Dominance of boring
Posted June 16, 2014
Thanks to an incredibly busy summer weekend of sports, fans witnessed the San Antonio Spurs knock the Miami Heat out of the NBA Finals in a "gentleman's sweep," the Los Angeles Kings thrive in overtime again to win the Stanley Cup and Martin Kaymer dominate the U.S. Open at Pinehurst.
And it appears we were unmoved by these accomplishments. Bored even. The only sizzle to be found of Father's Day likely came from those steaks you slapped on a Weber grill.
The lack of NHL buzz is easy enough to explain away. While the Stanley Cup Playoffs arguably create some of the most exciting levels of sports drama, it doesn't move the needle for mainstream fans.
As for the NBA? San Antonio occupies a weird space in a star-driven league. Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginóbili each opted out of high profile free agency summers which tend to fascinate fans and pundits of the league. It also has less to do with the way the Spurs play, featuring absurd efficiency with ball movement, and more to do with the market they represent. I'm convinced if San Antonio transported their squad to New York or Los Angeles, trading in their black and silver for Lakers yellow or Knicks blue, the Spurs would be embraced as a team for the ages. Unfortunately for San Antonio, the focus will return to the free agency of LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony within 24 hours of claiming their fifth championship since 1999.
The same applies to Kaymer's run at the U.S. Open. Had Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson put up back-to-back rounds of 65 at Pinehurst, it would completely change the current perception. Even Rickie Fowler would have provided a bump because he's a young American who moves product with key demographics. The tepid response to Kaymer's performance would turn into breathless hyperbole and ratings would reflect the interest.
All of this is completely understandable. We have our favorites and story lines that do a better job piquing our collective interest. As much as sports is about winning, it's also about personalities and entertainment.