FanDuel - WFBC

February 21, 2004

The votes are in: SKATEBOARDING is NOT A SPORT (14-4), however SKATEBOARDERS are ATHLETES (11-7).
=next week's challenge inside=

posted by forksclovetofu to navel gazing at 11:59 AM - 52 comments

For now and forevermore, skateboarding is NO sport but those young whippersnappers ARE athletes. You guys are a buncha old fogeys. This week's challenge, by popular demand: BOXING: SPORT or NOT A SPORT? BOXERS: ATHLETES or NOT ATHLETES? ding!

posted by forksclovetofu at 11:59 AM on February 21

Well, I'm not happy with myself, but Boxing is NOT a sport, but they certainly are atheletes.

posted by BigCalm at 12:10 PM on February 21

not sport, athletes.

posted by jerseygirl at 01:15 PM on February 21

Definitely athletes. Sport - well... At the professional level, where the best boxers in the world routinely refuse to fight each other, or only fight once a year - I'd say no. Too corrupt, too little structured competition. At the amateur level though, wher ethey actually have world championships on a regular basis, I'd say yes. I never seem able to give a stariaght answer on these - sorry, forks. Put me down for a no on sport, I suppose. (I'd like to say that I do love boxing - although I don't get to see much of it, in that I don't have satellite TV - and its sorry current state kind of saddens me.)

posted by dng at 01:42 PM on February 21

Not a sport. Stupidity in action. Pros: not athletes Amateurs: athletes

posted by billsaysthis at 01:50 PM on February 21

ditto to what billsaysthis said.

posted by jasonspaceman at 02:26 PM on February 21

SPORT@!!! ATHLETES!! Bad question.

posted by StarFucker at 02:42 PM on February 21

hey jspace, how's the running coming along?

posted by forksclovetofu at 03:23 PM on February 21

NOT A SPORT ATHLETES

posted by mbd1 at 03:54 PM on February 21

Yes and yes. And I'm willing to go 3 rounds with anyone who thinks otherwise.

posted by yerfatma at 04:32 PM on February 21

sport athelete

posted by mick at 06:14 PM on February 21

sport (next to running, it's the most basic sport of them all) athlete (strength, endurance, speed, co-ordination)

posted by grum@work at 07:13 PM on February 21

sport athlete

posted by goddam at 07:35 PM on February 21

Not a sport. But they are athletes. I took boxing for a while and it kicked my arse. Like grum@work said.

posted by aacheson at 10:14 PM on February 21

Billsaythis, what is the difference between the actual boxing of pros and amateurs, disregarding all of the politics that surround it? Sport and athletes.

posted by dfleming at 12:00 PM on February 22

You should be required to justify your vote in these. :)

posted by tieguy at 12:08 PM on February 22

what is the difference between the actual boxing of pros and amateurs, disregarding all of the politics that surround it? See, the point is not to justify those kind of comments. Then it seems mysterious and brilliant.

posted by yerfatma at 12:11 PM on February 22

I think the difference is the money involved in the professional version and too many tales of twisted arms and outright thievery. In other words, in too many instances pro boxing seems barely less choreographed than pro wrestling.

posted by billsaysthis at 12:43 PM on February 22

sport. Athletes.

posted by Scottymac at 01:31 PM on February 22

not a sport athletes

posted by corpse at 01:46 PM on February 22

sport athletes

posted by squealy at 02:29 PM on February 22

not a sport. (barbaric and arbitrarily judged) athletes.

posted by scully at 07:03 PM on February 22

I don't think it's legitimate to say that boxing is not a sport because the upper echelons of the pro game are corrupt. That doesn't make the ACTIVITY itself unsporting. Go down to a local gym and watch a couple pugilists spar, or watch some Olympics or Golden Glove matches. Not only are boxers athletes, not only is boxing a sport, but to me it is THE fundamental sport. Two foes enter the ring and try to beat each other with nothing but their skill, guts, ability, wits, strategy. How can anybody suggest with a straight face that the activity of boxing is not a sport?

posted by vito90 at 08:07 PM on February 22

I don't think it's legitimate to say that boxing is not a sport because the upper echelons of the pro game are corrupt. That doesn't make the ACTIVITY itself unsporting. This is precisely the distinction I made, dude. Two foes enter the ring and try to beat each other Yeah beating on another human being for the purpose of entertaining, that's truely the pinnacle of human endeavors.

posted by billsaysthis at 10:28 PM on February 22

This is precisely the distinction I made, dude. Yeah. And he's asking you to actually explain it, which you have yet to do beyond vague claims of match-fixing. Boxing clearly has all sorts of problems with management and titles and organizations, etc. None of that explains how it alters the activity inside the ropes so much that what is a sport when done for free is not a sport when the participants are compensated. that's truely the pinnacle of human endeavors. Not to speak for someone else, but I think the point is boxing is honest. Most every other sport dances around what we come to sport to see: one person beat another. Most sports provide psychological protection for the losing athletes: there are other teamates to accept part of the blame, refs' bad calls, equipment problems, rules, weather, etc. Moreover, you're not actually trying to beat someone, you're trying to run faster than them, block them off the ball, shoot over them, whatever. Lose a boxing match and there's no telling yourself it wasn't your fault, no "I was the better man" talk. Maybe at a microphone, but not in your head.

posted by yerfatma at 06:51 AM on February 23

I'm with vito on this. And to take a phrase from the Kamikaze special I watched twice yesterday, "It is the essence of conflict to attack weakness." Boxing is the most basic of conflicts. If the ancients thought it was sport, who am I to argue.

posted by garfield at 08:26 AM on February 23

If the ancients thought it was sport, who am I to argue. If the ancient thought the world was flat, who am I to argue? If the ancients thought people of colour are inferior, who am I to argue? If the ancients thought women shouldn't vote and should stay barefoot and pregnant, who am I to argue? But those are off-topic, so I will offer this: The ancients thought feeding human beings to lions was sport. Do you want to argue that too? Sorry, but boxing is brutal and the judging is arbitrary. I have watched many boxing matches in my day (and even sparred when I was younger), and I am yet to see a match where someone didn't question what fight a judge was watching after they awarded more points for the guy who could barely find his opponent. I'm with billsaythis on this issue. And I will go further than saying boxing is not a sport. Boxing is barbaric, and is not only NOT a sport, but should be banned. What two people do to each other in a boxing ring would be assult and battery outside of it. Is there is another so-called sport where this is true? "Ty, what'd you shoot today?" "Oh, I don't keep score, Judge." "Oh, well, how do you measure yourself with other golfers?" "By height."

posted by scully at 08:56 AM on February 23

terrapin - Yes Boxing is brutal - but it is played according to rules whose intent is to mitigate the damage done to an opponent. In it's purest form, it is a gentleman's sport. Many divisions require headgear and oversized gloves that reduce the force of the blow. Participants are required to hit above the belt, to not head butt or use elbows or anything but the glove. In the Olympics, points are subtracted for using any part of the glove other than the padded end. Once again, you are taking the worst parts of the sport and using it to indict the activity as a whole. Boxing is a brutal sport, so is football, hockey, rugby and martial arts sports such as judo, tae kwan do, and kickboxing. Fighters in hockey could also be indicted for assault outside of the ring - are you calling for a ban on that sport as well? How about judo? That is also assault outside of the ring. Same with a charging foul in basketball. The point is, it is not taking place outside of an arena, it is taking place inside, with rules and governing bodies, and doctors and ambulances at the ready. I am yet to see a match where someone didn't question what fight a judge was watching after they awarded more points for the guy who could barely find his opponent. Hyperbole. I have seen fair judging 99% of the time. The 1% that it's bad gets all the press. I just don't get this idea that if a judge has to decide it then it CANNOT be a sport. That's intellectually lazy.

posted by vito90 at 09:44 AM on February 23

What two people do to each other in a boxing ring would be assult and battery outside of it. Is there is another so-called sport where this is true? Physical contact in sport is very common, and most of these things would probably get you a criminal charge of some sort: hockey - body checks, slashes, cross-checks, and fighting basketball - flagarant fouls, charging football - tackling someone, sacking a quarterback on the blind-side, throwing a block baseball - home plate collisions And don't forget rugby, Aussie football, Olympic wrestling... So none of these should be considered sports?

posted by grum@work at 10:33 AM on February 23

I think the difference being that in those sports, most of the time the purpose of the physical contact is to impede progress or movement from one area to another, in boxing, it's to actually cause enough bodily harm to your opponent that they can't fight back. Of course if all was pure in sports that would be true, but there are always going to be the unsportsmen like thugs in every sport.

posted by corpse at 10:54 AM on February 23

Sorry, but physical contact is NOT the same as sanctioned battery. Therefore a charge in a basketball game is not the same as a haymaker. A tackle is not the same as being rewarded for knocking someone else unconcscious, etc. Fighters in hockey could also be indicted for assault outside of the ring - are you calling for a ban on that sport as well? No. And it is funny that you accuse me of hyperbole. This strawman (and poor logic) isn't worth commenting on, but here goes anyway... Fighting is not the object of the game of hockey. Therefore banning the game of hockey because people fight is illogical. (And yes, I think that players who fight during hockey games should be suspended AND fined.)

posted by scully at 11:00 AM on February 23

If the ancients thought it was sport, who am I to argue. If the ancient thought the world was flat, who am I to argue? If the ancients thought people of colour are inferior, who am I to argue? If the ancients thought women shouldn't vote and should stay barefoot and pregnant, who am I to argue? But those are off-topic, so I will offer this: The ancients thought feeding human beings to lions was sport. Do you want to argue that too? Sport is competition. Boxing is competition at its purest. So is wrestling. The ancients recognized this, as do most who chose to look for a connection. But you're right. Wrestling probably isn't a sport either because I once saw someone's ulna pop through the skin. And the lion feeding thing. That was entertainment, not sport. One more thing I'd like to add. Sport is testosterone. I think you need a dose. Or is sport something without a loser.

posted by garfield at 11:09 AM on February 23

Yipes! Let's keep it above the belt here kids! ding!

posted by forksclovetofu at 11:16 AM on February 23

terrapin - "sanctioned battery" - I agree this does not apply to hockey as fighting is a peripheral part of the game. What about judo, tae kwan doe, kickboxing and other martial arts? Not sports?

posted by vito90 at 11:36 AM on February 23

Another thing to add: People are decrying the level of violence in boxing - that its purpose is to render an opponent unfit to continue or to knock him unconscious. This is not true in the slightest. Many, many boxers (MOST) lack knockout power and win battles through skillful combinations and SCORING POINTS over their opponents. Boxing matches are just as often won on points as they are won on knockouts. Ahh, you say, but THAT requires an arbiter to determine who scored more points, and for some reason it has been decided that the use of judges renders an activity unsporting. So you conveniently get to reject boxing's sportitude on two fronts, neither of which (IMHO) is credible. The Sweet Science, indeed... Also, as seen on Sportsfilter...

posted by vito90 at 11:46 AM on February 23

Boxing clearly has all sorts of problems with management and titles and organizations, etc. None of that explains how it alters the activity inside the ropes so much that what is a sport when done for free is not a sport when the participants are compensated. That was what I tried to explain in my initial comment: At the professional level, where the best boxers in the world routinely refuse to fight each other, or only fight once a year - I'd say no. Too corrupt, too little structured competition. At the amateur level though, wher ethey actually have world championships on a regular basis, I'd say yes. I'm not trying to piss anyone off, and it might well be biased by my current dissatisfaction with the sport (ha!). But I think the point about structured competition is important - I don't really consider Harlem Globetrotters matches sport, say, although they are playing the same game as the NBA. And currently, painfully, a lot of professional boxing seems to be little better than exhibition matches, against hand picked boxers you know your top fighter is going to beat.

posted by dng at 12:12 PM on February 23

After reading this thread, I realized I have many misconceptions about boxing. Sheesh!

posted by jasonspaceman at 01:13 PM on February 23

Sport is testosterone. Really?!

posted by dusted at 01:21 PM on February 23

Well, its not about nurturing your opponent, and that is what I was trying to get at....competition/sport/one v. one==goes to winning/beating opponent. That comment was not intended to be sexist.

posted by garfield at 01:45 PM on February 23

...and since sport is a metaphor for combat, I thought I'd employ one myself.

posted by garfield at 01:45 PM on February 23

SPORT ATHLETES I think it's poor logic, also, to suggest that which should be banned is not a sport. An armed man in the ring against a lion is easily sport by my books, but should definitely be illegal. I feel ambivalent about boxing - the concept is brutal, yet elegantly simple. It's definitely the most "pure" sport in that it involves no allegory.

posted by rocketman at 02:04 PM on February 23

God, I'm sick of athletes talking about "going to war on the battlefield" before going to play ball. It's simple-minded to equate sporting competition with war. Sport (in my mind), is a competition, but also a chance to gain appreciation for the opponent. The worst element of sports are the ones who view it as a life and death matter: the parents driving their children, fans attacking each other in the stands, futbol hooligans, etc. There is a duality to sport. On the one hand, it can act as a metaphor for war, and inflame feelings and incite hatred. On the other, it can bring people together. Matches between India and Pakistan have always been played with a fervour close to war. The teams of both countries ground out draw after draw in their early Test series, afraid that they would be crucified by their countrymen if they lost. The homes of some Pakistan players notably their great hero, Wasim Akram were attacked after they lost to India in the 1996 World Cup. Cricket is a surrogate for national identity in both countries, and a Test or a one-day international between the two can often seem a matter of life and death. But sport can also mend divisions and heal wounds. Indians and Pakistanis are so against each others' countries because they have been indoctrinated that way from an early age. The people of both countries have been demonised by the other. One of the great mysteries of the 20th century is how so many ordinary people stood by while millions, in places such as Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia and Communist China, were brutally massacred. How could their humanity be suppressed in such a way? The most credible answer is that they stood by because the people on whom atrocities were committed were dehumanised - stripped of their personhood, as it were. One did not feel sorry for them because, in one's eyes, they were no longer humans, that status had been stripped from them. (In Hitler's Germany, herding the Jews into ghettoes, and making them wear the Star of David for identification, was just such a method of dehumanising them.) Why this is relevant is that the people of India and Pakistan, after decades of nationalistic propaganda and mutual mistrust, have been dehumanised too, as far as each other's countries are concerned. This is why intellectuals in both countries stress the importance of people-to-people contact, so that the other can be seen as human again, and one can feel empathy with them. And sport in this case, cricket fulfils just this function. It brings out, through the exhibition of cricket skills and the emotions shared by players from both teams, an appreciation of the other side. Remember the spontaneous applause that the crowds at Chennai lavished upon the Pakistan team when they won the Test there in 1999? If only we could have more of that, sport would be less a metaphor for war and more a vehicle of peace. From Make Sport, not War.

posted by dusted at 02:19 PM on February 23

excellent point, dusted....and I think this 'vehicle of peace' concept is a major reason sports exist today, as a susbstitute to combat/war/etc. But the unavoidable origin of sport goes back to combat/war/etc.....Definitely an uncomfortable marriage of concepts. An armed man in the ring against a lion is easily sport by my books, but should definitely be illegal. That's not what happened...at least to the Christians. They were chained to posts and we feasted upon by the beasts. There wasn't anything sporting about it. It was massacre for amusement.

posted by garfield at 02:38 PM on February 23

forks, sorry about the derail.

posted by garfield at 05:33 PM on February 23

My place is standing next to Terrapin; I believe that boxing is a vestige of the past we should outgrow. As are fights in hockey, though I would not put basketball or football in the same category because using your body's power is not the same as simply beating on another person. I was attempting initially to be a bit more sophisticated, drawing the distinction between pro and amateur fights and if you don't want to allow that, I have little else to say though I realize this is pretty much one of those discussions where most of us are unlikely to switch opinions despite anyone's best efforts to educate us.

posted by billsaysthis at 06:23 PM on February 23

I likes derails. de third rails ebedespecially.

posted by forksclovetofu at 11:00 PM on February 23

They were chained to posts and we feasted upon by the beasts. Sure, that's not a sport. And it should be illegal too, if it isn't already. But my point is that just because something is violent and deadly, those qualities do not preclude it from being a sport.

posted by rocketman at 04:00 PM on February 24

And it should be illegal too, if it isn't already. It's a state's rights issue, but I think most everywhere but Texas and Florida have banned it on non-religious holidays, unless you have a permit.

posted by yerfatma at 05:15 PM on February 24

sport athletes

posted by dales15 at 06:50 PM on February 24

Speaking of barbaric sport/not-a-sport competitions and spectacles, whatever happened to American Gladiators? That was the best show ever.

posted by rocketman at 02:28 PM on February 25

I thought so too, but my neighbors didn't. They got pissed about me shooting my homemade tennis ball cannon at their car all the time.

posted by yerfatma at 04:46 PM on February 25

Sport. Athletes. Now do pro wrestling.

posted by Bryant at 07:11 AM on February 26

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