Friday, May 30, 2008

Incomprehensible Sports

Sports are a vital and necessary part of life. Humans are competitive creatures. At the very least, we like to play. But there are some sports that just make so little sense, it's frightening. Here are a few that bring home the gold in terms of the "huh? whaaaa?" factor.

5. Cricket
Granted, there are a lot of Europeans who don't understand the appeal or rules of baseball (lots of Americans, too), but I don't have the first clue as to why it takes more than a day to play a cricket match. Terms like "wicked googley" sound like a bad experiment on every one's favorite search engine. A wicket? A bowler? People three continents away will turn in for a sport which has a lexicon comparable to baby talk? Call me culturally insensitive, I don't get it.

4. Skeleton
With a name like "skeleton," it's gotta be sane! Not so much. Skeleton is headfirst luge...on a smaller sled...with NO STEERING OR BREAKING MECHANISMS ALLOWED. The other common name for this sport is deathwish. Skeletons can move as fast as 80 miles per hour. A little faster and you could shoot yourself back to the future. Call me a prude, I don't get it.

3. Auto Racing
I may take a lot of flack for this one, but I simply don't get the appeal of auto racing. Yes, there is plenty of skill involved. But I don't understand what's so exciting about sitting and watching cars drive in a big circle for hours on end. Further, in a fuel crisis, I don't understand burning millions of gallons of gas and stamping a carbon footprint the size of South America (what exactly is the carbon footprint of racing, I'd like to know...seriously). And don't tell me it's for the crashes, because that's grossly morbid and I'd hate to think we really haven't changed that much from the days of the Colosseum. I know this sport is the nation's most-watched and a billion dollar industry. But call me un-American, I don't get it.

2. Roller Derby
I have a close friend who's VERY into the derby. Perhaps more specifically, the derby girls (the sport is primarily female these days). I tried reading the rules on wikipedia but I just couldn't stick with it. So I'll just say I know there's a lot of circular skating, it can get kinda physical, and I remember a roller derby show in the late 80's and a huge jump at the end of the track! It seemed cool when I was age ten. Call me old, I don't get it.

1. Curling
Ice. Brooms. Stones. It's the wild and adventurous world of curling - a sport so fantastical it must be a Canadian favorite! Described as a mix of darts and shuffleboard on ice, this sport is simply hilarious to watch, as a team of people vigorously sweep the ice with brooms in an attempt to guide a large stone across the ice and into a target. Now, while this sport may seem very passive, I assure you it's anything but. Curlers, many times, are also world champion drinkers. I guess you would turn to the sauce if your sport resembled sweeping the apartment with a Roomba. Call me sober (or not), I don't get it.

But, with all of these, it's just me. I'm glad these sports can bring others joy. If you disagree with these, or if there are any other sports you simply don't get, feel free to add to the list.

4 comments:

Marc V said...

I was straight addicted to curling in the last Winter Games. I actually can't wait for it to come back again. I want to see a professional lawn darts league next.

Patrick said...

As a motorsports fan, I will play devils' advocate for this one. NASCAR is, for the most part, circling around for hours; most of the tracks ARE circular in some way. It's just one of those things that if you sit down and watch, you will like it.

Other forms of racing, like Grand-Am, is on road courses which are much cooler in my opinion. There is also rally racing, which takes place on real roads...now that is some crazy shit.

Mike, I little while back, I actually wanted to know the carbon footprint of just one NASCAR race. I don't remember exactly what it was, but it was something INSANE even for 43 800 horsepower cars going for 500 miles; I agree that it's sort of bull that we have to put up with not going as far as we might want to on vacation because we can't justify the gas cost, yet I'm sure in some form or another, the government subsidizes the league SOMEHOW. It's the countries most popular sport, and if people aren't seeing it, thats lost revenue for them right there...so they do have a vested interest in it.

Anonymous said...

As a skeleton racer I think I can speak for most of the athletes when i say that its a sport for when skydiving has lost its thrill...:)

Alain Pascal said...

OK I am just gonna comment on the car racing thing.
The sport is not about watching a bunch of cars racing it is about being in a car racing.
You are confusing car racing i/e F1- rally car etc to a Mid-State right wing obsession to turn left for a few hours... Maybe they are trying to balance something?
Speed is challenging and at one point the "car petrol" industry was actually making car better due to the racing technology. Now I think what would be cool would be non-polluting races and make that technology evolve... Ok we could allow speakers that blast wroom wroom MP3 loops for the fans.