Thursday, February 25

In the News: The Olympics...Sort Of

Every time it's an Olympics year, you hear the same debates: Is ice-skating [or substitute another event] a real sport? If there can be subjectivity in the scoring, some say, it's not a sport. But I say, there's a certain level of subjectivity in all sports. Take football, for example. How many times do you hear people say, "If the ref had called them on X play, this would have happened and my team would have won?" I'm certainly not going to argue that football isn't a sport. It is, as is ice-skating, which involves a ton of physical athletic ability.

Golf, on the other hand, is a skill. HA! Take that, golf-loving people who go around dissing figure-skating!

But really, in my opinion, it's a skill, just like my beloved pool. Swimming in a pool? Sport. Shooting pool? Skill.

Of course if we start eliminating what are really skills from the Olympics - I'm looking at you, archery, even if you are part of the curriculum for gym classes everywhere - we're going to need to fill those slots with new sports so that, you know, there's something to run through 16 days of television. Last night on The Daily Show, correspondent John Hodgeman suggested an excellent new sport to add zip to the occasionally lackluster games: it involved taking a bedazzled skater - as if skaters aren't bedazzled enough already - and shoving that person off an alpine mountain to see how they'd do with flying and landing.

Well, that's the inspiration for my post here today at TFC. I'd like to see folks make up their own sports that aren't real sports - yet - but should be. The more bizarre, the better.

OK, I'll go first. My sport is...


Here's how you play. First, you can't play on a regular basketball court. That would be too lame. You need to play on tarmac, preferably tarmac that hasn't been re-paved recently, so it's nice and bumpy and gritty. As a matter of fact, for Olympic play, you need to have some ground glass on the tarmac. Six people play and there's just one basket. After jump ball, with all six jumping, whoever pulls down the ball is on offense, while everyone else is on defense. The person on offense tries to get off a shot before getting tackled. If the person on offense is successful, she gets the ball again. Oh, and no fair tackling *after* the person has taken their shot. (I'm looking at you, Alyson Noel.) But up until the ball leaves her hand? Pile it on! The person who scores the most points in an hour without needing hospitalization wins.

So now it's your turn.

I hereby declare this Make Up Your Own Sport Day.

Let the games begin.


Wendy Toliver said...

I'd like to see an official winter Olympic sport of snow biking! Snow bikes have already been invented and you can make your own or buy one ready-built.
It would be a cross between motocross and mountain biking, so a race with crazy steep and bumpy terrain and obstacles galore.

Lauren Baratz-Logsted said...

Cool, Wendy! With the make-your-own-vehicle angle we could call it somethiing like Go-Sno-Carting!

Alissa said...

My sister and I used to play a ridiculously fun sport that was sort of like volley ball only it used a half deflated beach ball and it had to be played while sitting on a couch.

We also had our own "Olympic" sport we played with friends of ours. We were all members of the U.S. Swing Team. Mostly though this was about how well you jumped off a swing, with points earned for a clean dismount and sticking your landing. Amazing that no one wound up with a broken ankle!

Lauren Baratz-Logsted said...

Alissa, I love that - "U.S. Swing Team!" And I think your other sport should be called something like Squouch Ball.

Alyson Noel said...

Tackle someone after the fact????! But I'm a pacifist!! And probably the most non-sporty person you will ever meet!! The closest I get to sports is lying on the couch, watching the olympics, while sipping from a glass of red wine--it's all about the hand to mouth contact, and with braces and rubber bands in place, there is a bit of "sport" to it, for sure!

Lauren Baratz-Logsted said...

Alyson, so your sport is Wine Band Ball, I take it? (And sorry about the earlier remark - I had to pretend I was talking about *someone*!)

KayakMango said...

I would really like to see Zorbing become an olympic sport. Where people are in big plastic balls and run over snow or ice. Maybe weave it into some new kind of triatholon. Snow bike, huge hamster ball, then build a snow man. Something that definitely gives everyone the even playing field, so even though you might not be the fastest on the bike maybe youre better at building the snowman. id like to see athletes awaiting the judges decision on props or clothing used on their snowman. Additional points if you add mickey ears!

Lauren Baratz-Logsted said...

KayakMango, a Zorbathon - I love it!

Alyson Noel said...

Lauren--Wine Band Ball!! Yes! And last night a got a gold!!


Lauren Baratz-Logsted said...

Alyson, I did too!

Sara Hantz said...

My friend and I (usually after a few drinks) used to play Spit Scrabble..... it would make an awesome olympic sport. You sit at one end of the room and use a scrabble piece (obviously requires much more intellect than normal scrabble) and see who can spit their piece the longest distance.

オテモヤン said...


Lauren Baratz-Logsted said...

Sara, Spit Scrabble - that rocks!

Japanese person, I'm sure you're entry is good, even if I don't understand it.

I'm still loving KayakMango's Zorbathon.

Melissa Walker said...

I want those Japanese game show obstacle courses to be a sport--Have you seen them? I'm really into the JUMPING SPIDER section myself!

Lauren Baratz-Logsted said...

THE JUMPING SPIDER, Melissa??? I don't think so! You're a lunatic!