Exhilaration Gap

1. Hockey (+77 EG)

*I do not know nearly enough about hockey to throw out a theory -- I would ask Bruce Arthur or Chris Jones or Tom Tango or one of the many real hockey people out there -- but I'll throw one out there anyway: It occurs to me that one thing television DOES DO well with hockey is celebrate goaltending. I am not suggesting that television overemphasizes goaltending … I don't know enough about it. But I do think that one thing television does do well is zero in on the goalie and amplify the incredible saves he can make with different angles and slow motion technology. This makes television sense to me -- goalies are relatively stationary, so the camera does not have to follow them around the rink. The goalie's main job is stark and sharply defined -- KEEP PUCK OUT OF GOAL -- and television does its best work in blacks and whites, rights and wrongs, ins and outs. Television isn't as good (none of us are, really) with subtlety, shades and open space.

2. High-level soccer (+63 EG)

3. NBA basketball (+49 EG)

4. High-level tennis (+37 EG)

5. Championship boxing (+26 EG)

6. College basketball (+24 EG)

7. Baseball (+19 EG)

8. College football (+4 EG)

9. Pro football (minus-16 EG)

10. Golf (minus-26 EG)