamics come into play? This is not the Grand Prix, where cars are going 300km/h and aerodynamics actually makes a difference. And at least Formula 1 requires endurance and skill. The Melbourne Cup is over in 3.5 minutes. F1 drivers have to learn every turn and corner like their life depends on it. A lapse in concentration and he hits the wall or the sandpit resulting in a Did Not Finish (DNF) or injury. There is no danger in horse racing as long as the jockey stays on the horse. The horse does all the work! The track doesn’t even have turns for God’s sake.
Here is every jockey’s secret formula: The harder and more frequently you whip your horse, the higher the chances of you winning. By the way, are animal cruelty activists looking into banning this “sport?” I hope there’s a whipping limit.
Points about horse racing that you should take with you:
- It’s overrated & would cease to exist if gambling was taken away.
- Any appropriately-weighted individual can be a jockey since there is no skill involved.
- It’s not a sport because the strongest & fastest horse does what’s required to win.
- All the jockey has to do is sit on the horse and have his/her sorry butt carried to the finish line
However, it isn’t all bad. There’s plenty of money to be won from betting. Plenty of beautiful women in fancy dresses to admire. And if that doesn’t tickle your fancy, at least we get a day off for the so-called “Race that Stops a Nation”
Mixed Martial Arts/Ultimate Fighting
I think I didn’t get the gene where getting the crap beaten out of you or watching two grown men beat each other to within an inch of their lives was something of an enjoyable pastime. I don’t have a brother and I certainly don’t remember getting into any fights in the playground. So you will understand me when I say that the seemingly “greatest sporting craze” known as “Ultimate Fighting,” or UFC is quite overrated.
Boxing, I can kind of understand. There’s a bit of theatre before the fight when there is the standard trash talking. But when all is said and done, the winner is basically the guy who either knocks the other unconscious (or dead), or comes the closest to doing so.
But then someone inexplicably went “Hey, we aren’t doing this right! Not enough people are getting injured, maimed, and beaten senselessly – let’s put the fighters in a cage, with no rules and let them go at it! Oh, and get rid of those girly gloves!”
Yea, real smart. I get the whole primal masculine motif behind the whole sport, but as a sports fan I like to see a little bit of tactical nous. I understand different forms of martial arts can be effective against different sized opponents, and like any sport each competitor has their strengths that can be nullified and weaknesses that can be exploited. However, at the end of the day this sport is appealing to those who want to see one guy completely belt another frequently and as abhorrently as possible.
And before all UFC fans get high and mighty about the apparent lack of rules, yes the sport has come a long way since its inception. You will all be happy to know that such things as spitting, fish hooking, hair pulling and biting are now “fouls.” Well done, and welcome to the 21st century. Or should I say, welcome out of the Roman gladiator era – where watching people get killed was seen as an enjoyable pastime.
So forgive me for giving this sport the flick. At least with other contact sports (AFL and rugby, for example) I can watch knowing that there is a next-to-zero chance of seeing someone die whilst competing. If only I could say the same about UFC.
And to keep things in balance, check out our praise lavished on MoTD’s 3 Most Underrated Sports