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11/02/2007 12:22:00 PM

Most Overhyped Sports Events

Kareen Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson
The Bears domination of the Patriots in Super Bowl XX made the game a snoozefest.
Jonathan Daniel/Stringer
By Lang Whitaker, SI.com

Maybe you heard about it, but there's a big football game Sunday afternoon. The Colts and Pats are both great teams, but after a week of sound and fury, it's unlikely the two teams will produce a game competitive enough to live up to the hype. This happens often -- we talk about what a great match-up is approaching, and then the game turns out to be a bust. Here's our top five most disappointing overhyped sports events...

1. Superbowl XX: The Chicago Bears dominated throughout the regular season, but in the run-up to the big game, people started to assign hope to the Patriots, figuring they'd probably figure out a way to keep it close and perhaps eke out a win. Instead, Da Bears destroyed them, 46-10.

2. 2007 Fiesta Bowl: After nearly a month of discussion, No. 1 Ohio State squared off against Florida for the BCS crown. The Buckeyes are still smarting from that Gator bite, as they lost 41-14. Kirk Herbstreit never saw it coming.

3. 1992 NCAA Tournament Final: After Duke went through hell and Rick Pitino's Kentucky team to make the Final Four, they ran into Steve Fischer and Michigan's surprising and exciting Fab Five in the final game. Could the freshmen hang with Coach K's well-drilled ballers? Not a chance, as Duke won going away, 71-51.

4. Holyfield/Tyson II: After Evander Holyfield won the Heavyweight Title from Mike Tyson with a TKO, the rematch was supposed to be Tyson's chance to earn respect. Everyone was watching, as Tyson went Tyson and bit off Evander Holyfield's ear.

5. The 1992 Olympic Decathlon: Reebok spent months promoting Dave Johnson and Dan O'Brien, two Americans favored to battle for gold in the Barcelona games. Instead, O'Brien didn't even qualify for the Olympics and Johnson made it but finished third.

What was your most disappointing overhyped sports event? Let us know below...

Lang Whitaker is the executive editor of SLAM magazine and writes daily at SLAMonline.com
posted by SI.com | View comments |


Posted: November 2, 2007 1:26 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
I think it was "Dan" O'Brien if I recall the Reebok ads correctly ("Dan or Dave?").
Posted: November 2, 2007 1:32 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Prediction of the most over-hyped sporting event of this year -

This weekends matchup between the Colts and Patriots. The Colts stand NO chance in this one - Brady will own Peyton by the time the game is over - and when this season is over, he will own Peyton's single season TD record.
Posted: November 2, 2007 1:35 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
How about every Super Bowl that has two weeks of build-up?
Posted: November 2, 2007 1:37 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
The 2007 Fiesta Bowl is a strange pick. It was never that hyped; everyone thought it was going to be a blowout. And it was, but just not with the winner people expected. If you want to pick a college football game, pick the USC/Oklahoma BCS Championship.

Anyway, the top 30 most overhyped sports events are all Super Bowls.
Posted: November 2, 2007 1:55 PM   by Anonymous Big Green 07
Uh, wasn't that supposed to be DAN O'Brian? As in "Dan & Dave."
Posted: November 2, 2007 1:59 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Can't say I agree with your top choice. Super Bowl XX was entirely about the Bears- the Patriots were an afterthought that everyone thought would be crushed. The final result was a surprise to nobody. If you wanted to include a Super Bowl disappointment (of which there were many,) you only had to go one year previous to Super Bowl XIX when the 15-1 Niners crushed the 14-2 Dolphins in what was supposed to be a clash of titans. Instead the Niners demolished the Dolphins in Dan Marino's only Super Bowl appearance.
Posted: November 2, 2007 3:50 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
This one is easy. Evel Knieval 'jumping' the Snake River Canyon.
Posted: November 2, 2007 3:51 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Any of the last few Ryder Cups where the Euros trounced the supposedly superior US PGA players...
The Michael Johnson vs. Donovan Bailey 150 meter race. Johnson didn't even finish!
The last dozen or so Super Bowls have gotten an ungodly amount of hype, but what Super Bowl in particular really stood out was Super Bowl XL, Pittsburgh v. Seattle. Rarely will anyone see a more ugly, disjointed, boring game in their lives.
Posted: November 2, 2007 6:39 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
USC 55, Oklahoma 19. The game was supposed to be one of the best in college football history and it was over by the middle of the second quarter. MUCH worse that last year's title game.
The Super Bowl between the Dolphins and 49ers. Marino struck first, and then it was all Niners. The Red Sox-Cards series in 2004 was a stinker too.
Posted: November 2, 2007 7:21 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Billie Jean King vs Bobby Riggs in the battle of the sexes tennis match.
Posted: November 2, 2007 7:34 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
the 1995 fiesta bowl between the Huskers and Gators. 'Experts' everywhere did not give the Huskers a chance against the Gators 'speed'...oops, BIG RED WON!!!
Posted: November 2, 2007 10:28 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
How about every Olympic Games that has ever been? Remind me why we have a contest every four years with all of these countries in which the real contest is in guessing which one of them hates us the most.
I'm a Bucs fan, but even I thought the Bucs/Raiders Super Bowl didn't live up to the "#1 Offense vs. #1 Defense" hype or the "Raiders v. Chucky" storyline - that's not to say I didn't enjoy the Bucs owning Jokeland, however...
Posted: November 3, 2007 2:47 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous

EVERYBODY i talked to had oklahoma.

My friend uttered the words "Oklahoma is going to kill them"

that game sucked
Posted: November 3, 2007 10:55 AM   by Anonymous Keith
What about the Ben Johnson / Michael Johnson 150 meter sprint.
Halfway through the race Michael pulled up .He later claimed he pulled a hammy , but didn't want a rematch.
Posted: November 4, 2007 3:11 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Hands-down winner of course was the 1992 Olympic basketball competition. Can't imagine why anyone would have bothered watching a single game of what became the sporting equivalent of "Operation Desert Storm".
Michael Johnson vs Donovan Bailey in 1997. The 150m dash????
Posted: November 4, 2007 3:26 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
how about the last 4 world series
Posted: November 5, 2007 9:30 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Anything Michelle Wie has participated in. That includes both PGA and LPGA events.
Posted: November 5, 2007 10:46 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
2007 Fiesta Bowl was Boise State vs. Oklahoma.... I think you mean 2007 BCS Championship, right?

Also, this game certainly lived up to the hype, and then some. Great game.
Posted: November 5, 2007 11:49 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
How about every Indy race in the last 10 years. Does anyone in America watch open-wheel racing anymore?
Posted: November 5, 2007 12:27 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Almost every college game bowl on New Years Day is overhyped. Neither team plays with passion knowing that the game is virtually meaningless - it's the last game for both teams.
how about every superbowl since 1998
Of course, the 1995 Fiesta Bowl was the last time the Big Red won anything...
Posted: November 10, 2007 12:34 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Fenway Park...that was never a baseball stadium...where homeruns become singles, and fly-outs become doubles...it's a joke...and if it was proposed these days probably wouldn't be allowed by MLB
yeah...the 2007 Fiesta Bowl was the BEST football game EVER, between Boise State and Oklahoma. You are correct in saying that the 2007 National Championship was wayyyy overhyped...
Posted: November 11, 2007 10:19 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Estadio Azteca in Mexico City-an unsafe noisy death-trap....
Posted: November 29, 2007 4:12 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
How about Ohio St/Michigan #1 vs #2in 2006....Both teams got destroyed in bowl games.
Posted: November 30, 2007 6:58 PM   by Anonymous train
every superbowl since it's inception
Posted: December 6, 2007 5:23 PM   by Anonymous JFJ
Three words: Duke. Men's. Basketball.

Three more: Notre. Dame. Football.
Posted: December 15, 2007 1:01 AM   by Anonymous Dr. Doom
Every year, Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs. The most over-rated two minutes in sports. Two hours of TV hype for a two minute horse race. At least the Super Bowl lasts 3 or four hours.
Posted: January 5, 2008 1:53 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
lang whitaker is a homer nigger from the south go back to atlanta cause you suck!
Posted: January 8, 2008 3:49 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Last year's hot dog eating contest. Not only was it overhyped on ESPN, but it was described by the announcer as an sporting event!
Posted: January 29, 2008 9:30 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
anything with Shaq in it. This is the most overrated athelete in the history of human endeavor. No weapons except his size. This from a Laker fan of 50 plus years. Cannot have him in the game in crunch time, shot puts up more bricks than a Mason and only because the NBA needed a face for their game after Mike left do they allow Shaq to lower his big shoulder and knock people off the block.
Posted: January 30, 2008 4:15 PM   by Anonymous JFJ
How did the post three above this one make it past the admins? Granted, Lang Whitaker has his faults (most of which stem from a lack of research or homerism for his alma mater UGA; the former being evident in this column and the latter on display in the column on BCS Blunders), but that type of language is uncalled for and offensive. Come on admins, wake up and do your job!
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