Listfull: The 5 Most Annoying Sports Stories of the Summer

06 Aug

Lots of people have criticized ESPN for fixating on only certain sports stories/players and then hyping and covering them until you can no longer stand to hear about them.  With the summer winding down and the first NFL Preseason game now in the books (and Fantasy Football drafts about to commence), let’s take a look back at some of the most annoying sports stories from this summer.


1. Baseball.  Yes, even with baseball being the main sport that is in-season, it still doesn’t seem to generate a lot of excitement.  You would think that with as many games as there are (including the All-Star game), they would be able to seize the spotlight.  But it seems that the main story lines that baseball has managed to generate have been of the off-the-field, scandal variety (see #2).

2.  PEDS.  This is a big story, especially in baseball.  I get it; it should be covered because it is important and involves some big names (Ryan Braun and A-Rod).  But what is really annoying is the way in which it is covered.  People are acting as if they are shocked that there is still PED use in baseball (when it has nearly always been there and will probably always be there).  It is hugely incentivized (with pretty minimal punishments) and it used in nearly every sector of society.  I also find it rather shocking that people find it strange that athletes lie about using PEDs when asked.  We just expect that they will tell us all the truth as soon as anyone asks…really?!  The outrage of “He lied to us about it for weeks/months/years!” is absolutely ridiculous.  Of course they are going to tell us that they aren’t using until they are caught with indisputable evidence!



3. Johnny “Football” Manziel.  The guy who won last year’s Heisman Trophy has been in the news for a number of reasons.  Actually, he has been in the news for nearly everything he’s done all summer.  Tweets.  Deleted tweets.  Seats at the NBA Finals.  Playing golf.  Partying.  Missing practice.  More partying.  Interviews. Frat parties.  Visiting rappers.  Johnny Football has been the story this summer.  ESPN has followed his every move.  I am sick and tired of hearing about him and what he is doing.  I do not need a play by play of his life.  I have had enough Johnny Football.  And I hate that he is called Johnny Football.  I will be extremely happy when college football season kicks off and we get to actually watch and hear about other teams and players (though make no mistake, his every move on and off the field will still be analyzed).



4.  The Big 3’s possible break-up.  Remember the NBA Finals…we have to go back to the beginning of the summer for that one.  But if you recall, the Heat won their second straight title in their third straight trip to the Finals.  But the storyline during the last couple of games of the Finals and at least a few weeks following the Heat’s victory was whether or not the Big 3 should be broken up.  “Do they still have what it takes to win?”  As they were in the midst of winning a title.  And it continued on after they had won the title.  Now I get it that there are some salary cap considerations coming up, but come on…

4a.  What team will be the most attractive for LeBron’s free agency that won’t happen until 2014.  He just won a second straight title with the Heat.  Let it rest for just a bit.

big 3


5.  Dwight Howard and LA.  What was Dwight going to do?  Where would he end up?  Were he and Kobe incompatible?  Was he not made for the bright lights of LA? Will he ever be able to lead a team to a championship?  Would he have stayed had Phil Jackson been the coach?  All of these questions and more were asked for a long time.  The Dwight Howard saga lasted too long and was over-hyped and over-analyzed (I guess we should have expected that).  I really don’t think that he meant for it to end up like that, but with little else to cover, ESPN had plenty of resources and time to devote to Dwight.  He finally elected to go to Houston (which I think was a great place for him).  Good luck, Dwight. I am actually pulling for you to do well.

which team....

which team….


What do you think?  Other sports stories that you have had enough of this summer?  Will the start of football finally get us past some of these annoying stories?


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18 responses to “Listfull: The 5 Most Annoying Sports Stories of the Summer

  1. Jeff

    August 6, 2013 at 10:30 AM

    #1 is absurd, Michael. I fail to see how “not generating excitement,” an absurdly subjective measure in and of itself, lands baseball, as a whole, at the top of the list. Excitement? This season has a ton of it:

    How about Yasiel Puig having an incredible rookie season offensively and defensively, or his Dodgers going from 10 1/2 out and worst in the NL West to first in 44 games?
    How about the Pirates making a run at the best record in baseball after 20 straight losing seasons?
    How about Max Scherzer looking like he was never going to lose a game?
    How about Chris Davis tying the American League record for home runs in the first half?
    Even the most groan-worthy division, the AL East has seen a great race for the playoffs with the Boston Red Sox winning 11 games on walk-offs; one of the more exciting plays in sports that young kids play out in their fantasies all the time.

    Saying you don’t like baseball is one thing. Saying it doesn’t “seize the spotlight” is all a matter of the stories chosen to report. Or, probably more importantly, the stories you see as being “exciting.” For a lot of people, that stuff I listed above are important stories. How does football, hockey, basketball, or any other sport, “seize the spotlight?” Probably through the same avenue that you’ve put up as being annoying sports stories 2-5. Your problem is with the coverage, but you’ve pointed out a deficiency in baseball, as a sport.


    • trokspot

      August 6, 2013 at 5:33 PM

      This wasn’t in any particular order, so being at the “top of the list” is really just being “on the list”.

      Of course it’s subjective….the whole exercise is subjective. Sports stuff/stories that I have found annoying this summer.

      And of course it’s driven by coverage. If I (or you) don’t like it, but I only hear about it once for a brief bit, then I am probably not all that annoyed by it. But if it is covered relentlessly and I don’t like it or want to hear about it anymore, then I am probably annoyed by it. This is one of the reasons people are annoyed with ESPN as a network – a quite narrow scope of coverage that they then beat to death.

      I will definitely admit to being hard on baseball (always have been and will likely continue to be). I will also say that I did enjoy Puig coming onto the scene. But I’ll stick with baseball, for me, to be kind of annoying and somewhat boring as far as storylines go…especially with the main focus of the baseball coverage to have been on PED stuff (maybe I could have lumped baseball and PED together as 1 and 1a – that may have been a little more appropriate).

      You did point out a list of several storylines that you said are important to a lot of people (I was actually only aware of Puig and the Pirates). Sure, that’s fine, I know that baseball has it’s fanbase and that those are important. But it’s not important to me, so it’s on my list. I’m sure that the Johnny Football/Dwight Howard etc. coverage is important to a lot of people. But it’s not me, so it’s on my list.


      • Jeff

        August 6, 2013 at 7:08 PM

        Of course the list is subjective, that’s what lists like this are. That was a bad choice of words. I was in quite a fury when penning that post.

        However, what criteria (other than extremely flawed logic) could produce a list that would put an entire sport’s existence on this list? What’s the main coverage of other sports? It’s rarely something that has to do with the game itself. For baseball, it’s PEDs. For football it’s Tim Tebow and (how on Earth this missed this list) Aaron Hernandez (which, it’s hard to say the Pats have kept the media out as one of their best (former) players is up on murder charges). Or Sanchez’s spot on the Jets (another honorable mention, I’m sure). Or, if TO is going to make a roster somewhere. Basketball has Kobe, Dwight, and LeBron. Look at that dude from San Antonio who lit up the Heat in the Finals. Danny Green’s existence as a story was not predicated on his play, but rather that he was beating the Heat, excuse me, LeBron James. Roy Hibbert pointed out that their good play all season was only a story when it was against the Heat. Basketball is still obsessed with LeBron’s decision, something that happened off the court as he was a free-agent. Hockey, that has something, I’m sure. But, it’s not the play. Maybe it was, actually, when the Blackhawks won like a million straight games.

        The point is, you are saying baseball, as a game, isn’t seizing a/the spotlight. I’m just not sure there is a sport that is doing that. Other than in the annoying ways you are pointing out. Like I said, you can be hard on baseball, but, don’t do it at the expense of discrediting the purpose of your post here. Because you don’t pay attention, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. You cannot ask baseball to do something for you that you wouldn’t acknowledge if it did. Saying a story is annoying because there isn’t a story (even though, there are many compelling stories in baseball right now, you’re just ignoring them), is just a strange thing. As is titling this the way you have and claiming not to have an order.


      • trokspot

        August 6, 2013 at 9:00 PM

        So the list isn’t ranked…it is just 5 things I have found annoying this summer (much like my last list on saving money wasn’t necessarily ranked in order of best ways to save). If I were ranking it would probably look like:
        1. Johnny Football – miles ahead.
        2. PEDs
        3. Dwight
        4. Big 3
        5. Baseball (and again, I would not be opposed to doing a 1/1a. with baseball and PEDs as a way to lump them together).

        For baseball to be on there might make more sense if it were lumped in with PED stuff. But it made the list…. So if I’m flipping through ESPN and groan because baseball tonight is on and change the channel, or if the next three PTI topics are baseball (even other than PEDs) I tune out or change the channel, or the same with SportsCenter topics… That’s why it makes the list. I see/hear baseball story, might listen to a few bits, then groan and move on. I find it annoying. It’s on the list (even though, as you point out, it is an entire sport and not just a single story).
        Some people might very well do the same when the NFL rolls around….groan and be annoyed at the NFL (in general) coverage and stories. Or NASCAR. Or whatever else you happen to find particularly annoying. For me, it’s baseball.

        I guess it might be similar to coming up with a least of least liked foods, and saying carrots, corn, chicken, and anything grilled (none of which are true). The anything grilled is not a particular food, but it might very well be an accurate statement.
        Or saying I don’t like chicken, regardless of whether it’s fried, baked, grilled, or raw. It might just be easier to say that I don’t like chicken instead of trying to pick which specific style of chicken I don’t like.
        (Ok, enough food analogies.)

        Tebow definitely would have made it previously, but I feel like I haven’t heard much from or about him since the Pats signed him, so he just missed the list.

        I also would say that I was conflicted with the Hernandez stuff (and NFL arrests in general), but since it was a murder case, I decided just to not touch that topic.


  2. Buddy

    August 6, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    You forgot “Should Puig be in the All-Star Game?” and “Will Mark Sanchez start?”

    I agree with baseball, especially the Cardinals. They suck!


    • trokspot

      August 6, 2013 at 5:36 PM

      I considered the All-Star/Puig debates, but decided that was probably subsumed under the baseball bullet. I also liked hearing about and seeing Puig highlights – just not the debating over All-Star appearance.

      I’m just glad that it’s not Sanchez/Tebow again. I think that the Pats have kept the media away for the most part which is nice not to have another Tebow summer.


    • trokspot

      August 6, 2013 at 5:54 PM

      PS. What round are you drafting Tebow? I am planning to draft Vince Young in the 3rd (don’t tell anyone!).


  3. Buddy

    August 6, 2013 at 7:29 PM

    Damn, you just ruined one of my future message board posts. I am using the keeper on Tebow even if I didn’t draft him last year.



  4. Andy

    August 6, 2013 at 11:05 PM

    This all makes me feel so glad that I haven’t had cable since June and so have had to piece together my own version of sports news without the help of ESPN. The world seems like such a balanced place, even if it does get boring sometimes.


    • trokspot

      August 6, 2013 at 11:33 PM

      Yes, a large part of the “annoyance” is thanks to ESPN focusing on only a few stories. If you want a better balanced sports supply, you will probably be wise to check a variety of different sports sources/sites. So this has turned out to be a blessing in disguise I guess.


  5. Jeff

    August 7, 2013 at 7:41 AM

    Okay, it could be that I just finished season one of The Newsroom last night, but I was just trying to raise the level of discourse here. I can see that I’m not going to get a rationale about why baseball is on here (it’s really “one of these things is not like the other”), outside of “because” and some strange food analogy.

    No argument about the slow pace of the game post-TLR. No argument about the 162-game season. No argument about name recognition or anything. Just, because you don’t like watching baseball highlights. Cool. Do they still make blooper videos?

    Also, baseball is connected to PEDs in your 1/1a discussion just as much as the NBA is connected to Dwight and the big three orJohnny Football is to NCAA Football. Isn’t most of the latter discourse about where he fits in as a college player in relation to his professional player-like actions?


    • trokspot

      August 7, 2013 at 3:08 PM

      So if I am annoyed by baseball story x, then baseball story z, then baseball story a, then baseball story y, then baseball story q that crop up and are covered… How do I best approximate that? My answer was (and is) to say that baseball, in general, is annoying.

      It seems like you already understand the basic rationale for why – slow pace, long season that drags, tedious and time consuming, not much action, etc. etc. (not just that I don’t like watching highlights…that was an example to point to in my attempted explanation).


      • Jeff

        August 7, 2013 at 3:41 PM

        You best approximate that by saying why the story annoys you. And better yet, the type of baseball story that annoys you. You’re saying that a baseball story annoys you because it is a baseball story. It’s a weak case. And doesn’t that seem a bit lame to put on this list in the lead off spot then? How do you approximate why NFL/NBA/NCAA story x, then z, then a, then y, then q, is not annoying?

        “My answer was (and is) that baseball, in general, is annoying.” And my response is, why? Are baseball stories about how slow the game is? Or about how the manager brought in a right-handed specialist to throw one pitch and then removed him from the game? Are they about how many games there are (even though, this is what you say it has going for it in terms of being able to generate excitement)? If these are the stories you are seeing, then I’m looking at a completely different ESPN(.com), Yahoo!, and Maybe these things make the stories seem insignificant because of those things. But, now I’ve made the whole argument for you, so I’ll let it die here. You were just trying to take a shot at baseball. I shouldn’t have tried to find the logic there.


      • trokspot

        August 7, 2013 at 4:14 PM

        I won’t (and haven’t) denied that I was taking a bit of a shot at baseball. I said that I have been and will continue to be relatively hard on baseball; I am pretty up front about that. (So I’m not sure why it’s surprising to see it pop up on a list of sports stuff that I find annoying…)

        I don’t like thing x, therefore I find the coverage of thing x to be somewhat annoying. This becomes especially salient in the summer, when thing x is one of the few things that is actually in season. So the stories about thing x are around a bit more and I find them annoying.

        I will say that I actually really enjoy watching the LLWS and I have always enjoyed watching women’s softball as well. (I watched a bit of the CWS this year because of IU, but didn’t particularly care for it.) So maybe there’s something there…. I don’t know.

        Anyway, how about that new development regarding Johnny Football… Haha!


  6. Jeff

    August 7, 2013 at 9:52 AM

    Also, I believe that you did not rank these things. But, titling the post the way you did implies an order. The difference between “Ways to save money” and “The best ways to save money” is the same as “Annoying sports stories” and “The most annoying sports stories.” Just semantics and something I’d rake a student over the coals if they put on a survey when they meant one thing but wrote it with the implications of the other.


  7. Buddy

    August 7, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    The only thing Mike enjoys about baseball is the tight pants.


    • trokspot

      August 7, 2013 at 3:11 PM

      Haha. Actually, that one is exactly the opposite. It actually annoys me that most guys wear the longer pants instead of wearing them up a little bit and showing the socks. I like the old school Chipper Jones style (or actual old school where everyone wore them like that).



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