I am still steaming about the thread a week ago where track fans ridiculed certain other sports. On the off-chance that you guys have an open mind let me make a few comments about some of those sports:
Curling: Sure, sweeping looks strange to people who have never seen it before, just like some idiots laugh at race walking. But it is an important part of the sport: Good sweeping can add up to six feet to a shot, and it will keep a shot straight rather than allowing it to curl. The skip has to make a quick decision whether to sweep a shot ("Hurry!Hard") or to lay off. There are many other strategic elements to this exciting sport, but they are hard to explain to a novice.
Soccer: Some people make fun of soccer because games tend to be low-scoring. So to a true fan is an 11-5 baseball game more fun to watch than a 1-0 game? Does the fact that each team scores 40 or 50 "goals" in basketball make that sport exciting? Actually to me, the fact that goals are so easy and common makes each goal less significant and exciting.
Synchronized swimming: So-called because the athlete performs in time with music, therefore solo synchro is not an oxymoron. Like figure skating, freestyle skiing and ballroom dancing this activity is on the borderline between art and sport, but it does not deserve ridicule.
Downhill skiing: True, the athletes compete one after another rather than in a mass start. If that bothers you then you must think pole vaulting and javelin throwing are boring too. Skiing, like golf, is partly dependent on the weather and the course which is why upsets are relatively common (unlike track). I'm not sure if that makes the sport more or less exciting.
Now I'd like somebody to explain to me the attractions of skateboarding and WWF ...
Last edited by noone on Sat Jul 31, 2004 6:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Noone, boring is in the eye of the beholder. My favorite events are the multis, but that is not at all the general case. Many T&F fans (and I don't mean those who watch the OGs only) feel about decathlon as I do about baseball. They would rather be evicerated by a hot sword than watch a deca. This extends to anouncing at meets, including nationals, NCAA & OT. At Sacto, the only air time the deca got was when absolutely NOTHING else was going on. This included age group, masters and handicapped races. That is just how it is. I doubt that anyone who had a favorite sport called boring really believed that it was true. I also doubt that many found the thread offensive. Hell, I don't think Malmo bothered to post.
I also think that many who follow "boring, minor, irrelevant (pick an adjective)" sports consider themselves insiders, to a degree. "I am watching the best sport in the world, and the masses don't have a clue!" I see some of that in T&F in the US. Actually, a lot of it. "The only thing worse than track is field. anon, UTexas football coach". "Ha, peasants, we retort".
Ironically, some of the sports you defended, eg, real football, I really like. But, like most US people, who "follow" track at the OG, I only really indulge at world cup time. I would like to see some European league matches, but not enough to buy a dish package. I thus missed the EC, but did catch a couple Copa America games.
I appreciate gymnastics as an athletic activity, but the subjective scoring pretty much ruins it for me. I was turned off figure skating forever when at Grenoble '68, Gabi Siefert turned in the most amazing free skate I had ever seen, and was immediately told by the announcer, that the routine was "too athletic" and would be hammered by the judges. It was.
I think many of us like to see sports where athletes really have to put their physical abilities to the test. A sport that requires endurance, strength, power..and lots of training. We enjoy sports where you can truly appreciate "high performance world class athletes"
Some sports seem more like playground games, or a recreational activity that you can take up at local community centre.
Curling might as well be lawn bowling or croquet to me. There is a low level of physical exertion in those activities which I believe causes people to tune out.
i totally agree with bigred...i think T&F isn't appreciated by a lot of other sports (or I should say those involved), and maybe it just goes both ways...i can't count the number of times I've heard, "I don't get it...you just run around in a circle!!!"
here is my take on the sports you mentioned
Curling: throw the damn thing straight in the first place and then you wouldn't need your loser teammates to help you out!
Soocer: "The beautiful game." Enough said
Synchronized Swimming: Joke. Take up some form of dancing on land-it's a lot more challenging, artistic and creative.. Something tells me that we are much better at dancing on land than we are in water. The sooner we blow these people out of the water the better.
Downhill sking: unbelievable balls, speed, timing, control and did I say balls.
Skateboarding: How you cannot be impressed by the man "Tony Hawks" I don't know. That guy is truly amazing. I am so far away from emulating what those guys can do it is not funny.
WWF=amateur dramatics. Put them up against any of the Gracie family and we'll see whose for "real."
>Which leads me to believe that the measure of a true sport could be measured by a competition such as the Superstars. Bring on Tiger...
The measure of a any sport can also be measured by the numbers of fans and followers the sport has. Take the Gaelic Games, for example. 65,000 in attendance at Croke Park for nearly every Sunday match. Excited fans take over Lower Drumcondra for a sport most of us know nothing about, the papers hype and the neighborhood appreciates.
Last edited by EPelle on Sat Jul 31, 2004 10:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Football" - or what americans call "football" (almost never using foot in the game) must be the dumbest. A bunch of overgrown men (going on HGH and steroids)pushing each other asses standing in a ring till somebody happens to catch the boll and run for 3-4 seconds. Then we wait another 2-3 min for another ass-pushing..lol.
Crazy game with a crazy name "World series" ?
>"Football" - or what americans call "football" (almost never using foot in
>the game) must be the dumbest. A bunch of overgrown men (going on HGH and
>steroids)pushing each other asses standing in a ring till somebody happens to
>catch the boll and run for 3-4 seconds. Then we wait another 2-3 min for
Crazy game with a crazy name "World series"
There is no "World Series" in Football. And judging by your description, you haven't a clue about the game.
One of the men touted as being the fastest of all time, Bob Hayes, was a football player who ran track. He's the only man with an Olympic Gold medal and a Superbowl ring. You should go to a live game sometime, there's plenty of leagues in Europe, and at the end of it your opinion will be changed.
It's more akin to Chess, where the pieces have minds of their own, than to any other field game.
I thus missed the EC, but did catch a couple Copa America
Being a soccer fanatic, I watch a lot of soccer and, I have to say, the average soccer game (like the average basketball, football, and hockey games - to name a few examples) is not all that exciting. The Copa America final between Argentina and Brazil was as good as sport gets - it was sensational. Anyone, except for the most ardent soccer haters, would have enjoyed it. I am sure the same could be said, perhaps to a much lesser degree (in terms of emotional intensity anyway), about really good curling.
I know I'm going to get criticized highly for this, but here goes: golf.
Yes, I know it takes skill and strategy and precision and power to hit the ball, blah blah blah. But I always find it mind-numbingly boring when it is televised.
Of course, I understand that it is quite enjoyable to walk around leisurely on beautifully manicured greens, and it is very healthy and popular for those reasons. What's more, business men conduct much of their deals in these settings and in the beautiful country clubs on the courses. But the hours spent on network coverage of these events annoys me when track and field gets such little television coverage, even on cable.
My biggest gripe about golf as a sport (especially when compared to the ultra-fitness of T&F athletes) is that the actual fitness of the golfer doesn't necessarily matter in relation to their success. It has little bearing if the golfer is 10 pounds overweight or more, or if he has a beer belly or if he couldn't run a six minute mile to save his life. Therein lies some of the reason why it's also popular; one doesn't have to be in the best of shape to play. The caddies are in better shape than most of the golfers, I daresay, being paid for lugging around the heavy bags and clubs.
>Jones Ramsey, the long-time sports publicist at the University of Texas, should
>be excused for one of his most famous utterances. For when he said, "The only
>thing worse than track is field," ...
Dallas Morning News.>>
Yup, that was old Jones. He also said, "Why, I'd travel 50 miles if there was a track meet..... in the other direction!" Cantankerous old coot, but I suspect that as a football SID they didn't come much better.
Coincidentally, latest NCAA News notes that he died just a couple of weeks ago.
People who can't handle golf on TV probably have the same problem with Soccer. There's an ebb and flow to both sports that you have to be prepared to immerse yourself into in order to enjoy. It takes concentration, like some field events or distance races.
When watching sport I feel that in order to enjoy it you should have a realization of how hard people have to work to get good at that sport, and from there you can begin to appreciate that sport. Of course some of us will find sports that we just don't like to watch and that's fair.
Here's one. How many Americans could handle a five day cricket test (match). Now that is a chore but since living in the Commonwealth I have learned how to do it.
>I feel that in order to enjoy
>it you should have a realization of how hard people have to work to get good
>at that sport...
I recall Tiger's Dad dissing Michael Johnson's performances at the Atlanta Olympics, claiming his son could beat Johnson over a furlong or a quarter. Gee, I didn't know Golfers trained THAT hard. I certainly have a realisation of how hard they work now.
This whole "my sport is better than your sport" stuff is nonsense, it's only perpetuated by bored little people who are looking for an argument.
The same (English) soccer fans who would call Rugby - my sport of choice - would probably turn around to an American and try and prove how hard we Englishmen are based on the fact that NFLers wear pads and helmets and rugby players don't. It's a complete joke, and one which depends on ignorance for its survival.
I used to own a restaurant in Barbados and one season we had the Bahamian rugby team in for a tournament and we were catering them. They said they play both sports in the Bahamas and many had played college ball in the states. I asked which one did you have to be tougher to play and to a man they all said Rugby. They agreed that with the speed and the uniforms in American Football there was more chance of big injury but for fitness and having to play both ways and no blocking and bruising and blood it was Rugby hands down.
Having grown up playing and watching Amer.Football and now watching Rugby weekly I agree. Even Soccer players don't have to be as fit as Ruggers as they are not constantly following the ball.
for what it's worth (?). In 1971 after Stanford won the Rose Bowl, the QB, Don Bunce, got the football team to play rugby in the spring and demolished all comers - I actually believe they were banned at the end of the season for hitting too hard. (there's probably such a rule in rugby - otherwise it seems everyone would be dead by now, yes?)
Last edited by tafnut on Thu Aug 05, 2004 7:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
> I actually believe they were banned at the end of the season for hitting too hard. (there's probably such a rule in rugby - otherwise it seems everyone would be dead by now, yes?)
Yes and no - there are rules govering the height of tackles (ie you can't just take someone out at neck height, obviously) but the rules allow you to hit DAMN hard provided you hit in the right place. Last year, Jerry Collins of New Zealand knocked Colin Charvis of Wales stone cold out with a legal tackle!
When watching sport I feel that in order to enjoy
>it you should have a realization of how hard people have to work to get good
>at that sport, and from there you can begin to appreciate that sport. Of
>course some of us will find sports that we just don't like to watch and that's
Yes, that is it. With knowledge comes a deeper appreciation.
To those who don't know, watching a guy kick the ball 40 meters precisely to the foot of his teammate who has beaten his mark and procedes to recieve the ball so softly it looks like he has a catchers glove on his foot, simply looks like a guy kicking a ball to a teammate.
Or, watching Bekele knock down 12 consecutive 61.5 quaters appears the same as the jogger they see running around the block every morning.
Last edited by Cyril on Thu Aug 05, 2004 9:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
when the field can't break par
>at the US Open, that's a 0-0 soccer game - still exciting, but it doesn't seem
>as if anyone is doing well.
i guess i tend to be biased against team sports a little. and as far as soccer and hockey go they are in my opinoin the most boring. i dont need high scoring, but soccer is extreme low scoring. basketball is decent enough. football is to slow moving for the team sport and the clock stops alot. baseball is decent but moves along to slow.
Color me shallow, but I'm one of those many for whom the lack of scoring in soccer is indeed a turnoff. And, actually, it goes beyond the lack of scoring; it's the lack--relatively speaking--at CHANCES for scoring. I have soccer-fan friends who say, "you love a 1-0 hockey game, what's wrong with a 1-0 soccer game?"
The basic answer is that in a 1-0 hockey game, you've had two goalies stand on their heads and make 30-odd saves apiece. There have been at least 25 shots that you just KNEW were going to go in, but didn't. And a preponderance of the play is at one end or the other, where a goal can happen at any time.
In soccer, by contrast, endless minutes can go on with the ball bouncing back and forth at midfield, so far away from either goal you couldn't put it in with a cannon. Yes, I understand how beautiful it is to watch the strategy develop, plays get set up, etc., etc., but that's just not my cup of tea in a sporting event.
"i guess i tend to be biased against team sports a little. and as far as soccer and hockey go they are in my opinoin the most boring. i dont need high scoring, but soccer is extreme low scoring."
Television is responsible for making some sports seem boring. Hockey, which is not exciting on TV because of puck size and how it is shot, is one of the fastest and most exciting (perhaps the most exciting for me) sports you can watch in person. As for soccer, i grew up in the American midwest, never played it, and, too, thought it was boring. Then I spent some time in Latin America where I learned about the game and learned to appreciate it.
It, like most other sports, is far more exciting in person than on television. Some of the most fast paced, exciting games I have ever seen ended in 0-0 ties. A 0-0 tie does not mean boring. Of course mostt soccer games on TV are mediocre (like football, basketball, track (the NCAA meet was a snore - especially for distance fans), and any other game you care to mention. In addition, soccer has given us some of our best middle distance and distance runners (e.g. Said Aouita) runners out of north Africa.
Last edited by coyote on Thu Aug 05, 2004 10:05 am, edited 1 time in total.