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Test your definition of sports

By Staff
Leada Gore, Editor
I once worked with an sports editor who had a narrow definition of what exactly athletics were.
To him, sports were only those things that involved direct physical competition. Under this umbrella, things such as football, basketball and baseball qualified as “sports.” Other things, such as golf, tennis and gymnastics, did not qualify.
Of course, this was not a popular concept around the newspaper and, luckily for him, he didn’t share it with many others. He kept his feelings to himself and covered those “non-sports” with a smile on his face.
I thought about this guy the other day when I saw the world juggling competition on ESPN. That’s right – juggling. I didn’t know there was a world juggling competition, much less that it deserved to be on national TV.
Shortly after the juggling contest was the national bowling competition. It wasn’t nearly as exciting as the juggling competition, mainly because the bowlers kept the balls in the lanes as opposed to flying above their heads.
I didn’t know ESPN covered such things as juggling and bowling. A little research, however, led me to discover they actually include several odd things under the sports umbrella. ESPN carries coverage of poker tournaments, lumberjack contests and, believe it or not, spelling bees.
This got me thinking. If cable sports networks are desperate for things to show during non-peak hours, why don’t they consider something really difficult, like a competition involving grocery shopping?
Give each woman $100 and 30 minutes to purchase groceries for her family for the entire week. To complicate things, she has to bring her two kids with her and have an impatient husband who’s home babysitting the third child, who’s sick.
The woman who finishes with both her groceries and children intact is the winner.
Or, maybe you could set up a competition as to who could manage Thanksgiving dinner for 21 when you only have seating for 16?
The contestants would have to decide between squeezing in more chairs in the dining room, opting for card tables or just sending everyone outside and letting them picnic on the front lawn.
The winner would be the person who manages not to make her entire family mad, doesn’t burn the turkey and is able to swallow at least one spoonful of dressing before she puts all the dirty dishes in the dishwasher.
These competitions would be far more interesting than juggling or even bowling. After all, tossing lighted swords over your head is one thing. Managing to swing a full Thanksgiving dinner is something way more impressive.

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