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Five for Friday: A Sport or Not a Sport

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That is the question.

Track and Field: London Anniversary Games Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

With all the animosity between groups out there, and no I’m not talking Democrats and Republicans, I wanted to try something out where everyone is always correct.

On Fridays, I will throw out a topic asking for your top five in whatever the conversation is that week. I’ll give my opinion and then read your choices in the comments section. We’ll keep this going as long as there is some participation.

As these are your (or my) opinions, we can’t be wrong so just have fun with the topic.

Five for Friday

I struggled to come up with a topic for this week so I decided to see what makes February 21st special. There have been some terrible things that have happened on this date such as the assassination of Malcolm X in 1965 and some serious battles in the Civil War, WWI and WWII. The major sports related theme I could find is that NASCAR was incorporated in 1948.

The first thing that I thought of after learning about NASCAR was the horrific crash that Ryan Newman just had at Daytona on Monday and the fact that he was able to WALK out of the hospital with his family just a couple days later. The safety improvements in that sport in just the past few years is amazing.

Which then led my mind to ask a question that I’ve debated (with myself) before, what really constitutes a sport? I’ve always believed that a sport needs to have a ball of some type and no judges which can influence the outcome. I then added the caveat that it can’t really be a sport if a middle aged person of questionable fitness could actively compete in a competitive fashion in said event. For instance, while I probably wouldn’t win very often against the professionals in darts, there may be that one time where I’m hitting my numbers and could pull off an upset. Darts is not a sport.

I’ve said all this to come back to my personal Five for Friday events that aren’t really sports.

  • Bowling: Yeah there is a ball but I’m going to say that any activity where you can drink, get up and hurl a ball then sit back down and drink is more of an activity than a sport.
FloSports: FloBowling PBA Gene Carter’s Pro Shop Classic
No this is not a young Jon Cryer.
Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
  • Boxing: As mentioned above, the fact that judges can effect the outcome rather than the competitors removes it from my sport list. Perhaps if they boxed until someone gave up no matter how many rounds, it could jump back on the list.
IBF Super Middleweight Title Fight - Roy Jones Jr. v Vinny Pazienza
The fact that Olympic judges cost Roy Jones Jr. a gold medal in 1988 is the biggest boxing travesty in the history of the sport.
Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images
  • Auto Racing: Sometimes I feel if you live in a big city and can maneuver the rush hour traffic skillfully, you could make it in NASCAR. I kid of course but I can’t call auto racing a sport because the car does most of the work. Same argument for horse racing, not a sport.
NASCAR Cup Series 62nd Annual Daytona 500
Ryan Newman walked out of the hospital two days after this happened.
Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
  • Curling: Skating and sweeping? No chance buddy. Even the Simpson’s mocked the sport.
  • Golf: Are professional golfers great at their craft? Absolutely. Does that make it a sport, not so much.
Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai - Round One
Submitted as evidence your honor.
Photo by Chris Condon/PGA TOUR via Getty Images

Am I off-base here? Did this one go wide-right? Did I shoot an airball? Do you have other events that are commonly called sports that shouldn’t be? Let us know.

Go Hawks!