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RedWingsRox

Is the Stanley Cup really the hardest trophy in all of pro sport?

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the NBA hasnt had the best of 5 first rounds since the 2002-2003 season

Christ has it been that long? I stopped following Basketball after the Kings owners ditched the whole team in an effort to get them moved and havent watched since. Sorry about that and it reminded me that Im getting that much older where 10 years ago seems like just yesterday.

Edited by Cali-Wing-Nut

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Wouldn't the Champions League be toughest trophy to win? Since you're competing with all of Europe and not just one league.

Also, the average NHL team has a better chance of winning the Cup than the average European soccer club has of winning the CL. Simply because only the rich clubs can take a real stab at the trophy. There's more parity in the NHL where anyone can take a stab at the Cup in a season or two.

Out of all the football leagues, tournaments etc, the Champions League is definately the hardest to win, as proven by the fact that since it was introduced, no team has ever retained the trophy since its inception, whereas in the old European Cup teams regularly won 2 or 3 on the bounce. Even the current Barcelona side, widely hailed as perhaps the greatest club team of all time haven't been able to win back-to-back CLs.

I should make clear I'm claiming its as hard physically as the Stanley Cup, or TdF, because it isn't.

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They are all difficult to obtain, just depends on your terms of hard or grinding.

No need to elaborate on the NHL, we all know the wear/tear of it. I'll lay out some others.

NBA - I know it's not many's cup of tea in here, mine either, I barely watch it until the playoffs start but it gets entertaining the closer you get to the Finals. Similar season to the NHL in terms of number of games played and length. Could make a case that it is difficult to win a championship in that regard.

NFL - The least amount of games in any league but arguably the most physical and wear/tear league out there. What most the players have to put their bodies through at least 16 games and in practices for most of the week leading up to the game is very demanding. A lot like the NHL, if you can get hot at the right time you can win it all, low playoff seeds have won in recent years (Green Bay, Pittsburgh Steelers, etc.). Doesn't make it right/wrong, easier/more difficult to win to me, just how the playoffs are determined and regardless of your seed, the season is still a grind.

MLB - Probably the least demanding physically or at least in terms of contact, but could easily make a case for the most grinding/travel as you are constantly on the road and play 160+ games a season, often in hot weather. That's a ton of games and the playoffs are probably the most difficult to make since only 8 teams make it to the postseason I believe out of 30ish.

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So what if in football the balls in motion for only 11 minutes a game, it doesnt mean the games not any tougher. Each play the players are going against each other using all their strength to try and move a big lineman out of the way and try and tackle the ball carrier. And if the coaches dont take them out for a substitution they get 20-30 seconds of rest and then they do it all over again.

theres a reason that most football teams dont start practicing again after a game until Wednesday

Now divide the 11min by an offensive line and defensive line and special teams blah blah blah, not to mention there are several players that never ever see contact. Football is way overrated IMO.

I also think one of the main reasons it is so popular in the US is at a rate of 81.6% of the game dedicated to standing around it is a perfect opportunity for commercials. Yet another way corporations are driving the masses interest. Just sayin.

Edited by redwingmachine

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This sums up exactly how I feel about the NFL and why I feel that the NHL is second to none (especially the NFL) in professional sports in terms of quality, competitiveness, and athleticism. Enjoy.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/paul_daugherty/10/06/nfl/index.html

that was brilliant.

i gave up on football in the late 80's.

the dancing around and celebrating for doing their job...you know, like tackle someone...was too much for me. i noticed that football was akin to chess, with overweight, barely mobile "athletes". sure they can bench 4000lbs. but they would be zombie snacks if they ever had to run.

to me, this became part sport, part human insanity. my role models will never be, pink fuzzy jacket guys, entourage equipped, overweight sumo types,dog fight organizers, third person conversationalist, or super prima donnas that lost their reality.

Americas obsession with mediocrity has wore thin on my senses.

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This article brings up an interesting point about NFL vs NHL playoffs.

"To win the Superbowl a team must be the better team through 44 minutes of play.

To win the Stanley Cup a team must be the better team through a minimum of 16 hours of play."

My link

kipwinger and dobbles like this

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This article brings up an interesting point about NFL vs NHL playoffs.

"To win the Superbowl a team must be the better team through 44 minutes of play.

To win the Stanley Cup a team must be the better team through a minimum of 16 hours of play."

My link

This article is awesome. I wish I could send it over to the guys at "PTI" or "Around the Horn" and then ask them why they get so worked up over such a garbage game.

Edited by kipwinger
redwingmachine likes this

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As for basketball, here are my thoughts:

1. Way too many time-outs.

2. If you can score over 100pts in a single game, maybe it is too easy for the players.

3. Why is everyone amazed by a 7ft tall giant that drives the net and dunks on a helpless defender that can't do ANYTHING to stop him?

4. It's a game of embellishment. Nothing is more annoying than a 7ft tall giant flopping around like Joe Thornton after a little bump with an elbow.

As for baseball:

1. The sport is so slow and boring, even the announcers lose focus drift off most of the time.

2. Sports need a time keeping system not this seemingly never ending inning system, makes the game d-r-a-g.

3. You can't call it a world series unless the world participates.

4. The batter needs to step up to the plate ready to play... none of this: swing at a pitch then step out and take a few more swings, stretch out, tap the shoes again, adjust, then step back in. BE READY!

NHL or ice hockey in general is the only sport for me!

T-Ruff likes this

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I believe it's one of the hardest to win, but for anyone to declare which sport is the hardest to win a championship in is only stating there opinion. Unless someone has personally played in every pro sport and won a championship they have no way of knowing this.

The NHL is hands down my favorite league, and the Wings are my favorite team of any sport. I've only really started getting into the NFL the last couple years, and I have to say an NFL playoff game is pretty damn brutal, so much so that there is NOWAY they could play a best of seven series in two weeks. There wouldn't be enough healthy players left to field a team.

I'm a hockey fan first, while I might want to believe the cup is the hardest to win, it would only be my opinion.

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Out of all the football leagues, tournaments etc, the Champions League is definately the hardest to win, as proven by the fact that since it was introduced, no team has ever retained the trophy since its inception, whereas in the old European Cup teams regularly won 2 or 3 on the bounce. Even the current Barcelona side, widely hailed as perhaps the greatest club team of all time haven't been able to win back-to-back CLs.

I should make clear I'm claiming its as hard physically as the Stanley Cup, or TdF, because it isn't.

Oh, I also think hockey is far tougher physically, but I still think the Champions League is tougher to win for the reasons I stated above.

More teams, more leagues, and not enough competition across the board.

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All the North American pro sports trophies are made of sterling silver. This means they are all relatively the same hardness.

Edited by BlakKy
vangvace and 55fan like this

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Of the North American sports, its obviously a toss-up between the NFL and NHL. Don't forget the inclement weather that some of those playoff games are played in.....brrrrr!

Overall though, I think it would be hard to top the Tour De France. 21 stages in 23 days, 150km+ in the saddle everyday, in baking heat and freezing rain, up the sides of enormous mountains, then down the other side at 50, 60, 70mph with no protection. Broken collarbones are to professional cyclists what missing teeth are to hockey players.

Good point.

Rugby too is pretty damn tough.

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Yep, definately Rugby - it has all the physical intensity of the NFL,only without the body armour and constant breaks in play. It would be hard to say which is the toughest Rugby tournament, the Rugby World Cup has too many meaningless games against minnows when there are realistically only 6 teams that can win it.

Also, would it be fair to say the NFL has the most rampant drug abuse of any sport anywhere in the world?

Edited by Nev

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I'd say so yes, its a long long grind and you have to be in absolutely tremendous shape and lucky to not have your key keys injured for a long stretch.

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Also, would it be fair to say the NFL has the most rampant drug abuse of any sport anywhere in the world?

What about cycling, someone mentioned Tour de France?

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What about cycling, someone mentioned Tour de France?

The difference is cycling actually has a drug testing program in place, and cyclists actually fail them. You can also see the last 10 years how times have started to come down from where they were when doping was more common.

The NFL on the other hand.....when was the last time someone failed a drugs test for a performance enhancing substance? Or are we supposed to believe that linemen have gone from ~250lbs to ~330lbs purely through improvements in nutrition? And that of the thousnads of players in a sport based on speed, size and strength, where you can be cut in the blink of an eye, not one of them has ever been tempted to use doping? Its the NFLs dirty secret, the elephant in the room that no-one talks about.

Edited by Nev
number9 likes this

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