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Sports need to have a light side

By Zane Goggans
Posted on April 22, 2010 | Columnists,Sports | Comments Off on Sports need to have a light side

I love my own opinions. That’s why I come up with them. I think my opinions are perfect, and anyone who has an opposing opinion is wrong.

But then again, who doesn’t think that way?

I have always been a sports nut, and I like to think I am quite knowledgeable when it comes to most sports. When it comes to deciding what a sport is, however, I used to be kind of choosy. In my mind, some things just should not be considered a sport.

If you are an American, typically the things that pop into your mind when you think of the word “sports” are football, basketball and baseball. Hockey may come to some people’s minds, but for the most part, that is a Northern custom.

I used to be very particular about calling something a sport. For example, I used to think golf was just a hobby you could be really good at. I didn’t consider golf to be a sport because, to me, a sport was a noun followed by the word “ball.” Ping Pong, Frisbee, gymnastics, cheerleading, cricket, and at one point, tennis, were just activities people did. They were not sports to me.

It was only a few years ago that I grew up, looked at the definition of sport and decided there are actually many more sports than I thought.

The very first time I played tennis, I was in Searcy, Ark. I was at church camp at Harding University, and we had a lot of recreational time during the day. My friends, who played tennis, decided to go to the courts and try them out. I followed suit, thinking it couldn’t be that hard.

Needless to say, I was demolished. For lack of a better word, I sucked.

I may be choosy, but I decided then and there tennis is indeed a sport. As the years have gone by, I have come to accept the other “hobbies” I mentioned to be sports, as well.

But I still have a list of “activities.” In my world, toe wrestling is not a sport. As gross as toe wrestling sounds, it has quite a following.

Toe wrestling is an activity that is actually growing in popularity in the United Kingdom. The rules are simple: Pin the other person’s toes to the ground. The common courtesy in toe wrestling is to remove your opponent’s socks and shoes for them before the duel. This activity, which has been around since 1970, now has a world championship tournament. In fact, following his 1997 world championship win, Alan ‘Nasty’ Nash appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. By definition, toe wrestling is a sport.

I am glad things like toe wrestling exist to ensure we don’t take ourselves too seriously. But that still doesn’t make it a sport.

avatar Posted by Zane Goggans on Apr 22nd, 2010 and filed under Columnists, Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.  - This post has been viewed 17726 times.

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