Saturday, January 13, 2007

Tiger Woods named athlete of the year?

Warning: Potentially Highly Offensive post ahead.

I will admit that I have no idea who the AP athlete of the year was last year or any year before hand. I will further admit that Tiger is legitimately the most successful individual competitor of the year given his incredible season. I further admit that Tiger seems like a fairly athletic guy (fit, slim, seemingly in great shape). But I have a problem with calling a golfer an athlete. Golf is a competitive game. To play at the professional level it is a very difficult and massively competitive game. So is chess at the professional level and we don't call chess a sport and we don't call chess masters "athletes".

Sports have an offense and defense. There is some other person or group of persons actively working to prevent you from scoring. Sports also require, or are at least highly assisted by, being in superior physical condition. They require running or some equivalent thereof, not driving a golf cart.

By man-rules, I hereby declare that the following are not sports and ergo the participants not athletes.

1. Golf
2. Bowling
3. Skeet
4. Trap
5. Pistol shooting
6. Billiards

I further declare the following athletic competitions are not sports due to the lack of a defender. Good practitioners are definitely athletes but they are not sports in the classic sense.

1. Weight lifting
2. High jump
3. Long jump
4. Shot put
5. All other track and field events which are done 1 competitor at a time
6. High diving
7. Synchronized swimming
8. Almost everything done in the X games except snowboard racing which is a sport and is fun to watch.

Badminton is a sport... a kinda weird sport, but a sport none the less. It requires a level of hand/eye coordination and you have both offensive and defensive components.

There is a real grey area for marathoners, sprinters, swim racers, etc. While there is no true defense there is at least a level of head to head competition in real time. I am happy to have them called sports even though I sucked at all of them.

Everybody clear?


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