alpaca princess (renniekins) wrote,
alpaca princess

What is a Sport?

I was having dinner with some friends this evening, and the subject of watching sports came up. I don't especially watch sports myself, so I was only half-listening. The guy across from me was saying that his friends are always surprised to discover that he likes to watch a sport, but he really likes to watch Formula One car racing. (I think that's what it's called.)

It took a moment or two for this to sink into my distracted attention, but then I realized what he was saying. "You think that car racing is a sport? They're not athletes, they're driving a car!"

He tried to claim it was, but I just couldn't be convinced. He told me how he'd tried it once, and had been very tired afterward. He said he wore a flame-proof suit, racing over hot pavement, in a hot car... but I argued that just because you were uncomfortable didn't mean you were athletic. He said some races last 24 hours, and I agreed that sounded very unpleasant, but being inconvenienced didn't make it a sport either.

Then he said that if car racing wasn't a sport, then the luge isn't one either. (I'm not sure why he came up with that example.) I started to argue that it required strength and skill of some sort -- but we quickly realized that none of us knew enough about what the luge requires to argue that subject well.

Then we discussed figure skating of course, and he said that all depended on whether the French judge liked you, not skill. I acknowledged that it's a subjective sport, but it still requires more power than just sitting in a car moving the steering wheel. The other guy at the table pointed out that you had to press the gas pedal really hard too, which might require strong butt muscles. SG suggested that figure skating is perhaps more like boxing, what with all the knee-whacking going on.

Then the first guy argued that there are more car racing movies than figure skating movies. I agreed that to be true, but popularity alone does not make something sporty. If movies make it a sport, than psycho killing would be a sport as well -- and romantic comedies!

We gave up on the conversation by this point, but I thought I'd put it to LJ Land. I've listed a bunch of potential sports -- what do you think qualifies? What sports do you like to play and watch? Feel free to tell me why in the comments.

Poll #409368 Is it a sport?

How many of the following activities would you consider a "sport"?

Car racing
Figure skating

What's your favorite sport to watch?

What's your favorite sport to play?

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