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The List: Ranking the sports postseasons

Published: Monday, April 21, 2014 3:08 p.m. CST

With such a precarious start to the postseason for the Blackhawks and Bulls, I think it might be best to get this list done quickly – before the playoffs are over for both Chicago teams.

The reward for following a professional or college sports team through a long regular season is the adrenalin the fan feels when that team is in postseason championship contention.

Some seasons are longer than others. The Major League Baseball season, stretching from April (or in some cases, the end of March) into October, can be excruciatingly long. Especially if you follow the Chicago Cubs.

Other seasons, like the men's college basketball season, seems to simply fly by.

And some sports' playoffs are better than others. Here is my list, from best to worst, of the sports playoffs that I will watch. The MLS, for example, does not make my list. That's American professional soccer for those who don't know what MLS is. I don't watch it.

But I do watch World Cup soccer. That's on this list. Here it is:

1. NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. It might not be the "original March Madness," but it's the best. The brackets. The buzzer beaters. The upsets. The Final Four. Only 12 days of games over a period of 3 weeks. Just the right amount of time. Perfect.

2. NFL Playoffs. Maybe it's because of fantasy football. Or maybe it's because there is no game made better for viewing than professional football. Whatever the reason, in no other professional sports league do fans know as much about the players and a team's strengths and weaknesses going into the postseason. That makes it more fun.

3. Stanley Cup Playoffs. The National Hockey League playoffs are the most physical and grueling in sports.

4. MLB Playoffs. I don't watch the Major League Baseball postseason with nearly the frequency that I used to. The game is too slow, the season too long. Makes me sad to say that.

5. NBA Playoffs. The talent in professional basketball is amazing, but of the four major sports, I'll watch the NBA Playoffs the least if my team isn't playing.

6. College football bowls. The national championship game usually is fun to watch. Most of the 10,485 other bowl games are drudgery, unless you have a rooting interest. A tournament format similar to the one used in college basketball probably would vault the sport to No. 3 on this list.

7. NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup. This auto racing season begins in February and ends in November. Sheesh! It should end in the summer, before the start of NFL regular season. And can anyone explain how the points are calculated? Grr.

 

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