Recently, my buddies and I were out having a few beers at our local establishment. As the basketball game on ESPN came to a close, we noticed that the World Series of Poker was going to be on next. While I enjoy watching the WSOP, I have always been baffled about the decision to put it on ESPN, the “worldwide leader in sports.” This caused our little group to have a discussion as to what exactly is a sport, and what shouldn’t be considered one. So here is my first ever installment of a segment I like to call:
Sport Or Not A Sport.
The way this is settled is simple. We picked a certain activity, such as baseball, and debated whether or not it was actually a sport in our eyes. Obviously, baseball would fall under the category of “sport.”
First up was cheerleading. Often, cheerleading competitions have been shown on both ESPN and ESPN II. Now I will be the first to admit that the individuals involved in these competitions are in fantastic shape. I can personally attest to this, as I dated a Penn State cheerleader for over a year, and therefore am aware with the rigorous training they go through. However, chanting and moving in unison does not constitute a sporting activity. That’s called a “cult.” After review, our panel made its decision quickly.
DECISION: Not a Sport.
Next on the list was synchronized swimming. Much like cheerleading, this involves a group of individuals moving around in unison with one another. However, they do so underwater. They don’t even touch the bottom of the pool! The thought of this makes me exhausted. While I would rather watch paint dry than watch synchronized swimming, our panel gives it the nod.
Third up was bull riding. As with the previous two, this is an activity that forces the competitor to be in great shape. I consider myself to be in ok condition, but I sure wouldn’t be able to stay onto a kicking bull for more than half a second. However, our panel decided that risking your life is really not a sport. It’s a cry for help.
DECISION: Not a sport.
Bowling was the next activity brought up, and quite possibly was the easiest one for us to decide on. Bowlers do have to be in good condition, but not necessarily adhere to a strict diet and exercise plan. Also, somebody in our group had bowled a 300 before. Besides, anything that can be done with the same skill or possibly improved skill after the consumption of alcoholic beverages may be awesome, but not an athletic event.
Decision. Fun, but not a sport.
Curling is something that those of us in the Erie area watched when we were younger and still had Canadian television stations. We gave curling the nod because it is similar to bowling, except more difficult. First, I have attempted curling before, and throwing those stones accurately is harder than it looks. Also, you would be surprised how tired a person can get from sweeping with those brooms for an hour straight. Finally, they walk on ice with special shoes. We found that to be cool (no pun intended).
Decision: Sport. A sweet sport.
The last activity that was brought up for debate came as a surprise to me, as somebody suggested that golf was not a sport. The gentleman who suggested this made some good points. Without a cart, there really is little cardiovascular exercise being done while playing golf. Not to mention that, after a little practice, a child can be taught to hit a ball straight. However, one must be physically fit in order to hit a ball 300 yards. Also, it takes great talent to land that ball in a precise location, such as near the pin. It was decided that not only is golf a sport, it is a dirty four-letter word, much like those I say to myself after hitting one into the bunker and getting a triple-bogey when I could have saved par.
Decision: Sport. An aggravating sport.
And there you have it ladies and gentlemen. Our panel’s first installment of “Sport Or Not A Sport.” As always, we invite any comments or criticisms, as well as suggestions for an activity that we should debate in our next panel discussion. Perhaps this may bring up some debate among you and your friends. The next edition of “Sport Or Not A Sport” will be in a couple weeks. For everyone on the panel, I thank you and hope you have a great day.