The Joy of Six: The Simpsons’ greatest sports episodes | Alex Reid

From a softball classic to US soccer perceptions being skewered, via Lisa’s bloodthirsty goaltending, Homer v Tatum and more

Either the best Simpsons sporting episode or simply the best Simpsons episode. Ironically, while relying on a slew of stilted celebrity cameos has marked this great comedy’s decline, 1992’s Homer at the Bat – which juggles nine Major League Baseball stars – is a masterpiece. Mr Burns buys in MLB champs to replace his nuclear power plant chumps so he can win a $1m bet on a company softball game. So far, so football oligarch. The genius is in the way each ringer is taken out, from Roger Clemens being hypnotised into believing he’s a chicken to Don Mattingly falling out with his new employer over a hairstyle misunderstanding (“Mr Burns, I don’t know what you think sideburns are”).

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