The SportsChump Reality TV Challenge

It’s summertime.  Basketball season is over, football is still a few months away and the United States has been eliminated from the World Cup, leaving us sports fans with little on TV to watch other than reality shows about snobby housewives lost on a desert island who must sing, dance and lose weight in order to find their one true love.  Or something like that.

As you can tell, I don’t watch much reality television.

While in the check out line at my local supermarket recently, I glanced over the magazine section and realized I didn’t recognize a single face on any of the covers.  All reality TV stars.  As it turns out, I have become out of touch with reality.

I’d like to be able to talk to my fellow man about something other than sports and women.  I’d like to laugh along with the jokes told during your average, late night monologue.  That’s when it dawned on me.  Since reality television is still (inexplicably) all the rave these days, why not expand my horizons and dive headfirst into a healthy dosage of reality TV?  Why not lose brain cells in a way other than my recommended daily allowance of bourbon?

As a result, I proudly present the SportsChump Reality TV Challenge.  As painful as it might be, I plan on saying goodbye to ESPN for the day and watching nothing but reality television.

But I need your help.

I need TEN shows, all recommended by you, the readers.  In the comments section below, list the names of your favorite (or most despised) reality shows and why you think I should watch them.  Keep in mind, I abhor reality TV and fail to understand how it became so popular.  With this experiment, I intend to find out.

Feel free to throw me a few curveballs, knowing that I have yet to sit through an entire episode.  Make your suggestions as cheesy and unwatchable as you like.  You suggest it, I will watch it.

What am I getting myself into?

Please note, I would probably include either the Terrell Owens or Chad Ochocinco show since this is primarily a sports website.  I’m also ashamed to admit that another program has caught my eye.  Half Pint Brawlers.  Have you seen this train wreck?  I stumbled upon it by accident and could not move my thumb from the remote.  It’s about a crew of midget wrestlers who travel the nation, Jackass style, drinking themselves into submission and sleeping with random women.  Other than those selections, I leave my reality playlist entirely up to you.

I would like a good balance… some cooking, some dancing, some weight loss, some matchmaking, some pageant kids, some design.  Otherwise, let me have it.  This is for the sake of science – and web traffic.  I promise not to hold it against you if you make me watch some bridal something or other, and will do my best to critique with an open mind, while not wincing restlessly in discomfort on my sofa.

It’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make… I think, so hit me with your best shot, chumpeteers.

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53 Replies to “The SportsChump Reality TV Challenge”

  1. LOL…look stick with the bourbon…for frying your brain cell’s..After watching any of the reality show’s you’ll wish U never had any….

  2. Best to take a quick Talk Soup survey before you just run headlong into some deep relationship with the Ace of Cakes or someone. You will get hurt, my friend– MacArthur Park style

  3. A variety 6-pack for you…

    You’re Cut Off: 20-something trustfund girls get the boot from their benefactors and have to live together to learn how poor folks live.

    Toddlers and Tiaras: Fat, unattractive midwestern and southern moms spray tan their helpless daughters, tease their hair, slather on makeup and parade them in front of middle-aged judges/pedophiles.

    Intervention: Profiles people whose lives are complete trainwrecks resulting from their addictions to various substances. I find it’s best to watch with an ice cold beer in hand.

    Keeping Up with the Kardashians: Plenty of sports tie-ins here with husband/decathalete Bruce Jenner, Khloe married to Lamar Odom and Kim bounching from one skill player to the next.

    Cupcake Wars: If for no other reason than to prove to yourself that “Cupcake” and “War” have no business sharing a title.

    Hell’s Kitchen: If you like watching grown men cry – and you know I do – help yourself to a steaming bowlful of this disaster.

  4. DJ AS…

    I do admit to loving me some Talk Soup but I haven’t even heard of half the shows on there. I like Joel McHale and still remember the Greg Kinnear days.

    And who was that guy with the grey spot in his hair a la Rasheed Wallace who hosted in between those two?

    My finger can’t scroll quickly enough past Ace of Cakes. What is that? And why isn’t is hosted by Ace Frehley? That would make that show much more exciting.

    He wouldn’t leave the cake out in the rain. Do you think KISS has ever covered MacArthur Park?

  5. I knew the groom to be would chime in on this one.

    I’m not sure I could make it through an entire episode of “You’re Cut Off” without wanting to shove cotton balls in my ears and duct tape my eyelids shut but I’ll do it.

    “Intervention” sounds like one of our old poker games.

    “Toddlers and Tiaras” is definitely on my list. Like Chris Rock says “And we wonder why people want to bomb us.” I absolutely can’t wait to write about that. I weep for the future.

    Ugh, Kardashians.

    There’s a show called “Cupcake Wars”? Do they shoot them out of pellet guns? ‘Cause that’d be cool.

    And once again, seeing grown men cry sounds like our old poker game. Thanks for the leads.

  6. Chris

    I can’t wait to see if your boy Mike “The Situation” actually gets his GED and makes his way to college in the upcoming season of Jersey Shore . Plus the fact that Snookie will extol upon us her virtues of getting laid and tell us all the practicalities of what it’s like to be a guidette ho’ !

    So Michael Vick and Vince Young are about to get a pass from Goodell once again. This NFL commissioner is completely clueless and you’re trying to tell me that he inherited many of the problems he now finds himself in the midst of ? You’re kidding right ? Goodell is as soft as a baby’s a_s and you know it .


  7. Al…

    I tried to make it through five minutes of “Jersey Shore” a while back but couldn’t. All I get from Shore is what I hear on Lopez Tonight. I don’t even know who the Situation is. Should I?

    I don’t know what to tell you about Goodell’s rulings on Vick and Young. They both have history.

    I haven’t been following the Vick story all that closely. Was he anywhere near there when it happened? And Vince could probably use Ron Artest’s psychiatrist’s phone number.

  8. Welcome to the the club Rev, I lost touch with reality a long time ago.
    Try watching 19 Kids and Counting on TLC. Now if that doesn’t make a confirmed bachelor wince nothing will.

  9. Alright, Aer…

    For you, 19 Kids and Counting will make my list.

    Is that the Octomom or something? And is Kate Gosselyn the Octomom or is she just another reality show star who can’t keep her legs closed?

    Again, I’m out of touch. Are there Cliff Notes or something?

  10. Alright, Zoner, my StumbleUpon Brother.

    “Intervention” is officially on the list.

    That’s not starring Gary Busey and Danny Bonaduce, is it?

  11. After a week of sitting in hospital rooms with 2 different patients (by the way, please cut back on the drinking everyone – one of them was for liver failure), all my cousin (lung disease) wanted to watch was AMERICAN CHOPPER. Here’s a link with pieces of different segments. The first one is MIKEY SHAVES! You don’t even have to get out the


  12. Ladies and gentlemen… this public service announcement brought to you by the Belle of Savannah.

    I promise I’ll monitor my intake, Ath. I cannot, however, vouch for my readers.

    American Chopper?

    Is that the one with the big, hairy tank-topped dude with the gray mustache and sunglasses that runs a garage with his two sons?

    As you can see, I’ve been out of the reality TV loop for a while.

  13. Yes! I got that one right!

    Does that mean I don’t have to watch it?

    What I would watch, however, is a cage match between that guy and Hulk Hogan.

  14. Oh this is gonna be funny!

    OK try “Cake Boss” on TLC …

    & my only concern about “Toddlers-and-Tiaras” is that after you watch that we might never have grandchildren! :O But yes…it’s a must … it’s really horrifying.


    Cant wait for this post! Great idea Sportschump.
    M 🙂

  15. Ok, if Mom says I have to watch “Cake Boss,” does that mean I have to watch it?

    And um… I thought we’d discussed this whole grandchildren thing already.

  16. I have to admit that I get sucked into reality shows a lot more than I should…

    Man vs. Wild and Survivorman. I like Survivorman the most, since he’s out there filming himself. Bear in Man vs. Wild has a camera crew, and looks like he’s full of energy which wouldn’t be the case if you were really stuck in the wild…

    Top Chef. I’m a big fan of this show. It always gives me ideas on food I could try to make… If you like food, you’ll probably like the show…

    I’ve found myself watching Last Comic Standing recently, which is pretty hit and miss with the comics. I did find some of them hilarious though…

    My show that I feel guilty about watching is “Bad Girls Club”. I can’t say you will learn anything from it, but if you like watching girls cause drama it’s pretty entertaining.

    I’m sure there’s more, but I can’t think of them at the moment…

  17. Oh yeah, Undercover Boss is a good one too! They have CEO’s go undercover and work with the factories, truckers, warehouses, etc.

  18. Ok, Chap. I’ll take a gander at those. I have seen “Top Chef” before and have actually found myself falling asleep to “Chopped” these days.

    I like the concept of that “Undercover Boss,” only because I’ve had bosses do that in the past. Bastards!

    What channel is that on?

  19. America’s Next Top Model- think of it as Miss America with cat fights.

    Also check out True Beauty- a group of people chosen for how they look on the outside end up being judged for the person they are on the inside. The indignation these people show when they are confronted with their lying, cheating, stealing, and other nastiness is just priceless. Then again, isn’t the same thing happening in pro sports- “I know I’m a convicted felon, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be allowed back in the NFL, NBA, etc.”

  20. Oh you are so going to need a shrink after this little experiment my man…

    I’ve got a few – I love Top Chef but apparently you don’t – Hells Kitchen not as good but good in a painful kinda way.

    Kathy Griffin’s My Life on the D List used to be funny – now not so much but in the next show she goes to Alaska to date Palin’s daughter’s ex…

    Finally one I havent seen mentioned that I actually really like Top Shot on History channel…

    Its hosted by Colby of Survivor fame and has all weapons experts and they test them on some pretty interesting challenges to see who is best shot…testosterone central!

  21. Rent the DVD for the first Real World season and then head out on your journey on the sea of “Is our country really this fucked up?”
    Half Pint Brawlers, yeah…

  22. Chris

    History ? My ex and I have history but that doesn’t mean that I want to keep on seeing her repeatedly ! What the hell is it with both Vick and Young that they can’t understand to stay out of trouble ? Vick’s probation requests that he doesn’t associate himself with any of his co-conspirators. But yet Quanice Jackson shows up at his party ? Why the hell didn’t he just make it a private thing in the confine of his own home with his immediate family instead of well known nightclub where there’s been repeated troubles.

    As for Young if he can’t take someone calling out the Longhorns and calling them a bunch of wimps then he’s not the guy I thought him to be !

    Upton’s stock with the Rays is now perhaps lower than Paris Hilton and Heidi Montag’s combined IQ ! How dumb is the guy ?

    Discipline, The Concept of Business And Sports


  23. Chris

    “The Situation” is just a polite way of saying that if you’re of Italian ancestry you’d rather not be associated with the guy. Given that the likes if De Niro , Pacino are guys I think of as heroes. This as_hole is making me now think twice about the apparent IQ level of an Italian American male altogether . Stupid is as stupid does when it comes to the entire cast of that show !


  24. OK, couldn’t resist submitting a comment.

    Bravo to Bravo TV for unleashing the “Real Housewives” series on us. These women are neither “real” nor “housewives”, but I can’t get enough! Its TV crack cocaine!

    So, if you’re up for challenging yourself to watching mind numbing reality TV, you can’t miss this show. Just be prepared to witness serious cattiness, plus good doses of these “housewives” being superficial, delusional, ungrateful and incompetent.

    Sigh…I miss footballl season BIG TIME!

  25. A girlfriend of mine got me to watch some of these….

    Bret Michael’s show… Rock of Love. Plenty of skanks and skeezers.

    Ray J… same as Bret, except a little more diversity.

    Anything with this sista named ‘New York’ in it.

    Celebrity Apprentice. With the Donald

    I like…

    Last Comic Standing…. not to great so far this year.

    America’s Got Talent. A GREAT SHOW!

    Deadliest Catch

    Mad House. Racing show with plenty of fights at the local track.

    Stay far away from…

    Kardashians… too stupid for words

    Girls Next Door/Kendra… Hef is scary in an Al Davis kind of way. And I dare Kendra to laugh that annoying laugh around anyone with a gun!

    Intervention… Unless you like seeing people truly suffer. Very disturbing.

    Hoarders… Brilliant idea, put mentally disturbed people on TV! Not funny!

    Any weight loss shows. Watching fat people humiliate themselves just to be on TV does not interest me. Not funny!

    Wife swap shows. Too fake and scripted to watch!

  26. Chris

    Vick’s world is about to be turned upside down. His lawyer stated that Vick left the nightclub before the shooting took place wherein Quannace Phillips was shot. Phillips a convicted felon as part of Vick’s probation was the fact that he wasn’t to associate with known felons or any of his former associates charged in the case. However the club’s video security tapes now show Vick still in the vicinity of the club at the time of the shooting. Now let’s take this even further recently Vick and Phillips had a falling out . So wha’ do you think happened ? Vengeance …….. as payback can be a bitch can’t it ? LOL,LOL,LOL !!!


  27. Undercover Boss is on CBS. I haven’t seen it in the lineup for a few weeks, so maybe the season is over… You can always streamline though!

  28. SpeedBeagle….

    Now comes word that video evidence contradicts Michael Vick’s story of the shooting. And the Philadelphia Eagles find themselves in a world of hurt.

    I promise to give “True Beauty” some serious consideration.

  29. KV….

    I like Top Chef. I just don’t know that it’s a true reality TV show in the sense that there’s really only one chef, and their crew, taking on the likes of Flay, Batali, and some Japanese guys we’ve never heard of.

    Since I absolutely can’t stand Kathy Griffin, I’m considering taking on the psychopath that is the guy from Hell’s Kitchen although I’m truly uncomfortable around people that yell for no reason.

    If you were a guy and you slept with Kathy Griffin, would you tell anybody? If one of my friends told me they had been intimate with her, I’d be like… “Dude, really?”… and probably have to sever all ties with him for his poor judgment.

  30. Vick’s in trouble, Al.

    He was fortunate enough to get a second chance and now it looks like it might all go down the drain.

    I guess he’ll have a successful future in dogfighting.

    Oh, wait.

  31. Exactly, LG. Hopefully Brantley taking snaps behind center will be here before we know it.

    I don’t know what I’m more concerned with after conducting this little experiment. The fact that after watching 10 of these programs, my worst fears about the mind-numbing of America will be confirmed…. or whether I might end up liking one of the shows.

  32. Okay, Al.

    Since you’re starting to like Goodell even less than you like Bud Selig, let me ask you this.

    Put yourself in his shoes. You find Vick was actually somehow involved in the incident.

    What’s the punishment you levy on him? Are you going lifetime ban?

  33. Chris

    If Goodell has any cojones then he’ll put this baby to rest once he views the security tapes from the club’s surveillance cameras. Vick and his lawyer remind you of anyone …….. namely Roethlisberger and his lawyer and their antics ?

    Cedric Benson on the other hand isn’t out of the water yet. His **it is so deep that not even the flies want to go near it. And then Goodell still has to deal with the Colts’ defensive player and the multiple sexually battery allegations there. And you still believe that the commish inherited this mess ? More like he’s been way too soft on the players with regard to the conduct policy .

    Pitch Me A Story Please ……… !


  34. Chris

    Programs I’d recommend you watch and would probably enjoy.

    Mad Men
    Breaking Bad
    True Blood ………. Lots of gratuitous sex , violence but terrific acting.

    Blood is Twilight for grown ups.


    Hung …….. the mere title by itself ought to clue you in on the subject matter. It’s better than Duchovny’s Californication crap !


  35. Apologies if I repeat other comments, I can’t make it through all of them…

    For as much as a reality junkie that I am (little known fact, I blogged about reality TV once) this is actually a tough one for me.

    I find myself NOT wanting to recommend any shows because, well, when you break it down most are trash. Of course this is what makes most of them great, like ‘I Love New York’ star Tiffany once saying about a potential suitor “He drinks, he swears… I like that!” as if she was saying he had a steady job or grounded value system.

    Watch what you find entertaining. There are just too many out there now. I stick with Survivor (out of season) and Big Brother which starts up on the 8th.

  36. Big Brother, huh, Norcal?

    The 8th?

    I may have to include that.

    I’m currently comprising my top ten brain death selections and will report back.

    Congratulations, man. The first step is admitting you have a weakness.

  37. Chris

    If I were commissioner then I’d be using the edicts and tenets of Sharia law. You get caught and are found guilty of rape then you lose your man tool . You lie or then you tongue gets slit. ‘nough of a deterrent don’t you think ? Instead of the pussy footing we’ve come to expect from Goodell !

    If You Can’t Face Adversity Square On And Look At It Face On Then What Use Are You If You’ve Learned Nothing At All From It ?

    So Amar’e has signed with the Knicks ……….5 yrs $100 million contract ? Who says it doesn’t crime doesn’t pay ? Stoudie has screwed the Knicks or is it him who’s now being screwed ? Knicks I don’t believe will sign LeBron !

    AHP ……….. tophatal

  38. The Top Hat Don’t Stick It Where It Don’t Belong Rule.

    I actually like Amare to the Knicks as long as they can sign another top guard.

    I’d also like to see a mid-season sign and trade for Nash to reunite Amare-Nash-D’Antoni as Suns East.

  39. I actually like the Knicks chances to land ‘Melo next year.

    With Karl likely still sick and unable to coach, Anthony really has no reason to stay in Denver.

    That’d be a nice one-two punch.

  40. Averages don’t always reveal the most telling realities. You know, Shaquille O’Neal and I have an average height of 6 feet.–U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich [4′ 10″ tall], born 1946. (US basketball star Shaquille O’Neal is 7’1” tall.)

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