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Filling The Void

American Pro Sports as Reality TV

If the NFL is The Bachelor, the XFL is definetly its trashier, more exciting cousin, Bachelor in Paradise.

Reality TV by KristenHearne is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

American Pro Sports as Reality TV


Estimated Reading Time: 2 Minutes

At their worst, there’s really no difference. Also at their best, there’s really no difference.

NFL: The Bachelor/Bachelorette

  • A much harder game to play after 30.
  • Professes to be an equal opportunity but non-white participants are virtually unrepresented in top leadership roles.
  • Management claims to be “just as shocked as you” when an environment they created turns toxic.

MLB: Survivor

  • The American original.
  • Takes more weeks to play out than anything else.
  • Behind-the-scenes nerds pulling all the strings. 

NBA: America’s Next Top Model

  • If you’re not tall you’d better be goddamn talented. 
  • Actually tries to keep up with the times.
  • Thank God the commentators have this or what would they do for work.

NHL: The Deadliest Catch

  • All white cast.
  • Low center of gravity highly advantageous.
  • Very few casual viewers.

XFL: Bachelor In Paradise

  • Objectively more exciting than its predecessor.
  • People only don’t watch because they’re too pretentious.
  • Players are incentivized to play the field both wide and deep.

MLS: Big Brother

  • We know it’s American but it still feels foreign.
  • Contestants grossly overact for sympathy and a little down time.
  • Amazingly still on the air.

USMNT: Trading Spaces

  • Over-promises and under-delivers.
  • Gets airtime despite waning audiences. 
  • Everyone’s pretty hot though.

USWNT: House Hunters

  • Consistently world class since 1999.
  • “How do they get so much for paying so little?”
  • You’d be willing to watch it but have no idea when it airs.

WNBA: The Voice

  • Undeniable talent.
  • Teamwork valued over egoism. 
  • Not the launchpad you want it to be for a permanent career.

LPGA: The Great British Baking Show

  • A genuinely relaxing watch.
  • More diverse than you would expect.
  • Skills that are made to look easy but you could never personally execute them.

PGA: Hell’s Kitchen

  • Way more yelling than you’d expect.
  • The jacket is everything.
  • Skills that you could never personally execute and they’ll make sure you know it.

USTA: The Amazing Race

  • Doubles!
  • Best stuff happens outside the US.
  • We’re not like ‘other’ games, our scoring is words.

Minor League Baseball: 90 Day Fiancé

  • “We want to stay together but no guarantees”.
  • Expecting to live in a mansion, instead sharing a condo with no AC.
  • You gotta leave town after the breakup. 

WWE: RuPaul’s Drag Race

  • Bad acting made forgivable by exceptional physiques.
  • Pretty gay when you think about it.
  • Winners and losers determined by dramatic impact not ability. 

Angelica is an NYC based creative. She has performed in the national tours of Broadway musicals, written for ESPN.com, and teaches theater and dance in men's maximum security prisons. 2018 Broadway Show League Female MVP! Her loyalties stem from her roots, and remain with the 49ers, Giants, Sharks, and UCLA Bruins.

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