Does Society Really Need Sports? No.
My ‘colleague’ Mr. Olson will have you believe that sports are good. He is wrong.
To understand why Mr. Olson’s assertion is incorrect, we must first examine the claim, ‘Sports are good.’ What does it mean? We might start by considering what is meant by the word ‘sport’ (in Hungarian, ‘sport,’ and in German, ‘der Sport’).
The American Heritage Dictionary defines ‘sport’ as ‘a summer resident of Maine,’ explaining, ‘Predictably, certain words in the lexicon of Maine betray a wry Yankee impatience with these outsiders and city folks who come up to Maine only for summer relaxation.’
‘SPORT’ can also be an acronym for ‘Short-Term Prediction Research and Transition Center,’ ‘Soldier’s Portable On-System Repair Tool’ or ‘Space Optical Radar Tracking.’
Clearly, Mr. Olson’s terms are poorly defined. Can you see how these sports apologists use their fancy rhetoric to confuse us?
Another definition of sport is ‘physical activity that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often engaged in competitively.’
That could be anything! Even if Mr. Olson is prepared to come to the defense of baseball, basketball, soccer and the like, he is discounting the literally hundreds of less popular sports played around the world, to say nothing of the thousands of sports that exist only in my mind.
Even if we grant Mr. Olson that there are a handful of sports that are fun to play or watch, we are ignoring the fact that the vast majority of sports are incredibly stupid and/or boring. To illustrate by way of example, here are five sports that are absolutely indefensible.
1. Cheese Rolling
In Brockworth, England, for hundreds of years, young men have chased a seven-pound Double Gloucestershire cheese down a hill through patches of nettle, almost always resulting in serious injury and the contestants being shuttled off in ambulances waiting at the bottom. Although I appreciate the dedication required to literally throw one’s self off a cliff chasing after dairy products, and although the contest does satisfy my tremendous bloodlust, a seven-pound wheel of cheese is hardly enough to impress me. A 700-pound cheese, on the other hand