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ANSWERED on Sun 8 Jul 2007 - 11:29 am UTC by Hailstorm

Question: Which is the MOST BORING Spectator Sport?

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 8 Jul 2007 08:33 UTCSun 8 Jul 2007 - 8:33 am UTC 

Television Stations here in the UK appear to believe that Darts (!!!), Snooker (!!!), Tennis (!!!), Soccer (!!!), Cricket (!!!), Cycling (!!!), Athletics (!!!), Horse and Motor Racing (!!!) etc., etc. make great viewing.

But which is the MOST BORING?

Scientific evidence and Personal Experience are both welcome.

YouTube links showing Myoarin in his boat; Mark in his Yacht; or Halistrom Sumo Wrestling are better avoided ...

Please let's keep this one friendly.






 8 Jul 2007 09:27 UTCSun 8 Jul 2007 - 9:27 am UTC 

Some sports are definitely more fun to participate in than to watch.  For instance, Wife-carrying (link: http://tinyurl.com/2nposk) and Mountain Biking Bog Snorkelling (not just simple bog snorkelling mind you) (link: http://tinyurl.com/2pz3km) both of which recently held their world championships but coverage was sadly lacking on UK television (even on British Eurosport).

I think I would have to nominate Extreme Ironing (http://www.goextremeironing.com) for the most boring.  I have participated in simple ironing (in the home) and found it to be dull taking part - watching did not increase the enjoyment level much.  This link (http://tinyurl.com/32uvf9) allows you to watch participants in the extreme version of the sport.




 8 Jul 2007 11:29 UTCSun 8 Jul 2007 - 11:29 am UTC 


As always in questions like this, it is good to first go to the dictionary to make sure we are all on the same page.  I will allow Merriam-Webster to do the honors this time.


"boring: causing boredom : TIRESOME <a boring lecture> "

Hmmm, not quite enough.  Let's delve deeper:


"boredom: the state of being weary and restless through lack of interest"

By careful application of transitive relation, we can rephrase your in more neutral terms as follows:

"Which spectator sport is most likely to cause the state of being weary and restless through lack of interest?"

The problem is that everyone has their own opinion about what is interesting and what is not.  So to get an clear, unbiased idea of what is the overall least interesting spectator sport, let us use the great oracle Google to find the objective answer:


Well, Google has made things easy for us.  In all of the various kooks and grannies of the Internet, there is apparently only one site which has ever talked about the "least interesting spectator sport"


Cutting to the chase, we find our answer courtesy of "hiponion":

"i just can't see the appeal of car racing at all. except rally racing, i mean, that has a point. you're going from point a to point b, and seeing who can do it the fastest. that's a challenge and involves skill and isn't on an incredibly flat track.

going round and round the same track taking 0.0001 of a second off people every lap is just boring as bats**t. it has to be the least interesting spectator sport ever. at least in rallies they're going somewhere though."

So now we have it!  The most boring spectator sport is one involving cars going round in a single enclosed loop.  This narrows things down to Indy Car racing and Stock Car racing.  Since Indy cars go faster, and occasionally run on more intricate road/street courses, I feel comfortable in stating that Stock Car racing is the MOST BORING spectator sport in the world!




Former Researcher

 8 Jul 2007 11:33 UTCSun 8 Jul 2007 - 11:33 am UTC 

Here is some stock footage of stock car racing to w you to experience the boredom firsthand:




Former Researcher

 8 Jul 2007 13:36 UTCSun 8 Jul 2007 - 1:36 pm UTC 

As for the most boring spectator sport in Japan, I would have to go with "shogi".





 8 Jul 2007 14:26 UTCSun 8 Jul 2007 - 2:26 pm UTC 

Hi Bryan,

Since you mention me, I feel empowered to post a peanut's opinion.

(For those of you who don't know:  peanuts refers to the gallery, NOT to the members' brains.)

There are different attractions to watching sports on TV: 
1)  appreciating the skill and perfection of the contestants;
    (gymnastics, figure skating, snooker, tennis, etc.)
2)  the thrill that maybe something exciting will happen;
    (cricket, motor racing, cycling, etc., including photo finishes in
     any racing sport)
3)  vicarious participation:  anticipating the player's move;
    (snooker, curling, chess, ...)
4)  girl/boy watching;
    (gymnastics, swimming, ... )(I once knew a bloke in Australia, who told that his mother liked to watch footie because the players had nice hindquarters.);

and maybe not finally:
5)  to see the results of something one had bet on.

Of course, that is not comprehensive.

Rowing (and canoeing) may be among the most boring spectator sports  - bar any photo finishes.  The fact that Henley Royal Regatta (rowing) is primarily a social occasion for the spectators  - not that they would admit it -  with bars and dining facilities, would confirm this, in MHO.  (And, as an American friend, who has been there more often than I, pointed out a couple of years ago, the best of British beauties can be observed there  - not referring to the oarswomen.)
I concur:  it was true forty years ago and still is.

(There is no photo of me in or out of my boat on YouTube.  I could post one, stroking my school four, but I won't.  Geez, was I a good looking 17 year-old!)

Cheers, Myo




 8 Jul 2007 18:33 UTCSun 8 Jul 2007 - 6:33 pm UTC 

I will answer this without comment or humour: America's Cup yacht racing is the most boring spectator sport.

Growing up in Newport I enjoyed the Cup races every four years and watched that final race on 26 September 1983 from just a few dozen yards away in a packed throng of boats of every description [weeks prior to that I had been detained by Harbor Patrol for trying to slip into the Aussies dock using a modified rowing scull-- I pulled out the workings and just paddled her in-- painted black and with no lights, in order to get a glimpse of what they were hiding under all those barriers and curtains]. The party after the loss-- for some reason the Aussies kept calling it a win-- was epic and I didn't see a similar one until the Millenium. So I figured everybody enjoyed yacht racing as much as I did.

Imagine my shock when, four years later, I'm living in southern Spain and I find no mention of the scheduled race in the newspapers, television, radio, no buzz on the street, nothing. I had to get up at a ridiculous hour and schlep into town to the one hotel that had satellite tv and tip (bribe) the concierge to put on ESPN or whatever the station was that was showing the race.

Now to prove how boring yacht racing is... how many of you are still awake?

I thought so.

BTW, the final race last week was killer! Teh two boats crossed the start dead even-- the timing is in whole seconds-- and after about ninety minutes of sailing they crossed the finish line one second apart.I could barely sit still the whole time.

Bryan, my "yacht" is a thirty year old cobwebby day sailor with a few soft spots and an uncanny ability to discover errors in published chart depths. Add a bit more than ten years and the description applies to me as well.




 8 Jul 2007 21:18 UTCSun 8 Jul 2007 - 9:18 pm UTC 

Many thanks, Halistrom, BUT ...

I must question your use of 'the great oracle
Google to find the objective answer' ...

Whatever Google is, it ain't 'the great oracle' ... THAT title belongs to Pinkfreud!

And it ain't 'objective' 'cos I know of hundreds of examples where it is TOTALLY WRONG!

Many thanks Palitoy ... Great to see you again ... It must have been MONTHS since you last appeared.

Many thanks, Myo & Mark for your thoughts. In future I shall refer to you as M&M, if that's OK?





 8 Jul 2007 21:41 UTCSun 8 Jul 2007 - 9:41 pm UTC 

Bryan, I am sure your "M & M"  suggestion was well meant,
but via thought transfer Mark and I have agreed that each of us prefers individual mention.
I know, that sounds as though we think we are on the same plateau with Pinkfreud, Bobby, Sublime, David, Eiffel, et al.  - even your inimatable self -  but that isn't so.

      *      *      *

Now, what channel was that underwater hockey game on?




Former Researcher

 8 Jul 2007 21:53 UTCSun 8 Jul 2007 - 9:53 pm UTC 


With all due respect to yourself and pinkfreud, there is not a single recorded occurrence of the phrase "the great oracle pinkfreud" in all of the known World Wide Web...until now, of course.

With regards to the preposterous idea that Google is ever wrong, let me remind you that it would be evil for Google to knowingly provide us with a wrong answer...but as we all know, Google is incapable of evil!  In fact, its whole existance is built on the philosophy of _not_ doing evil!

So if Google has ever wronged you in any way, rest assured that it is not Google's fault.  It is the fault of the evil doers, who will be brought to justice by the noble President George Bush any day now.  Or perhaps the fault of yacht racing fans, hoping to throw people off the trail of their own sport (who will NOT be brought to justice by the noble President George Bush any day now)



Former Researcher

 9 Jul 2007 01:55 UTCMon 9 Jul 2007 - 1:55 am UTC 

The closest thing I know to underwater hockey can be found here:





 9 Jul 2007 04:20 UTCMon 9 Jul 2007 - 4:20 am UTC 

Need I say more?



Former Researcher

 9 Jul 2007 04:40 UTCMon 9 Jul 2007 - 4:40 am UTC 

I am very sorry you were not satisfied with this answer.  Please do not hesitate to ask for a refund if you feel this answer was not what you were looking for.




 9 Jul 2007 10:24 UTCMon 9 Jul 2007 - 10:24 am UTC 

You weren't really try to find underwater hockey:

Elsewhere here, Mark praised Sublime's dedication by his researching on Sunday, but your expressed faith in unvailable goodness of Google suggests that you are by far the greater believer in the supreme power of the internet  - although it's seems to be a pantheon rather than monotheistic.

Does that leave the question open still?

As to the choice of sports shown on TV, I am reminded that in Germany we recently had a scandal about a government TV sports editor's soliciting "sponsoring money" from the organization for ballroom dancing competitions.  For a few years, these got regular TV coverage, which wasn't bad viewing  - if you like long legged girls with shellacked hair and frozen smiles.

Myo (who doesn't, after checking out competions to make sure.)


Roger Browne 


 9 Jul 2007 11:00 UTCMon 9 Jul 2007 - 11:00 am UTC 

Thanks hailstorm for the Stock Car Racing video, in which nothing interesting happened. But I think that misses the point, on two counts.

First, in stock car racing there is always the possibility to anticipate something interesting happening, which perhaps has a small amount of interest in its own right.

Second, stock car racing involves a lot of noise, and for many people there appears to be a correlation between noise and lack of boredom:

  "I personally think noise can enhance the fun..."

   Fun = Noise? - GA Alumni Association

So can we identify something more boring than stock car racing, something with about as much interest as watching grass grow, watching paint dry, or watching fly fishing?

Hang on a minute, maybe those can be spectator sports in their own right? Sure enough, a quick check shows that they are indeed.

Those who choose to watch grass grow can do so with real grass, of course, but the boredom can also be brought into your own living room via the "Watching Grass Grow" webcam:

   "Live Webcam of grass growing (updates every 10.3 seconds
   or so). Not as interesting at night ... but incredibly
   exciting during the day!"


The Watching Grass Grow website also repeats the highlights, in case you missed them the first time round. Things like when it got mown.

If that's too exciting, there's watching paint dry. That's better live than on video, so instead I'll point you to a poem about this spectator sport:

   Watching paint dry, that's for me.
   Watching paint dry, naturally.
   There's no hurry, no there ain't
   I won't worry, if the paint
   takes it's time, I'll be fine,
   please don't mind, right now I'm
   just watching paint dry... naturally.

You can find more of that poem here:

   "Watching Paint Dry, Naturally" by McGrath of Harlow

Also on the above site I found a pointer to the Dull Men's Club:

   "A place -- in cyberspace -- where Dull Men can share
   thoughts and experiences, free from pressures to be in
   and trendy"


That's a fabulous site, full of ideas for boring spectator sports. July's featured event is "Listening to Corn Grow". There's also a quiz with questions like "Do you like to watch airport luggage carousels?", to help you find your true self:

   (The quiz is linked from item 3 on this page.)

There's a fabulous boring spectator sport for scientific types. It's to watch a scientific experiment that started in 1927. If you hit a lump of pitch with a hammer, it shatters. But if you put it into a funnel, it gradually oozes and eventually drips out. The catch is, there's only one drip about every ten years, and the last drip unfortunately coincided with a webcam failure. The next drip is expected around 2011:

   The Pitch Drop Experiment

I wasn't quite satisfied that any of these were boring enough, so I looked further, and I have found what I believe is the world's most boring spectator sport. It's watching cheddar cheese age, and you can do it here:


In fact, this is SO boring that there is a video condensing three months of Cheddarvision into a one-minute video:

   Cheddarvision: time-lapse 0-3 months

And guess what - even the time-lapse version is boring!


Search Strategy:

"watching grass grow" "watching paint dry"




 9 Jul 2007 12:39 UTCMon 9 Jul 2007 - 12:39 pm UTC 

In support of Hailstorm's answer...I think stock car racing is extremely boring.  That and golf are two of my least favorite sports to watch on TV.




 9 Jul 2007 15:22 UTCMon 9 Jul 2007 - 3:22 pm UTC 

I'm with anonsi on this one. I'm a sports fan, but watching golf, or watching cars go around and around and around, is utterly brain-numbing to me.




 9 Jul 2007 16:36 UTCMon 9 Jul 2007 - 4:36 pm UTC 

Aw, c'mon! There were America's Cup races that were actually decided in court, not on the water... and then reversed! Try watching THAT without your eyelids getting heavy!

I found the cheese video fascinating and I am looking forward to visiting the dripping pitch cam, having cleared my calendar through much of 2011, though I have to drop the Honda off for an oil change sometime in April.




 9 Jul 2007 17:28 UTCMon 9 Jul 2007 - 5:28 pm UTC 

Mark, your frustration with yacht racing is offset by the fact that you grew up in fabulous, gorgeous, and oh-so-exclusive Newport. (I'm a fellow native New Englander. I am onto you, bub! How veddy, veddy!!)

Here's one of my firm rules about life: Anyone who grows up in a postcard town has no right to complain about **anything**!

Btw, if I had answered this question, Probo would have been even more petulant :-) I would have supplied a one-word answer: "golf."

Even the commentators' endless whispering gets on my nerves! I further maintain a "sport" cannot really be a sport if an "athlete"  can enjoy a few swigs from a flask AND a smoke while strolling (or scootering) down the fairway. You ever see a linebacker puffing on a Marlboro in between downs??

Besides, with yachting you at least get to see pretty waves and a pretty horizon. Plus, there's always a chance of a dolphin -- or even a whale -- sighting!

I rest my case.




 9 Jul 2007 17:34 UTCMon 9 Jul 2007 - 5:34 pm UTC 

If global warming really strikes, the tar may start to flow faster.
Stay glued to your screen ...

To make this a "sport" worthy of general watching, Ladbrokes must start taking bets on the day of the drop.  That could be very interesting for scientifically oriented punters.   They could set up a parallel experiment, advancing the progress by heating, whatever, and hope they could better estimate when the next drop would fall.

Still sounds very boring, however.




 9 Jul 2007 22:33 UTCMon 9 Jul 2007 - 10:33 pm UTC 

Myo, you mean I have to clear 2010 as well? Dammit!




 10 Jul 2007 02:00 UTCTue 10 Jul 2007 - 2:00 am UTC 

Nah, don't waste your time.

'There is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats' - Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows




 14 Jul 2007 18:41 UTCSat 14 Jul 2007 - 6:41 pm UTC 


This is the very first time I've ever seen Bryan rate an answer with one measly star :-(





 14 Jul 2007 21:16 UTCSat 14 Jul 2007 - 9:16 pm UTC 

Quite so, Steph.

Just between you and me, I think it was because Probo secretly gets a thrill from watching car races (don't know why, maybe he bets on them).
Alternatively, he may dream of owning a fast car  (Aston Martin, being British and a spy chaser, like James Bond), but only writers of fiction can earn that kind of money, and Probo has too straight a personality as an accountant to play with fast cars.  (That is meant as a compliment.) 

(Hey, I once met Peter Fleming, Ian's brother, a journalist with a few adventures in his own right.  It was years later, however, before I recognized who he was.)

Regards, Myo




 15 Jul 2007 18:51 UTCSun 15 Jul 2007 - 6:51 pm UTC 

Hi Myo....

Thanks for the clarification.

I read in another question that Bryan was planning a trip to Phoenix, AZ. Has he left yet and do you know his expected return date? My son and his girlfriend are currently there, visiting my sis.

I, myself, just returned from a 3 week trip so I'm kinda "out of the loop", so to say.....

Steph/ Carmen




 15 Jul 2007 20:03 UTCSun 15 Jul 2007 - 8:03 pm UTC 

Don't believe a word about the trip to Phoenix:

1)  He has to learn a fan dance before he goes to Phoenix;
a question that provided some interesting suggestions but no decision on just what kind of fan dance he needs to learn.

2)  He keeps telling young ladies that he is intending to visit them  -
including you, if I remember correctly (or did he invite you to visit him?) -  which reminds me of a flatmate I had in Sydney, who always asked for girls' phone numbers "to make them feel good."

3)  I don't think he likes to fly.  Two years ago, he said he went to Scotland, but Hove(Brighton) to London seems to be his axis.  (Of course, it could be that Her Majesty's Government has impounded his passport as a reaction to his revealing books about HM's secret service during the war.)

4)  Hmmm, I am sure there is a good fourth reason, maybe that he would have long since visited Pinkfreud if he were serious about such suggestions.

Sorry to disappoint you, Carmen.  The best men are the ones you don't ever meet  - and conversely for men, of course.

Hope you had a good trip.

Cheers, Myo




 15 Jul 2007 20:15 UTCSun 15 Jul 2007 - 8:15 pm UTC 

Myo, I cannot imagine any sensible British subject developing a true interest in auto racing. As the owner of two BritCars (this is a sure sign that I am an unbalanced individual-- I owned one and then got ANOTHER) I can assure you they cannot travel more than a handful of miles without needing hours of tinkering and coddling. The vehicles regularly extract a varying amount of blood as well, usually from the knuckles.

This is probably why they have rally races; the built-in times for repairing and ordering parts suit the design quirks of the cars.

Oh, wait, that does make it pretty boring. eh, I'm still for sail races.




 16 Jul 2007 09:07 UTCMon 16 Jul 2007 - 9:07 am UTC 

Mark, as I quoted elsewhere, "messing around with boats" is worthwhile,
not with cars.

In Australia 35 years ago, I was surprised to notice that a man had bifocals with the reading area at the top of the lenses.  He explained that he had a Jaguar and spent enough time under it to make it sensible to have the near focus area at to top.  !!

Cheers, Myo


Roger Browne 


 16 Jul 2007 10:39 UTCMon 16 Jul 2007 - 10:39 am UTC 

Steph, hailstorm "gives as good as he gets":

"Who wants a one-star rating and some money?"




 16 Jul 2007 22:31 UTCMon 16 Jul 2007 - 10:31 pm UTC 

Wow, thanks, Roger.

I had not seen that GA question.

Man, Bryan has a good memory, eh????





 16 Jul 2007 22:33 UTCMon 16 Jul 2007 - 10:33 pm UTC 


I think you're right!!

I've invited him over here for a good shot of Canuck beer and to meet my Albert many, many times.......he never shows up :(


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