A blog by Patrick Crozier

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June 18, 2004

Is the European Championship the world's greatest sporting tournament?

Now, if that doesn't raise a few hackles then I don't know what will. But I think there is a case.

The Olympics is absurd. Drug-riven, bloated, boring and possessing far too many idiotic events. Is a gold in the women's modern pentathlon really equivalent to a gold in the men's 100m?

The World Cup is also well on its way to absurdity. There are too many teams. That means it takes too long and also, that the draw gets buggered up. In 2002 the most important game ended up taking place at the quarter final stage. The only good tournaments take place in Europe. Anywhere else and it's simply too hot.

By contrast the European Championship is short, compact, of a higher quality and produces better sporting drama.

But are there, perhaps, a few tournaments that I have been neglecting? I think we can rule out the Rugby World Cup immediately. Countries in which rugby is the No.1 sport: 1. New Zealand; 2. Er, that's it. The list where it is the No.2 sport is probably just as short.

I think North American readers will accept that the sheer parochialness of the World Series, Stanley Cup and SuperBowl rules them out of contention.

But what about the Cricket World Cup? International. A big deal in some really important countries. Maybe, just maybe…


We'll all be Rooney'd
My annoyance at not being able to see Euro 2004 has reached the point where I've put the wheels in motion to get the Foxtel put back on. Bad enough...
Ubersportingpundit on June 22, 2004


The trouble with the cricket World Cup is that on the whole it isn't very well run. (Yes, it is the world championship of a very important sport, but so is the football World Cup). The last one was to some extent spoiled by the fact that the event was held in three countries and some of the participating countries (England and New Zealand) refused to participate in one of the host countries (Zimbabwe). And the format was way too bloated - the tournament took the best part of two months to reduce 16 teams to 1. And the finalists played ten matches each in the tournament, which was way too many.

And one of the best things about the European championships is that it is short, sweet, and to the point. Three weeks for the whole tournament. Even the winning team will have played only six games. And this is good.

Posted by Michael Jennings on June 19, 2004