By Barry Janoff, Executive Editor
July 7, 2009: There are a lot of great events that TV can help bring to life, such as the Super Bowl, Game 7 of the World Series, NBA or NHL Finals and the Kentucky Derby. However, there are some events that should be avoided on TV.
1. AVP Volleyball
A great event in person, when you can soak up the party atmosphere, enjoy the sun and sand and get to watch lots of good-looking people in bikinis. On TV, it says you can't get off the couch to do anything that takes much energy. The tour is especially hard to watch this season as Misty May-Treanor (injury), Kerri Walsh (recently gave birth) and Holly McPeak (retired) are not there. Turn off the TV and get to a beach, or at least the local mall where you can soak up the party atmosphere and ogle the merchandise.
2. NFL Pro Bowl
It used to be in Hawaii the week after the Super Bowl, when all the excitement and energy was expended and the only players left standing were those still feeling disappointment over not making the Super Bowl. Now it has been moved to the week before the Super Bowl (Jan. 31 in Miami), when there might be more to salvage and certainly more useful pre-Super Bowl prognostications from TV announcers, so it might not make this list next year.
3. Reality Sports Shows
Sports is the ultimate reality. Reality sports shows are pre-package, pre-defined and come with lots of limitations. If you must watch Michael Irvine on a football field, chose replays of the three Super Bowls in which he played with the Dallas Cowboys over 4th and Long. If you must see Terrell Owens, skip The Superstars and wait for the NFL season to begin.
4. NBA All-Star Game
NBA games are about emotion, intensity, passion and defense. NBA All-Star Game is about showboating. Even players who dislike each other make nice, you won't see anything that resembles a flagrant foul, and if LeBron or Kobe gets the ball on a fast break at half court, defense yields to a faux slam dunk contest. Watch the Slam Dunk event and then wait for the season to begin again.
5. NCAA Men's Basketball Division I Tournament Opening Round (Play-In Game)
Two teams play to be in the No. 64 team, which becomes the 16th seed playing No. 1. Remember who played in 2009? (Morehead State beat Alabama State, then lost to Louisville.) How about 2008? (Mount St. Mary's beat Coppin State then lost to North Carolina.) Anybody care? No No. 16 has ever beaten a No. 1 in NCAA men's Division I tournament history, so this really is an effort in futility.
6. Synchronized Swimming At The Olympics
It has its followers, and the participants are world-class. But is it an Olympic event? In 2008, the Russian team won duet gold, and both participants were named Anastasia, so it doesn't get more synchronized (or boring) than that.
7. Six-Hour Super Bowl Pre-Game Show
Except as background noise at a Super Bowl party or in a sports bar. Don't turn up the volume and actually pay attention until 30 minutes before kickoff.
8. Last Game Of the MLB Season When Your Team Is 30 Games Under .500
Unless you are a masochist or related to the about-to-be-fired manager. Since it's late October, watch an NFL game, the NHL or pre-season NBA.
9. Fourth Game Of NFL Preseason
Starters will not get much playing time to avoid injury so unless you want to see the back-up QB, RB, WR and DBs get sweaty, wait a few days for the real deal. Even the NFL wants to do away with it.
10. Pilot Pen Tennis Tournament
Held the week before the US Open, most of the top ranked men's and women's players cite injury, fatigue, mom's birthday or other reasons to skip it to avoid real injury and fatigue before the U.S. Open. And your defending men's singles champion is Marin Cilic (who is currently ranked No. 15 in the world by ATP) and your defending women's singles champion is Caroline Wozniacki (currently ranked No. 9 by the WTA).
If you have any sports events that should be added to the list, send them to: