While I sat Monday night and half-watched the miserable 2012 MLB Home Run Derby in Kansas City, all it took was a few minutes of Chris Berman's buffoonery and Orioles outfielder Adam Jones eating a plate of ribs (no joke, this really happened) to wonder, why does this event exist in the first place? With that in mind, here are some other things off the top of my head that pro sports could live without.
1. NFL Preseason games
You simply can't go straight from training camp to the NFL regular season, so sadly preseason will always take place. Still, do we need to see Brian Hoyer throwing passes to Matthew Slater on four separate occasions and not two or three times? These glorified scrimmages are basically worthless and the only news that comes out of them is when a good player gets hurt.
2. marathon regular seasons
Along those same lines, you can't help but look at three of the four major sports leagues in the U.S. (NBA, MLB, NHL) and realize that it would be a better product with a less lengthy regular season. No surprise, the NFL is the one professional league that has it figured out. Seventeen weeks of football is pretty much flawless despite the fact that it reduces us to drug addicts, with Roger Goodell being our main connect.
A relatively new addition to the NHL, the shootout basically caters to fair-weather hockey fans. Oh look, a breakaway! It's not that ties are more exciting, because they most certainly are not, but what is the real point of shootouts? Especially when they are abandoned in the postseason when everyone is tuned in. Maybe I'm just bitter since the Bruins usually lack the skilled guys that excel in this cheesy format.
4. Penalty kicks.
To clarify, there should obviously be penalty kicks in the run of play during soccer games. For a sport that can be very boring, those are often the most exciting plays. However, by no means should that be the way to decide club championships (like the 2012 Champions League) or world titles (2011 Women's World Cup). At that level, stopping a penalty kick is the result of not much more than pure luck. Therefore, it's insane to have games end in that manner. Like hockey, they should have extra time until someone scores. If that takes too long, start taking players off one by one.