Saturday, April 01, 2006

Wild World of Leisurely Activities

This is a post that grew in my mind when I was thinking about water skiing. I know a lot of people love water skiing but I have never liked it. Am I alone in this? Everything I love about snowboarding seems to have been removed in water skiing.

On a snowboard you can choose any path down the mountain. On water skis, you just get pulled behind a boat and everyone stares at you like you should be doing something. It's easy to stand there being pulled. Maybe you should get nuts and ride over the wake. Do you feel like tempting fate? When you get nuts on a snowboard, the ideal crash has you rolling downhill through soft snow. In water skiing, the vast majority of crashes have the skier slapping their face against the water and skidding across the surface at about 30 miles an hour. Science fact: Liquids, like lake water, do not compress (snow does).

I'm starting to think water skiing is one of those sports that can only be enjoyed while drinking. I propose a new rule: Do not invent any sports while drinking. The sport should be entertaining on it's own, without the aid of alcohol.

Furthermore, sports should have some kind athletic aspect to them. Sports that do not have that aspect ARE NOT SPORTS. Even cool things like fishing. It's cool, but it isn't a sport. Hunting? Blasting a deer's face off while it gets a drink or shooting a mountain lion out of a tree after you've chased it down on a four-wheeler with a big pack of dogs has about as much to do with "sports" as accidentally running over a cat on the street in front of your house. It's a matter of luck, really. The bad luck of the animal in crossing paths with humans. Killing for survival? Fine. For recreation? People need a better outlet.

What is up with Poker, Billiards and Scrabble on ESPN?

Race car driving: It's a big circle people and gas is expensive. When lame-o's go on TV and say, "I worked with a professional driver for this film. They are so amazing the way they handle the car." I don't know whether to laugh or throw up. To me that's on the level of, "You should see the way he dials a telephone. It's amazing." It really does not impress me.

It is hard for me to speak about golf because of what it has come to represent, personally, to me. First, I do not think Tiger Woods is the devil. Bill Murray plays a lot of golf, I really like Bill Murray. I play a few rounds of golf with my dad as a bonding thing. It's okay. Why you would ever watch golf on TV, I do not know.

Golf, to me, is people trying to raise themselves to an imaginary plateau where their life is redeemed by surrounding themselves in idealism. "Hey, rich people like to golf. Rich people are the best people in the world. If I am poor or even just-not-rich, it makes me feel like I can taste the highest success if I golf."

Take a step back: Tiny little kids can golf. The fartiest of old people can golf. People claim it is a sport, like they are exercising between drinking and riding on their carts and paying some kid to carry their clubs for them. They like that they get outside, but it is nature so manicured that it doesn't even look real. And it goes on for miles (even in the desert). That way you can brandish an "I've got mine" attitude while everyone else is ground into hamburger. Now watch me sink this drive.

To me, golf has become the epitome of voluntary self-delusion and a lack of regard toward your fellow man. I don't expect you to follow this belief, but that is what it has become inside of me. So I don't like golf. But even if it wasn't symbolic to me, golf would still not be a sport.


Native Minnow said...

My rich uncle made his kids learn how to play golf, because 'that's how business gets done.' I think it's more of a status symbol.

"Look at me, I play golf, therefore I must be really rich and important."

Of course, people could argue the same thing about flyfishing, which I do happen to like.

PsychoIntern said...

Plus our rich uncle also gets to do things like take clients sport fishing in the company yacht/boat...:) That is also how business gets done...

ShootingStar said...

So this doesn't relate directly, but on Saturday I played basketball for the first time since I was about 14. It was amazing. I forgot how cool sports can be.

Even though I think you sound like a bit of a sports snob in this blog (I mean that in the Im-your-friend-so-I-can-kid-you- kind of way) I also dislike the idea behind golf courses--not golf per se though. I might respect golf if people wanted to go whacking their white ball through the natural landscape. I guess unless I was hiking out there, then I'd be pretty annoyed.

flieswithoutwings said...

I don't think I'm a snob. I'm saying the emporer has no clothes before we finally reach the point when watching television is considered a sport.