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What are your favorite sports to watch - and why

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What are your favorite sports to watch - and why


Post by Davo » Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:47 pm

A supposed-to-be light-hearted discussion thread about your favorite sports to watch.

Firstly a preamble. An occasional look at Federer vs Nadal vs Djokovic or Serena Williams is 100% compulsory watching, from time to time, Olympics of course to some degree and both the summer and winter versions, some rarer Field Hockey except for disliking the blue pitches quite intensely, Super Bowl maybe or else not and maybe Cricket once in a while. Used to watch Tour de France, but perennial doping related scandals eventually killed the joy. Track cycling quite nice though. Used to love association football, but nowadays the major leagues are dominated almost completely by one single team – Bayern, Juventus, Paris, Barcelona/Real Madrid and Man City - while most televised matches showcase only Messi, Ronaldo or Guardiola’s team. Also so much diving or flopping over theatrically, over-reactions to and making the most of any small contact to claim the foul and serial crowding of and disrespect to the Referee. The recent women’s world cup was a bit more civilized.

1) Rugby Union is my own erennial favorite, but only in small doses the upcoming Japan World Cup and/or some 6 nations or Southern Hemisphere action. Like it because of the extreme physicality but also coming with a good amount of flair too. Plus the fans can fiercely cheer on their side and show fanatical passion - but still just mingle freely together and have a good time. The players too. They fully respect the Referee and mostly each other. Fight for everything fiercely and still show camaraderie. The points scoring system is also just the right amount, I’d like to think. Not 2.5 goals like soccer or 100+ baskets like NBA, but a fair sized 7~8 scores per team. Also like that the match clock can be stopped and that the team in possession is allowed to play-on far past final whistle, until the opponent legally recovers the ball.

2) Always quite like the NBA, but only really watch the play-offs. Fast-paced, high-scoring and some amazing skills. Don’t understand it all fully, like the intricacies and tactical nuances of player positioning (i.e. I can never spot traveling) - but can still revel in the sheer ability of Durant/Curry/Klay vs LeBron/Kyrie vs Kawhi/Kyle vs Harden vs Westbrook.

3) Formula One. Love cars to bits and modern-day 4K+ TV’s are simply just made for this sport. Use PiP and PuP to heart’s content. Granted, the current almost total domination of Hamilton and the Mercedes Power Unit in the current V6 hybrid era makes for much ultra boring and procession-style racing. Ferrari do try to compete but mostly on sheer power versus overall car balance while Red Bull is best of the rest. McLaren maybe returning. However in yesteryear, Schumacher also entirely dominated too. There are also only 4 engine suppliers nowadays and one single tyre supplier and the cars are simply enormous these days and very heavy to boot. Hard to get overtaking really happening.

For all the predictable snoozefests though - some few circuits do guarantee lots of fun. Especially, the higher altitude circuits - like Austria (what a race!) , Mexico and Brazil – which completely cancel-out Mercedes incredible downforce and their very tightly packed engine cannot be cooled in the thinner air either. Then super-talent Verstappen can compete fully. The future looks bright enough. Verstappen, LeClerc and Norris all look destined to battle it out with Hamilton in the next few years.

4) I also just simply love competitive Chess (possibly contentious if it can be called a sport, by many). I’ll almost stop at this, as otherwise a huge risk of descending into the very murky waters of tldr stuff. Playing it, watching it, more liking the older non-computerized version of it, but the rise of Stockfish could not ever be stopped. Huge admiration for Magnus nowadays, but more liking of the school of Fischer/Karpov/Kasparov ...when nothing was quite so clear cut. Also still a time-frame when almost all (Russian) Chess knowledge just told you to always play (or seek to play) the very best move at all times. Nonsense states Stockfish. Give me still Kasparov-Topalov anno 1999, when this knowledge was not yet fully known or else implemented. A very easy draw for Black, but then the world would not have seen a mesmeric sequence of moves to justify a bold rook sac on d4, with it’s true point only to be seen many, many moves ahead. Sometimes the more you know is not better.

The other Chess great in Karpov’s best-ever game was also versus Topalov too btw, just 5 years earlier ….as-in it always takes two to tango. Topalov always fully prepared to risk the consequences of losing, if he could not fully “see” the winning sequence of moves, often deeply hidden. Toplaov could have easily liquidated both positions to simple draws and nowadays he surely might have done so, but he did not think that way and did not overly respect the top of the tree in Chess. His attitude was one of “I don’t see it, so you must prove it to me”. Prove it they both then did, with piece sacrifice after piece sacrifice. This stuff was ideal for both Kasparov and Karpov too. The opponent would not get suspicious and just flee to a drawn game, but would fight you all-the-way into history-making and shaping games, by trying to either prove or disprove the soundness of a singular move.

Chess is very different now, best-move seeking no longer applies, tiny advantages and lesser known lines abound. Forcing lines are almost left unplayed. A very different animal.

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Re: What are your favorite sports to watch - and why


Post by Artim » Wed Jul 10, 2019 7:00 pm

Competitive dance! Irish dancers are a very competitive bunch, and outdoing each other when it comes to that really fancy noisy fun dance is awesome to watch! American clogging (think of what Redneck Riverdance would look like) is almost as competitive, and in multiple categories. My favorite is a capella, where the only music is the tap, slide, chug, and stomp sounds the dancers make. In competition they actually turn the judges' chairs around and they judge only by what they hear rather than on how great the cloggers look doing it.

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Re: What are your favorite sports to watch - and why


Post by mx-2018 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 7:20 pm

Most of the sports I watch are those which I do myself as past time activities. I usually watch:

1) Mountain bike races - I love watching the UCI mountain bike world cup & world championships (Nino Schurter just won his first WC for 2019 last weekend). I can stand watching these races that last around 1.5 hours each. Something I would not have time for if it was NASCAR.

2) NBA & NCAA basketball - Unlike American football, basketball is so easy to understand by just watching it.

3) Pro Boxing - This was my top favorite during the early 90's when all of the popular fighters were not "defense only" cowards. I'm not impressed if a fighter has ZERO loss if his style is to run away from the opponent for 12 rounds (winning only because the fighter would earn points by tagging the opponent that is trying to catch him as he runs away).

4) Chess - Unless it's a blitz match, I don't watch the games as they progress. I just review the moves after the matches.

5) Archery - My interest in archery started before I entered 1st grade in school, and I made my own bows & arrows (imagine how bad they were). But I've lost interest as I grew up, because I couldn't find anybody else who's in to archery. But my interest rekindled recently after watching the Korea vs France match last 2016 Olympics. My first real bow (yes, unlike the ones I used when I was a kid) will be coming this week. I just wish I had thought of this when my eyesight was still perfect 20/20.
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Re: What are your favorite sports to watch - and why


Post by j2mcgreg » Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:18 pm

Baseball in the summer even though the Toronto Blue Jays are dreadful this year and basketball in the winter because, well, it's the Raptors -- reigning NBA champions. I also like to watch the major golf tournaments including the Tournament Players Championship and the Ryder Cup.
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Re: What are your favorite sports to watch - and why


Post by m_pav » Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:36 am

Rider cam motorbike racing. There's nothing quite like watching footage of the horizon tipping over to 60 degrees when cornering and the tarmac ahead turning into the sky as the bike power stands through the gears and the bikes ahead laying long rubber lines around corners because the tyres are nearly unwinding themselves under intense acceleration. Only thing is, I can't do it too often because I might get a growling from the pacemaker clinic :p
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Re: What are your favorite sports to watch - and why


Post by JayM » Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:14 am

None. Games are fun to play sometimes but I have no interest in watching others play them. I've attended a baseball game, a basketball game, and a junior hockey game with friends but I only went to spend a sociable afternoon or evening with my mates. I used to occasionally watch the Seattle Seahawks play on Sundays just so I could participate in the Monday-morning conversations with my co-workers, but I could take it or leave it. I'd never attend a game on my own (and pay ten bucks for a paper cup of draft American lager beer, or worse, Bud Light.)

I used to have a C-band satellite TV dish and receiver setup and one Superbowl Sunday I got bored with the game (there wasn't anything else to do but watch it) and I started channel- and "bird"-hopping. I found Univision's live feed of the game and watched the Superbowl in Spanish for a while (I don't even speak Spanish, but I was that bored), then... do you know that one camera that they cut to every so often that shows close-ups one of the fans in the stadium? Well, that camera is actually always on and zooming in at various people and I found its live uplink feed, so I sat there and watched people watching the Superbowl for a while. (I have basically no interest whatsoever in televised sports.)

When I was a kid though, I used to like watching "The Wide, Wide World of Sports." They had sporting events and games that as an American I'd never seen or heard of. I remember one All-Ireland National hurling championship game which IIRC was between Ulster and Connaught. The rules were, you get two substitutions if some of your players get seriously injured or killed, but no more than that: you just keep playing short-handed. Also, whatever the referee doesn't personally see is legal. No protests by players allowed. I think Connaught won, and I remember that the team members lifted their captain onto their shoulders and carried him around in celebration. He'd gotten his front teeth completely knocked out and there was blood all over his chin and shirt. Oh, yes: this was an amateur sport and his day job was Catholic priest!
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Re: What are your favorite sports to watch - and why


Post by Old Giza » Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:27 am

Watch less and less as time goes on. As a teenager, very much a sports fan, live and die with the local teams, played all sports. Now not so much. Occasionally attend local uni football, semi-pro baseball, junior hockey. Like to orienteer, but do it badly.

Do more listening on the radio than watch on TV because that seems like such a wasted commitment of time. While half-listening, can do other things. Does anyone else remember when baseball games were reconstructed via ticker tape feeds? Used to listen to Detroit Tigers games that way as a kid. Had me fooled.

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Re: What are your favorite sports to watch - and why


Post by Leo » Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:15 am

Baseball and football (U.S.). Born a Cubs fan, been a Bronco's fan for 50 years...

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Re: What are your favorite sports to watch - and why


Post by Jules » Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:21 am

My favorite sport is Cricket. Born in the West Indies, so it's obvious....
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Re: What are your favorite sports to watch - and why


Post by rokytnji.1 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:34 am

Any kind of racing is my druthers.

One example: Youtube link

Oh yeah why? Been a 2 wheeler nut since a kid.

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