Ladies and Gentlemen: A game! A game! A Brand New Game! [more inside? but uv cussssss!]
posted by forksclovetofu to navel gazing at 02:28 AM - 51 comments
Okey doke, prompted by the discussion here, I'm proposing we start a weekly tradition of the old fashioned SPORT/NOT A SPORT variety. Rules are simple. Every Monday, I'll post an activity that could questionably be considered a sport (hundreds to choose from) and we'll open the board for debate. Every spofier may cast his or her vote as to SPORT/NOT A SPORT and (possibly a separate question) if the participants of the SPORT/NOT A SPORT are ATHLETES/NOT ATHLETES. Please make a clear Yea or Nay on any applicable categories; some discussion on your reasoning might be appropriate. On Friday, we tally the votes and can then officially pronounce it a SPORT/NOT A SPORT, thus settling all bar bets and future SpoFi debates, ipso facto. Contestants may try (and are strongly encouraged) to sway public opinion by posting salient links in the main page that would effectively argue their viewpoint. Let's see if we can get some of the folks who don't normally frequent the locker room in here to vote and take part in the scrum. Oh, and if this seems too childish or dumb, let me know (and I believe you'll do it too). My reasoning is that with the dearth of locker room posting, the near completion of football season and a brief hitch in our giddy-up, I thought a little competition/argument/ flame war might be fun to stir the shit up. Having said all that, here's an early start, appropos of the argument that started it. #1: Auto Racing... SPORT OR NOT A SPORT? Auto Racers... ATHLETES OR NOT ATHLETES? You got until friday, 6:00 EST.
posted by forksclovetofu at 02:46 AM on January 17
auto racing = sport auto racers = athletes (from a guy who likes using the "nothing but left turns" joke for NASCAR)
posted by grum@work at 02:33 PM on January 17
Yep, sport and athletes. Especially in the two motor sports I watch most often - F1 and rallying. Both demand frightening levels of endurance, concentration, hand-to-eye coordination and most importantly, bottle.
posted by squealy at 03:01 PM on January 17
forksclovetofu is definately sport.
posted by danostuporstar at 09:10 PM on January 17
1a) Not a sport. An event, a spectacle, a pastime, but not a sport. 1b) While driving at this level is a very stressful, demanding, and skillful endeavor, they are not athletes. I am sure most proffesional auto racers are very fit and indeed very athletic, they may be good at a variety of sports (in which context they would be athletes). While engaged in their chosen career path, however, they are not athletes, they are drivers.
posted by pivo at 10:51 PM on January 17
Sport, but not athletes. (By analogy to polo.)
posted by Bryant at 10:20 AM on January 18
i agree with pivo.
posted by jerseygirl at 10:36 AM on January 18
Sport and athlete, just because the car is a big part of the mechanism doesn't mean the operator isn't an athlete.
posted by vito90 at 01:04 PM on January 18
Sport/Not Athletes and I'm related to Mark Martin.
posted by mbd1 at 12:42 PM on January 19
Yes Sport Not Athletes: Just because drivers require strength, endurance, and coordination, doesn't automatically make them athletes. Garbagemen require similar skills, but it doesn't make them athletes, either. Similarly, jockeys aren't athletes (but the horses are).
posted by rocket88 at 02:02 PM on January 19
Would anyone object to a cross post/pollination of this thread on the front page to draw in a few more opinions? If we're using this to settle bar bets, I'd like a healthy pool of participants to settle this one.
posted by forksclovetofu at 04:19 PM on January 19
My two pennies say sport/athlete .. not that I enjoy watching cars waste fuel. As per rocket88's mention about horse racing: not a sport/not athletes.
posted by jasonspaceman at 06:01 PM on January 19
mbd: Does Mark share any of the product samples? I'd say that this is not a sport although some of the extreme-like races such as Paris-Dakar Rally come loser than anything in NASCAR or CART. And the drivers are very borderline on being athletes. But isn't the bottom line the fact that the races get covered in the sports section of your newspaper/news broadcast?
posted by billsaysthis at 02:18 PM on January 20
Sport : 1 a : a source of diversion : RECREATION b : sexual play c (1) : physical activity engaged in for pleasure (2) : a particular activity (as an athletic game) so engaged in 2 a : PLEASANTRY, JEST b : often mean-spirited jesting : MOCKERY, DERISION 3 a : something tossed or driven about in or as if in play b : LAUGHINGSTOCK 4 a : SPORTSMAN b : a person considered with respect to living up to the ideals of sportsmanship c : a companionable person 5 : an individual exhibiting a sudden deviation from type beyond the normal limits of individual variation usually as a result of mutation especially of somatic tissue Athlete : Etymology: Middle English, from Latin athleta, from Greek athlEtEs, from athlein to contend for a prize, from athlon prize, contest Date: 15th century : a person who is trained or skilled in exercises, sports, or games requiring physical strength, agility, or stamina Sport and Athlete.
posted by garfield at 02:43 PM on January 20
Sport because there is a race to get somewhere sooner than someone else. Not Athletes for the same reasons pivo gave above. If we go by garfield's definition anyone who gets laid is a sportsman. ;)
posted by scully at 03:15 PM on January 20
How is driving not a sport, assuming it is a sport? Please define 'sport' postively if you disagree with the dictionary. How are drivers not 'athletes', assuming they are to begin with? Please define 'athlete' positively. Pivo, an athlete is only an athlete while participating in an event, defined as a sport? What are these people the rest of the time? And what about athletic people who don't participate in sport, but could out run an olympian (extreme hypothethical for effect)? Also, couldn't drivers be athletes that drive?
posted by garfield at 03:53 PM on January 20
NASCAR is a sport, but only because of certain social constructions that make any kind of contest involving motion a sport. I'm willing to concede that NASCAR drivers are athletes, but I don't really want to. Sitting in a seat and turning left doesn't strike me as indicative of athletic ability.
posted by rocketman at 07:17 PM on January 20
Sitting in a seat and turning left doesn't strike me as indicative of athletic ability There it is!
posted by grum@work at 08:41 PM on January 20
An athlete is only an athlete while participating in an event, defined as a sport? What are these people the rest of the time? And what about athletic people who don't participate in sport, but could out run an olympian (extreme hypothethical for effect)? Athletes all, unless all the do is drive race cars. The debate though, as I understand it, was does being a professional race car driver make one an athlete. My reply was no with some qualifiers. Also, couldn't drivers be athletes that drive? That's my comment in a nutshell.
posted by pivo at 11:12 PM on January 20
By garfield's definitions, competitive ballroom dancing is a sport, and the dancers are athletes. I hereby request demand that a "ballroom dancing" category be added for front page posts.
posted by rocket88 at 08:04 AM on January 21
First, I can't take credit for the definitions. Blame Webster. And that's partly my point: everyone has an idea what qualifies as non-sport, and tru-sport conversely, but can't define a non-sport unless in contrast to tru-sport. Basically, what are the elements of an athletic activity that make it a sport? And yes, at the moment, ballroom dancing is a sport, with athletes competing in front of judges, demonstrating their tirelessly practiced skills. It makes me shudder to say it, but I have no grounds to say it isn't a sport.(trying not to be arbitrary)
posted by garfield at 08:58 AM on January 21
Driving a race car is physically demanding. The endurance and strength need to drive a car for 3 hours is amazing. I need fact checking on this, but I believe I read somewhere that drivers can lose up to 10-20 pounds for long races!
posted by corpse at 10:02 AM on January 21
Garfield has a good point. Everyone has opinions about what is a "real" sport and a "real" athlete based on their own personal biases, but it's difficult to not be arbitrary. If you exclude race car drivers, then what about bobsledders? Some may call figure skaters athletes, but not ballroom dancers. Does participation in any activity that requires strength, endurance, or coordination automatically make one an athlete? Is a 300 pound tub-of-lard nose tackle an athlete? Are curlers athletes?
posted by rocket88 at 11:13 AM on January 21
hell, Playstation requires coordination (and DDR requires endurance), so anyone who plays video games is an athlete?
posted by jerseygirl at 11:19 AM on January 21
How about this alternate definition: Sport: competition between at least two people that involves physical participation on the field of play (not in a virtual reality) and victory is not primarily determined through personal opinion (judging) Sport: Golf, NASCAR, bobsledding, sailing Not a Sport: ballroom dancing, figure skating, half-pipe snowboarding (judges determine victory in all cases), DDR (virtual reality)
posted by grum@work at 11:44 AM on January 21
Sport: there must be a ball or similar extra-personal device involved and no machine-based force multiplier. So skiing is out but curling is in.
posted by billsaysthis at 01:46 PM on January 21
Boxing has no ball and is judged. So both grum@work and billsaysthis would have to concede that it's not a sport. Personally, I have no problem calling any competitive endeavour a sport. I'd even include figure skating and synchronized-whatever. But I refuse to use the term "athlete" to describe Bubba NASCAR drivers, curlers, jockeys, or morbidly obese offensive linemen.
posted by rocket88 at 02:12 PM on January 21
Yipes. So much anger. Embrace the force, padwans. and jersey, you beat me to next week's sport/not sport: DDR.
posted by forksclovetofu at 02:14 PM on January 21
Alternative dictionary definition of sport which introduces the idea of 'customs' being part of sport.
posted by garfield at 02:43 PM on January 21
Boxing has no ball and is judged. So both grum@work and billsaysthis would have to concede that it's not a sport. No, I said that the victory is not PRIMARILY determined through personal opinion. You knock a man to the canvas for 10 seconds (or 3 times in a round), you win. No judgement about that. But in figure skating and gymnastics, the entire victory/defeat determination is by judging alone. morbidly obese offensive linemen But what if these large men are able to run down quarterbacks and sack them 5 yards behind the line of scrimmage? Have you seen Ted Washington move? The dude is huge, but he's FAST. He's more athlete than I ever was...
posted by grum@work at 03:10 PM on January 21
For the record, I figure that any boxing match that isn't decided by a KO (or TKO or throwing in the towel) should be considered a draw and no winner declared. Toss the judges!
posted by grum@work at 03:12 PM on January 21
A third approach Definining certain competitions as sports and define the competitors in those set of given sports as "athletes" and having another category of "athletic competitors" that would not include 1st baseman, NASCAR drivers, golfers, but would include gymnasts, professional wrestlers. The debate over NASCAR is a tough one as it has already been defined as a sport through media coverage for years and is not going to be redefined. I concede that it is a grueling endeavor but the majority of the work is done by a vehicle. Is there than another category of pure sports where it only individuals relating directly to a playing sphere? This would include basketball, football, soccer, swimming, boxing, track, etc. but eliminate baseball, tennis, lacrosse, golf, hockey for they all require the manipulation of another piece of equipment, ie bat, stick, a car. I also have problems with events that use judging as the primary determination of victory (as opposed to boxing), but figure skating and gymnastics are remarkably athletic endeavors that require a great deal of training for strength, agility, etc. My verdicts: Sport: NASCAR Formula 1 Cart Gymnastics figure skating Not a sport: Ballroom dancing synchronized swimming Ice Dancing Demolition Derby Monster Trucks Funny Car Drag Races Any video games I think anyone that participates in something that is defined as a sport can be called an athlete at least for ranking purposes (which is how this all started--ESPN top 25), but does not necessarily have to be considered an athletic competitor.
posted by dales15 at 03:25 PM on January 21
DDR is a sport by the way. I'll argue this with anyone who wants.
posted by forksclovetofu at 03:46 PM on January 21
Rocket: I agree that boxing is not a sport and had that in mind when I posted last in fact. In practical terms I think pro boxing is barely more unscripted than pro wrestling and the idea of two men standing toe to toe and doing violence to each other is sad.
posted by billsaysthis at 06:42 PM on January 21
posted by dales15 at 07:49 PM on January 21
Sport: there must be a ball or similar extra-personal device involved and no machine-based force multiplier. So skiing is out but curling is in. So then what about hockey or speed skating, which rely on skates? That's not much different than skiing. I concede that it is a grueling endeavor but the majority of the work is done by a vehicle. But the vehicle wouldn't be doing any work without the driver. If you're talking robotic racing, sure. But when you're talking about a super-powered machine that needs to be controlled by someone that requires strength to steer it (do you have any idea how much the steering wheel and the car would vibrate going 300km/h?), the endurance to deal with the temperature and g-forces, and the reflexes to react at those speeds, no. By your logic, running a marathon is a sport; doing the Tour de France isn't because the machine does the work.
posted by mkn at 09:32 PM on January 21
You are mixing from two posts. I was simply including the instances of activities where there is another apparati (car, bat, stick, racket, club) in use to differentiate from arguments that say mere use of a car precludes its status as a part. I say NASCAR, hockey, speed skating, skiing, marathon, Tour de France--all sports.
posted by dales15 at 09:43 PM on January 21
I'm not mixing two posts, I'm simply replying to two posts individually.
posted by mkn at 10:56 PM on January 21
Here's my definition of the line between sports and non-sports... Any activity that, through my putting in just practice time, and in my current physical and mental state, I could eventually compete with the professionals (or highest-level amateurs) and be at least a mid-range competitor, is not a sport. I further think that people of these non-sports are not athletes, and the competitors of my defined "sports" are athletes. For example, bowling is not a sport. I have bowled, on many occasions. I am fairly good at it, though I'm nowhere near a pro bowler's level. But, if I put in the time, I probably could compete, though I have no particular "talent" for the game. Other non-sports, based on my definition would be billiards, golf, and ballroom dancing. So is racecar driving a sport? I think, with a enough practice, I would make a hell of a qualifier. But once there's 42 other cars out there, no amount of practice is going to give me the strength, endurance, reflexes, or mental fortitude to stay out there more than a lap or 2. So by my definition, racing is a sport, and drivers are athletes.
posted by MeatSaber at 08:19 AM on January 22
Come on, MeatSaber. You gotta believe!!
posted by rocketman at 08:58 AM on January 22
MeatSaber, you've defined a sport as anything you're not good at! As rocketman says, believe! Grum & bill: When I brought up boxing as an example of a judged sport, I had in mind amateur boxing - the kind you see in the Olympics - which is a fascinating sport (and almost always decided by judges). Way better than pro boxing, which has been ruined for years by corruption. And dales15, I wouldn't want to let the media define what is/isn't a sport. Some of the crap on sports channels (at least TSN here in Canada) is definitely not sport...including dancing, poker, billiards, sailing, and, at least one time, dog shows.
posted by rocket88 at 09:23 AM on January 22
amateur boxing...the kind you see in the Olympics - which is a fascinating sport (and almost always decided by judges) The scoring in Olympic boxing isn't decided by judge's decisions any more. And let's throw another wrench into the works...what is the difference between a "game" and a "sport"? All I know is that DDR (or any video game), poker, billiards, darts, curling, horseshoes, bowling and Scrabble (and other board games) are GAMES, not SPORTS.
posted by grum@work at 10:17 AM on January 22
Juggling? Hacky Sack? Ultimate Frisbee? Stickball? Whiffleball?
posted by corpse at 10:26 AM on January 22
I didn't say it was anything I'm not good at, but anything I couldn't get good at, no matter how hard I tried. And by "me," I mean Mr. Everyday Joe...
posted by MeatSaber at 10:29 AM on January 22
I think with enough practice, and physical training, anyone who is at least physically fit could at least get to the minors of many sports. I think the main obstacle would be the drive to get better though.
posted by corpse at 10:39 AM on January 22
Grum, nice wrench. Is golf not a sport? Would it be fair to say all sports are games, while all games are not sports?
posted by garfield at 11:07 AM on January 22
garfield: I could live with that Venn diagram.
posted by grum@work at 11:32 AM on January 22
Don't get all 60s mod on me, grum ;)
posted by garfield at 12:42 PM on January 22
If you exclude race car drivers, then what about bobsledders? When race car drivers PUSH their vehicles to get them up to speed I will concede that drivers are athletes ;)
posted by scully at 04:11 PM on January 23
Is self-generated force/energy a requirement to be an athlete? Better get rid of golfers, tennis players, baseball players, and surfers, and skiers..... Ever heard how combat aviators talk about 'strapping the plane on their back'? Same concept here. The car is an extension of the driver, just as the bat is an extension of the batter, the ski of the skier and so on. It is still the athlete that controls the extension of him/herself.
posted by garfield at 04:30 PM on January 23
Is self-generated force/energy a requirement to be an athlete? Better get rid of golfers, tennis players, baseball players, and surfers, and skiers Um, golfers swing the club, tennis players swing the racquet AND run, baseball players swing a bat, run AND throw. Surfers and skiers are a bit more suspect (since the majority of their sport relies on external forces).
posted by grum@work at 05:36 PM on January 23
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