Published February 22, 2006
I’d like to weigh in on the discussion we’ve had going lately over what qualifies as a sport.
First, you need to know that I hate sports.
I do have respect for the athletes’ dedication and skills. I’ve also been known to enjoy a $15 hot dog at an Astros game.
Having said that, let me reiterate. I hate sports.
And here’s why. Because I am a wife and mommy, there are a zillion things I have to remember at any given moment of the day. How to change a baby’s diaper when the last thing she wants to do is lie still on her back. Whether my 7-year-old likes her bacon “crunchy” or “floppy.” How my husband likes his pants to be hung up. What times my children need to be dropped off and picked up at all the places they go. Whose laundry is in the dryer, whose just came out and whose is going in next. Where my cell phone is. Whether I should clean up the cat vomit or pretend to be surprised when my husband finds it later.
I just don’t have room in my head for batting averages and slugging percentages and yards per carry and every last injury report of some hideously overpaid athlete’s pulled groin.
There. I’ve said it.
So, from a person like me, who really doesn’t give a rip, what is a sport?
The first definition of the word “sport” in my Webster’s is “to amuse oneself.” So in my opinion, a sport is something that looks like it would be fun to do. Like racing through Target with a Starbucks mocha in one hand and $500 gift card in the other. That would be a sport.
So what’s not a sport? Something in which people look miserable while they’re doing it. And No. 1 on my list would be weight-lifting.
Yes, I know weight-lifting requires super-human strength and years of training. But I’d rather watch — oh, I don’t know — the cat throw up than some overgrown, overly hairy man from a formerly Communist country put on a skimpy outfit and give himself a hernia on live TV.
And then there’s skeleton, an event in which athletes who obviously lack sound judgment slide down an icy mountain head-first. That doesn’t look like fun. It looks like a suicide attempt.
Here’s another non-sport that somehow manages to take up an entire issue of Sports Illustrated every year. Anorexic women putting on tiny swimsuits.
I’ll never forget the year I gave my husband a subscription to that magazine for Christmas. I kept congratulating myself when his copy of SI arrived every week because he read it cover-to-cover and he seemed to really enjoy it.
I was home alone the day the swimsuit issue arrived. The swimsuit issue! I had forgotten! My cries of “Arghh!” and “What have I done?” could be heard for blocks. His subscription ran out at the end of that year and I’ve never renewed it.
So there you go. One of my extremely rare commentaries on sports. Don’t look for this to become a regular feature.
And definitely don’t look for a swimsuit issue.
Deana Nall lives in Baytown with her family.