FanDuel - WFBC

October 20, 2005

Cheerleading is Not a Sport: Cheerleading is not a non-sport because it’s typically for neurotic blondes with disorders of both the eating and attention deficit variety (although it is); it’s a nonsport because there’s no on-the-fly competition.

posted by Bill Lumbergh to culture at 08:45 AM - 48 comments

I agree, but I still like them cheerleaders

posted by at 08:48 AM on October 20

Why is swimming out but (I assume) athletics still in? They both involve some kind of competitive physical racing. Other inconsistencies abound.

posted by owlhouse at 08:49 AM on October 20

Swimming as in racing is in according to the Word From On High, owlhouse; synchronized swimming is out.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:53 AM on October 20

Competitive cheerleading is figure skating without skates. Greyish area, but I vote in.

posted by chicobangs at 09:02 AM on October 20

The author of this piece has his opinion. He claims any activity based on "judges" determining the outcome don't qualify as sport. In most respects, aren't umpires in baseball basically judges, especially when it comes down to something as basic as balls and strikes? They all call games differently, based on their own beliefs on what contitutes a strike or a ball, and, hence, alter the outcome of every single game. An example is the Astros-Cards game a few days ago. The game was altered by a judge determining which pitches met his criteria of the strike zone. A different umpire could have meant a different outcome. I will always consider something a sport when it involves people being in superior condition, well trained, dedicated, and, ultimately, competitive when pitted against another squad with the same goal. The comment about stupid blondes with whatever disorder shows me this guy's just looking to get reactions from people. My daughter is involved with competition cheerleading, and the routines these girls/guys/teams perform demand every athletic ability that has ever been associated with sport. The actual definition of sport has nothing to do with this guy's views, but I acknowledge his right to present them.

posted by dyams at 09:10 AM on October 20

In most respects, aren't umpires in baseball basically judges, especially when it comes down to something as basic as balls and strikes? As are referees, line judges, etc. etc. etc. If you're really going to be a timer-or-tape nazi, you'd have to throw out almost any sport with a ball.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:12 AM on October 20

In the World of Title IX, cheerleading provides more opportunities for woman. You really need to be a good athlete in order to a cheerleader in today's worlds.

posted by daddisamm at 09:13 AM on October 20

This is too much like arguing over what is art? Everyone's criteria don't mesh. This notion of direct competitive action is interesting, but not entirely without flaw. Modfiying routines based on an opponent's score is competitive action within the context of competition. It's more indirect - but that's a little fuzzy. Too much subjectivity in all sports to simply do away any sport that is judged. Maybe the debate really boils down to Sport vs. Competition? Maybe the debate is, in point of fact, a total waste of time and energy?

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:14 AM on October 20

I like this "on-the-fly" idea. Except that it labels my beloved golf a non-sport. But then I thought, who cares about the label, sport, or no sport, I still enjoy the "game" just as much either way. ESPN needs a new show, "GameCenter."

posted by mayerkyl at 09:42 AM on October 20

I love this debate it is excatly like the "what is art argument" which is why it so much fun to have. The judges are the only factor in determining a winner in this competition and that is the mon problem I have with them. Teams can over come bad umping refing ect. and still win. Not so in cheerleading or figure skating. The judges opinon is all that matters. Lets not take anything away from the talented young men and women who participate in these activities it involves lots of athleticism and dedication but it is not competitive in the same way hockey, baseball or even track and field are. I think in order for it to qualify as a sport the main criteria that has to be that you can dircetly effect your opponets performance, i can score more goals than you but i can also prevent you from scoring.

posted by HATER 187 at 09:45 AM on October 20

by mon i mean main. yeah alleteration!

posted by HATER 187 at 09:48 AM on October 20

keep those cheerleaders coming some eye candy and a respite from some UGGGGGLY athletes!!!!!!

posted by FrankySP at 09:53 AM on October 20

Who knew Stanford enrolled "Angry Young Men?" This Dan fellow seems a little too over-the-top, maybe he just lost his shirt at his frat's poker night...or perhaps a recurrent cheerleader dream... Can't wait to catch his review of the X-Games...

posted by bugsyduke at 09:58 AM on October 20

The judges are the only factor in determining a winner in this competition and that is the mon problem I have with them. Which judges would those be? Line judges?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 10:00 AM on October 20

lil, A blown call can effect the outcome of a game, but that is the exception not the rule. I have a problem with judges determining what is more difficult or what looked better. Its the subjectivity I have a problem with. If a linesman whistles a play offside that really wasn't he just made an error and it happens but like I said earlier a team can over come bad calls and still win not so in figure skating, synchronized swimming, diving ect.

posted by HATER 187 at 10:50 AM on October 20

Perhaps this Stanford writer should acquaint himself with the under-utilized tool called...'a dictionary' prior to deterining that it is his journalistic mission to define terms, already well understood. Specifically: sport ( P ) Pronunciation Key (spôrt, sprt) n. 1 -Physical activity that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often engaged in competitively. A particular form of this activity. 2 - An activity involving physical exertion and skill that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often undertaken competitively. 3 - An active pastime; recreation. Seems to me that cheerleading in any form qualifies. University paper sports column: journalism?

posted by sfts2 at 10:52 AM on October 20

Personally I dont find that definition to be accurate at all. There arent very many sports that would be called sports if it were left up to me. But if the is no direct interaction between participants its not a sport. If you are dont ever sprint its not a sport. If you are the watered down version of the real sport you are not a sport. My roommates love playing the 'Is this a sport?' game with me, most of the time their selection gets no. I am not trying to say my way is better and I totally respect the skill involved in most of those activities but they dont face the same challenges my sports do.

posted by Drallig9399 at 11:24 AM on October 20

I quite like Sean Penn's version of foreign policy compared to that of the current incumbent. That which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet. Sport, not sport, who fucking cares? Not that I'm just bitter that golf invariably gets the shitty end of the stick in these debates or anything *cough*

posted by JJ at 11:32 AM on October 20

I personally happen to agree with the notion that any event where the winner is determined by a judge is not a sport. While the umpire/ref agruement is valid the difference has been hit on in several other posts. What it comes down to is, the winner of a sporting event is determined by a known object, i.e. most points/runs/goals, fastest time, fewest strokes, farthest distance, etc. Non sports have winners which are deterimined by observation. Think about it this way if nobody was watching, would you know who won? In sports in the answer is yes (assuming you don't forget the score) and in non-sports the answer is no. If 10 guys get together for a pickup b-ball game there is a winning team and a losing team. if those same ten guys preform floor exercises they are, 1. gay and 2. have know idea who won.

posted by bigrobbieb at 12:07 PM on October 20

Did you notice the mental gymnastics he did to include downhill skiing as a sport? Activities within the “race” category (track, swimming, downhill skiing) are sports, because they involve an individual battling the clock as a representation of another racer who could, theoretically, be competing at the same time, on the same playing field So this one's for JJ: Activities in golf are sports, because they involve an individual battling against "par" as a representation of another player who could, theoretically, be taking his or her swings at the same time, on the same hole. I don't know how they let such an idiot into that fine, fine institution.

posted by Amateur at 12:08 PM on October 20

I like cheerleaders but I think I agree with the idea that its not a sport in and of itself. I'm not saying it doesn't require a high level of athleticism, it does. But cheerleading isn't, of its own, competitive. There are competitions now but those arose out of the ever more elaborate cheerleading routines. I don't mind watching cheerleaders but they're window dressing, not the main event. 'Course, that's just my opinion.

posted by fenriq at 12:13 PM on October 20

A long time ago, before cheerleaders preached mottos of, "If cheerleading were any easier, it would be called football.", the whole point of it was to SUPPORT a team. I'm sorry, but apparently I missed the memo telling me that jumping up and down and yelling now consituted a sport. And as for "competitive" cheerleading, go to a strip club, its pretty much the same thing and as an added bonus, they serve alcohol. As for the respondent who cited Title IX, give me a break. Cheerleading does NOT contribute to it in the least bit because it typically does not qualify as a sport and therefore has no impact on Title IX.

posted by CorBor42 at 12:34 PM on October 20

And as for "competitive" cheerleading, go to a strip club, its pretty much the same thing and as an added bonus, they serve alcohol. You obviously don't know what you're talking about, so please stop embarrassing yourself. If you don't like a topic, don't respond. If you can't respond in a coherent manner, don't even bother.

posted by dyams at 12:43 PM on October 20

lol this is a joke for having cheerleadin a sport

posted by defrag3x at 01:15 PM on October 20

Actually, one of my good friends was a competitive cheerleader and I was embarrassed for her after watching what her squad did during their competitions. It is believed that sports are supposed to empower women. How does "bumping and grinding" in short skirts and bare midriffs empower anyone?

posted by CorBor42 at 01:31 PM on October 20

Some's going to answer that, CorBor. just you watch. And I'd just like to say that Sean Penn is one of our greatest actors.

posted by chicobangs at 01:34 PM on October 20

Non sports have winners which are deterimined by observation. Think about it this way if nobody was watching, would you know who won? Fucking Brilliant answer. I haven't seen anyone come back at this one yet.

posted by HATER 187 at 02:12 PM on October 20

I personally define 'idiot' as someone who exhibits above average intelligence. Is hunting a sport? Skydiving? Not by any of the above criteria. Activities played with teams and scores are 'games' and are sports, gymnastics is not a game , but it is a SPORT.

posted by sfts2 at 02:13 PM on October 20

Until poker (now there's a complete waste of air time) cheerleader competitions were what filled the in-between dead air on "The Deuce". These were highly trained teams of athletes competing against each other. How is that not a sport, in the same way gymnastics is?

posted by smithnyiu at 02:25 PM on October 20

That which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet. In plain English, that means - you can change the name of a rose, but you can't do anything about the smell.

posted by drevl at 02:32 PM on October 20

Is stalking a cheerleader a sport? Let's check the proposed Stanford definition in the linked article. First, it must be, on some level, physically active. Well, this particular incident involved running into the ocean (as in a triathalon or surf competition) and attempting to break in and, most likely, wrestle with the cheerleader. Ergo, I think it meets the first criteria. Second, and more importantly, it must be the immediate, reactive physical implementation of a strategy designed to beat an opponent. Well, when they couldn't get into the cheerleader's apartment the way they wanted to, they changed strategies and tried to physically break into the apartment. They were hoping to beat two opponents. First, the cheerleader. Second, the police. I recognize this is in poor taste, but my point is that this dude's definition leaves out several key elements of what constitutes a sport. Yes, they are key elements that only an idiot would worry about - for example, the concept that both parties enter into the competition consensually and that the competition typically happens in front of spectators. None the less, if you really want a foolproof definition, you've got to include actual foolproofing. Fools are pretty darn ingenious.

posted by Joey Michaels at 02:34 PM on October 20

I started boycotting ESPN 8, "The Ocho," after they cancelled "Cheerleading 2night."

posted by The_Black_Hand at 02:38 PM on October 20

Have yall seen "Bring it on"? I think that sums it up.

posted by Turbo at 03:03 PM on October 20

It all comes down to one basic question in determining if Cheerleading is a sport. "CAN THEY MOUNT".

posted by JIM W. at 03:04 PM on October 20

This is pointless, if hunting is considered a sport then you might as well let everything else people decide to do be a sport. Cheerleaders will never be respected like a basketball playing girl would. Its just the way it is.

posted by Drallig9399 at 03:06 PM on October 20

or should I say soccer playing girl. I dont much care for the bballers myself.

posted by Drallig9399 at 03:07 PM on October 20

I remember being unimpressed by cheerleaders until I went to college. Those girls would be flying up into the rafters at the arena. They did these crazy, acrobatic flips everywhere. They had tons of muscles and six packs. They were serious business.

posted by bperk at 03:11 PM on October 20

What about guy cheerleaders? He...he...he...

posted by ohiodonnell at 03:27 PM on October 20

sport ( P ) Pronunciation Key (spôrt, sprt) n. 1 -Physical activity that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often engaged in competitively. A particular form of this activity. 2 - An activity involving physical exertion and skill that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often undertaken competitively. 3 - An active pastime; recreation. This is the definition of sport. You can't just make up your own definition or your fighting against the english language. I'd say cheerleading qualifies. Just like racing it bores the hell out of me. However, the participants involved are better looking and usually less legal.

posted by tron7 at 03:31 PM on October 20

Damn fine point, Drallig. If you can shoot at an unarmed, non-opposable-thumb having animal and call it sport, the floodgates are truly open. The last thing in Pandora's Box was the National Cheerleading Championships.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 03:44 PM on October 20

Anyone who "performs" at halftime or on the sidelines of a SPORTING event are not participating in a SPORT. I've seen people flying into rafters at the circus. Guy cheerleaders are in the unenviable position of being gay and having to question their sexuality everytime they look up at the cheerleader's behind they are holding over their head.

posted by tselson at 03:44 PM on October 20

The halftime/sideline stuff is just extra. I believe the point at the college level is competition.

posted by bperk at 04:09 PM on October 20

The point is that "Cheerleading" was designed to be entertainment on the sidelines of a sport. Just because somewhere along the line cheerleaders became unsatisfied being a side show and decided they could create a "cheerleading competition" doesn't make it a sport at any level. Who are they cheering for at these competitions, themselves?

posted by tselson at 04:18 PM on October 20

bperk, cheerleading is only a sport when it is judged? During halftime its not a sport but at a competition it becomes a sport. Thats kind of dicey. Hockey's a sport if its the NHL or if its pick up at the local rink. Baseballs a sport little leauge to MLB. Even golf is a sport if its me and my friends or the Masters. It kind of goes back to bigrobbieb argument from earlier.

posted by HATER 187 at 04:24 PM on October 20

And as for "competitive" cheerleading, go to a strip club, its pretty much the same thing and as an added bonus, they serve alcohol. Either you've never seen competitive chearleading or you're going to different strip clubs than I (not that I go to strip clubs, just to make a point...well, maybe once). The girls/women are amazing athletes trying stunts that if done wrong could, you know, kil them. Don't get me wrong, I'm not sold on cheerleading being a sport. Mutating from 'we're here to root the football team on and give the players something to do on saturday nights (no pun intended) is quite a leap. On the other hand, your local stripper taking the time to put down her smoke to jump on a pole and slide down isn't really comparable (not that there isn't the occasional stripper who is climbing the walls making all her patrons wonder what she'd look like in a soccer uniform). What about guy cheerleaders? He...he...he... posted by ohiodonnell Having known a guy cheerleader in college probably saying "he he he" at your comment. Smartest guys in the world.

posted by justgary at 12:12 AM on October 21

Here's a thought. Fishing in your local bass tournament is SPORT. Fishing on a commercial fishing boat is WORK. Hunting a moose is SPORT. Butchering cattle at a meat processing plant is WORK. Playing high school baseball is SPORT. Playing major league baseball is WORK. Amateur cheerleading is SPORT. The Dallas Cowgirls are WORKING GIRLS.

posted by drevl at 08:56 AM on October 21

But some dem bitches be fine

posted by Desert Dog at 03:20 PM on October 21

How is cheerleading a sport? It has to do with sports, but certainly isnt one. I mean, there are arguements for both sides, but the majority of them do not support them. I mean, there are no rules aying that you have to be in good shape, thats just a sterotype- not a fact. In fact, cheerleaders really dont have to train, but on the other hand, they are on ESPN. Both sides make good points.

posted by redsoxrgay at 08:47 PM on October 21

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