How great was October? It was like the Turducken of professional sports. We had playoff baseball, both NFL and college football, preseason basketball, the NHL (if that’s how you roll…err…skate), and, of course, the World Conkers Championship. Seriously, if you couldn’t find a sport you liked in October, you probably like stupid sports. But other parts of the year aren’t so blessed. How many Saturdays in late February have we had to choose between watching Senior PGA golf and Women’s Mogul Skiing Qualifiers? Just imagining it makes us bored.
As a result of this late-winter lull, a number of so-called sports have crept into the popular consciousness despite the fact that they are not, by any acceptable standard, sports. Capitalizing on fan desperation, they dupe us into believing that something like a middle-aged man’s accuracy in directing a ball towards a group of pins requires Lebron-like levels of athleticism. But no more. Today we call bullsh*t on the following “sports.”
In 2007, Fred Funk won the Mayakoba Golf Classic at age 50. Age 50. A dude old enough to have an AARP card beat the PGA’s best in open competition. How can this be a sport? Golfers, on a good day, top out at 60-70 swings of the club. That’s like two tokens at the batting cage. Add to that the ridiculous phenomenon of golf carts to spare participants the strain of walking, and you’ve got something that barely qualifies as exertion. Fans might counter that PGA tour players have to walk, but take a look at what you’re saying there. Your big defense of its sportly-ness revolves around the fact that the rulebook requires walking? Yikes. Sure, we can’t do what Tiger Woods does. We can’t do what Neil Amrstrong did either. That doesn’t make “Moon Landing” a sport.
A friend was once able to witness Olympic Curling live in the flesh during the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City. Here’s what she reported back: during the match, there are actual smoke breaks between rounds. That’s right, competitors on the international stage at the sport’s fiercest competition file off the ice, gather in a circle, and light up. Any activity where your ability to participate isn’t marred by smoking simply can’t be a sport. This is also why playing bass for Guns N’ Roses isn’t a sport.
Take the curling argument above and swap in beer for cigarettes. And then add the cigarettes back in. While this sounds like an awesome way to spend a Tuesday night, it does not sound like a sport. Our grandfather can bowl over 200 and he’s a polio survivor. Until the pins can hit back, there’s no way we can consider this an athletic competition. Side Note: How sweet would it be if the pins could hit back?
Enjoy fishing? Us too. We enjoy drinking while fishing. We enjoy drinking while fishing and sitting on high-end motorboats listening to people talk about baseball, which is a sport. But unless you count baiting hooks as physical exertion, fishing is not.
Note that we are not saying “figure skating” here. Figure skating may be simultaneously hilarious and dull, but it requires intense physical ability and results in a winner. Hence: sport. Ice Dancing, however, removes the throws and jumps of figure skating, leaving only the ridiculous costumes, effeminate Eastern Europeans, and the gesticulating. It’s like a Slovenian disco out there! And lets take a closer look at that scoring system too: a bunch of all-powerful judges with unfair preferences hand down seemingly arbitrary numbers to rate people. What is this, the BCS?
Probably gonna get some flack for this one, but we’re sticking by our guns. For however much strategy, skill, and teamwork play into it, NASCAR is still a bunch of dudes (and one omni-present lady) driving in a circle for four hours with intermittent breaks for frenetic car repairs. If sitting for hours on end making constant split-second decisions automatically turned something into a sport, then “Call of Duty” would be played in stadiums. NASCAR is a game and stock cars are the most expensive Pogs money can buy.