The Best 10 Sporting Events

by Conor Friedersdorf

Rick Reilly lists "the ten best sporting events to see live." Weirdly, it includes two golf tournaments, The Ryder Cup and The Masters, even though golf is among the worst sports to see live -- its hours of standing, moving about in huge crowds, having to keep quiet, and having little overall sense of the tournament, particularly the most crucial shots, the vast majority of which you're guaranteed to miss. I'm hardly a fan of televised golf, but I enjoy watching one or two majors a year, and the televised versions are infinitely better.

He mentions Wimbledon too.

I've no doubt that the All England Club, which I've never visited, is a site to behold, but I'd rather attend the US Open or the French Open, where the rallies are longer and the crowds allowed a bit more rambunctiousness.

Perhaps most egregiously, Mr. Reilly neglects to list soccer at all. The most heated rivalry match I've ever attended pitted FC Sevilla against crosstown rival Real Betis. A 1988 Western Conference Finals Lakers game at The Forum excepted, I've never enjoyed a sporting event more, and it was relatively low-grade soccer. How cool would it be to see Brazil play in the World Cup?

Credit is due, however, to his Tour de France Recommendation. "Pick a climbing stage, bring friends and a bike, ride the course in the morning before the race (you're allowed), have lunch in a hamlet atop some exquisite Alp, watch the heart-skipping finish, have a bottle of Bordeaux, spend the night, bike down in the morning," he writes. "Rinse and repeat."