Top 11: Activities that are not sports

In case you missed it from earlier in the week, a repost of this week’s Top 11.

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11. Horse racing. Sure, it’s fun to bet on and exciting to watch. But besides literally beating a horse, humans don’t do much to lend themselves to the “sport” of it all. Jockeys simply perform a service, riding and steering the beast in a circle, while the horse does the majority of the work. Plus, have you ever seen a collective group of “athletes” that can excel in any sport while all standing 5’5″ and under? No way. Okay, so female gymnasts may have a case here, but otherwise no.

10. Dog shows. To the overweight, underworked dog handlers, this may be as close to athletics as they ever get. Fat people jogging with animals doesn’t equal a sport, however. Dog shows are about as far from sport as you can get, though some would have you believe otherwise. Because competition is combined with slight aerobic activity, by nature you have a sport. Wrong. This is barely leisure, and it’s disappointing that our increasingly obese society has to stoop so low to justify exercise.

9. Poker. Sitting. Eating. Smoking. Drinking. None of this sounds very sporty. And yet seemingly every time you turn on the television, there’s the World Series of Poker staring you straight in the face. The WSOP was cool for like two years, but then it quickly got old. Most of us enjoy playing poker, we just don’t like watching it. It’s like when you were a kid, and your friend invited you over to play Sim City and you had to sit there and watch as he completely ignored you while doing something that looked like so much fun. That’s how we now feel about the WSOP. A) It’s not a sport, yet it’s on an all-sports network and B) even if it was a sport, it would still be boring. Let it go, ESPN. It’s over.

8. Curling. What are professional curlers good for, anyways? Hopefully these guys spend their nights mopping up Madison Square Garden or something, putting their skill to good use. Because their very clean activity (that somehow is worthy of the Olympics, when baseball and softball are not) has no place in the realm of sports. Curling is shuffleboard, official board game of nursing homes everywhere, combined with furiously fast-paced sweeping. That’s all it is. Think about that.

Excuse me, that ice is already clean.
Excuse me, that ice is already clean.

7. Eating. People seem to think that if you put the word “competitive” in front of something, it becomes a sport. Show me Competitive Fornication and maybe you have something, but otherwise I’m not buying any. Competitive eating is no different. I’m pretty sure that children in Africa watch the Fourth of July hot dog eating contest in Coney Island and cry. Fat people, meanwhile, are allowed to hijack a large percentage of the world’s food and consume it in completely unsafe amounts (before you competitive eating fans freak out, I realize Joey Chestnut and that Japanese dude are not fat). Okay, so it’s mildly interesting to witness an otherwise useless human being devour hundreds of jalapeno poppers, but beyond that it’s downright disappointing. Competitive eating: The Anti-Sport.

6. Madden. Madden is a video game. Video games are not sports. It’s as simple as that, really. We don’t think of Super Mario World as a sport, and yet if we’re talking video games that feature sports action and graphics, all of a sudden we have a sport within a sport. No. Anything that involves a controller is not a sport (the same can be said for channel surfing and RC car racing). Even if you stand for all 20 minutes of Madden gameplay, you’re not exercising, and you’re barely competing. A lot of the game play is out of your control, and the fact that you’ve been stricken with a 37-year-old AI Joey Galloway who drops perfect spirals is nothing that can be improved with practice. Sorry.

5. Cheerleading. Not only is cheerleading not a sport, but it’s really not a contact sport. Yes, one state superior court was required to label cheerleading a “contact sport” simply to avoid a lawsuit from an injured teen and her family. Amazing, I know. Well here in the real world, we’re not worried about lawsuits from accident-prone girls so cheerleading as a sport, period, can be dismissed. We all appreciate your enthusiasm, but when it’s all said and done you lead the cheers and you give dudes whack-off material through MySpace. That’s it. As any good college student section can tell you, cheerleading isn’t hard to do. So no, you don’t get to be a sport. We’ll classify you as a “spectator activity.” Enjoy.

You may not realize it, but this guy is the Albert Pujols of beer pong.
You may not realize it, but this guy is the Albert Pujols of beer pong.

4. Beer Pong. Ping-pong is a sport, technically.  Beer pong is not.  Just because you can bounce and/or toss a small plastic ball into a cup, that does not make you an athlete.  If you practice your beer pong skills because you see yourself as an ambassador to your “sport,” well you probably have a drinking problem and should seek immediate help.  Let’s put it this way: if girls are equally as adept (if not better) than guys at the so-called sport, it’s probably not a sport.  Just watch any WNBA game and you’ll know what I mean.

3. Nascar (or other forms of vehicular racing). I realize that the pseudo-athletes in the world of Nascar do a great deal of gym work to keep themselves in shape.  This is, of course, completely meaningless.  People go to the gym all the time to work out.  That doesn’t make them athletes.  Nascar drivers are great at turning left, and that’s it.  Really, outside of the occasional lane change, they can grab the wheel, turn it to the left, hold it there, press down on the gas pedal, hold it there, and stay that way for however long it takes to complete a Nascar race (I’ll be honest, I don’t know how long that is).  They need somebody riding shotgun holding a map, yelling at them to take the next exit, or bitching about the high speed they happen to be traveling at, or singing Journey at the top of their lungs much to everyone’s chagrin before we can call this a sport.

2. Spelling. The National Spelling Bee is on ESPN, so I guess we’re considering it a sport now.  No.  No, no, and no.  This is just wrong.  I don’t even know why this is on ESPN.  For sports fans everywhere, the National Spelling Bee can legitimately ruin your day.  You turn on the TV expecting Sportscenter, and instead you get a fat kid with acne and chronic social ineptitude wearing a white polo three sizes too big and glasses that keep slipping off his nose trying to spell “suave” (note the irony).  It really is a disappointment.  And if you actually can stomach watching these events, you’ll end up squirming in your chair at the awkwardness displayed before you on the screen.  Ugh.

1. Cycling. I once talked to a hardcore cyclist and he was nuts.  He was under the impression that bicycles owned the roadway and cars were a mere intrusion.  Here is the problem with our society.  Cyclists think they rule the roadway and it’s just not true.  Nothing bugs me more than when you’re sitting in your car at stoplight, and the cyclist next to you decides he’s going to be a pedestrian and crosses through the crosswalk on his bike, while the stoplight in front of you remains red.  Bicyclists don’t deserve to share our roads, since a large majority of them simply don’t abide by the rules.  They get in our way, frequently cause accidents, and pedal their brains out at 25 in a 40 MPH zone (MOOOOOOVVVVVVVVVVEEEEEEEE!!!!!!).  Add to that the fact that we’ve created bike paths and trails just for them, and yet they fail to see the usefulness in that.  Hey, stupid: you don’t see basketball players shooting buckets in your office, or baseball players hitting home runs on in the middle of an auditorium.  Stick to where you belong and we’d have no problems.  Unfortunately you can’t seem to do that, so society needs to attack you and put you down.  I’m all for the occasional Sunday bike in the park, that’s fine.  I’m here to put an end to the Spandex cyclist, the guy who takes it so seriously that he’s willing to saran wrap his twig and berries in that skintight monstrosity all day long while he breaks laws and gets in everyone’s way.  Stop being so selfish!  Damn it!

Nobody likes you.
Nobody likes you.

7 thoughts on “Top 11: Activities that are not sports”

  1. Maybe I’m just biased because I was taught the intricacies of thoroughbred racing at a very young age by my dad and have been going to the track and winning money ever since but it’ll remain a sport in my book. There is a ton of strategy and the jockeys always conduct their interviews after the race covered in sweat and trying to catch their breath. I’ve never raced on a horse so I have no idea what makes them to that other than maybe the bouncing and fact that they have to sit in the squat position the whole race.

    Nobody calls thoroughbred racing a human sport. It’s always been called an “equestrian sport” and if equestrian sports are going to be lumped in with with human sports then this list needs to have the Olympic sport of “dressage”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dressage It’s nothing. I don’t think anyone understands it including those that compete in it. It’s just walking in fancy costumes on horses and somehow you win but somehow it is more of a sport for the Olympics than baseball and softball.

    Horse racing is “The Sport of Kings” but not played by kings or other humans. It’s played by horses. A lot of people don’t understand horse racing but it’s a pretty great sport when you consider all of the intriguing back stories and the fact that nobody can’t hate a horse because of their past. You pretty much have to love every single athlete. A lot of people don’t understand horse racing which I’m cool with but it’s the people that say that it should be banned because it’s cruel and they don’t take care of the animals that pisses me off. I’m not even going to get started on it because I won’t ever stop typing.

    That was quite the aimless rant and I’m sorry to anyone that read through that. Oh, and cyclists are gay. A day that I go without yelling at a cyclist in my car is not a day at all.

  2. 1. Coxswains. Although you may argue that they’re the same as jockeys… you probably have a point with that one. Oh and female ice skaters are usually small.

    2. I also disagree with cheerleading because it really is physically demanding in the collegiate level. You only see like two fat cheerleaders per squad in college, and even that is said in moderation. Oh but squads that only dance? They don’t count. We’re talking co-ed. It’s gymnastics and hip hop dance combined for (in the case of our cheerleaders) 10 hours on game day. How they make it last 10 hours when the game lasts three is beyond me, but that’s UW for you.

    3. Lance Armstrong anyone?

  3. My grandfather was the manager of the Cloverdale, BC curling rink. My uncle was runner-up in the Junior BC Provincial Championships. My grandpa’s pretty deaf, so sometimes we’d go to his house for a visit and he couldn’t hear the knocking at the door because the TV was on so loud. All we could hear from outside was “YEAHHH! YEAHHH! HAAAAAAAAAARD!” Listening to curling is awkward. Yet still, I feel like I have an untapped curling legacy running through my veins. This is also one of the few sports you could pick up in your 20s and still have a shot to make the Olympics.

    And you can’t say cycling (i.e., Tour de France) is not a sport simply because there are some annoying guys riding around Seattle acting like jackasses. That’s like saying basketball’s not a sport because you watched a really lame game of HORSE. Ok, bad analogy, but you seem to have more beef with cycling-as-transportation than cycling-as-sport.

  4. Just because SOME cyclists act like douche bags does not prove that cycling is not a sport. In fact, you said nothing to prove your point. You merely whined about how a few got in your way while driving your car.

    Why do you feel that you are entitled to the road, but not cyclists? Besides, for all the times that a cyclist made driving slightly more difficult for me, there must have been a hundred car and truck drivers who did much worse.

  5. Um ur delusional. Cheerleading is a sport. Cheerleading is a contact sport. Could you go through 10 hours of practice throwing people, being thrown, holding every motion for FIVE MINUTES STRAIGHT AT LEAST FIVE TIMES?! Haha no. So before you go and say that cheerleading isn’t a sport, do some more research. And to be honest, I doubt you could do HALF the things us cheerleaders do. Could you stand completely still and thrown into the air with a smile on your face even when your falling out of a stunt? Doubt it, but that’s what a normal day is like for me. Could you scream at the top of your lungs for HOURS and still be peppy? HIGHLY doubt it. Could you do 30 jumps in a row without stopping, and be perfectly tight and hit your motions and have your leg/s up as high as possible? Again, probably not.
    So before you make the decision that cheerleading “isn’t a sport”, consider the other aspects that makes it one.

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