Wednesday, February 22, 2006


By Deana Nall
Baytown Sun

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.


  • At Wed Feb 22, 06:00:00 AM, Blogger Jeff said…

    When I was at Harding, I had a friend who had a subscription to Sports Illustrated. When the swimsuit issue arrived he would put it in a manilla envelope and send it back.

    He didn't do it to show how spiritual he was or anything like that -- most people didn't know he did it. But those of us who did really admired him for it.


  • At Wed Feb 22, 06:07:00 AM, Blogger Deana Nall said…

    To my husband's credit, he came home that day, took one look at the cover, and put the magazine in the trash. I was impressed!

  • At Wed Feb 22, 06:38:00 AM, Blogger Kyle said…

    I'd like to see a swimsuit issue where they talk about swimmers. Male and Female. Then at least they it would be sport instead of almost porn. I had a SI subscription once while I was in college. While I didn't toss the Swimsuit edition or send it back I did find it humorous to see what qualified as a "swimsuit"

  • At Wed Feb 22, 06:48:00 AM, Blogger Karen said…

    We started getting SI recently for no reason at all (my husband doesn't even watch sports!). The swimsuit edition came the other day and my 10yo son saw the girls on the cover and said, "That's not sports!" How right he was. My 14yo daughter and I flipped through and judged the suits or lack of... along with which models looked anorexic or surgically enhanced. Then we trashed it.

  • At Wed Feb 22, 09:57:00 AM, Blogger Melanie Morales said…

    If you ever figure out the diaper thing - would you let me know? My son will not lie down and it's a circus trying to change his diaper and dress him with him in constant motion! hehe

    I for one actually enjoy sports - as a spectator. But I enjoy them because I don't fill my head with all of those statistics. I think maybe sometimes in NASCAR I might can tell you who is leading in the points race in the Nextel Cup - but rarely, if ever, could I recall exactly how many points they have or by how many points they lead.

    As for team athletics, I really enjoy college sports; but when it comes to professional teams, I wait and watch the Super Bowl, World Series, etc. I don't follow teams "religiously."

    So far, modeling and swimsuit issues... I haven't seen any evidence that would show those were sports! Unless the cat fights between the models count! Now that would be some issue, wouldn't? Cat fights? hehe

  • At Wed Feb 22, 10:10:00 AM, Blogger Scott Seale said…

    I have a subscription to SI, along with 12 and 14 year old sons. Since their hormones are already out of control from seeing what girls wear at school and church (that's another subject), I was concerned about the swimsuit issue being at our house.

    Then a friend told me that you could contact SI, tell them you did not want the swimsuit issue sent to your house and they would extend your subscription by one issue. I did that and it worked.

  • At Wed Feb 22, 10:49:00 AM, Blogger Cheryl said…

    We've been watching the Winter Olympics and I have been dying to say....

    Oh my goodness. Not only can I NOT believe this is an actual sport..I can't believe they have TEAMS of people from different countries who know "how to play". (are they just making it up as they go along? does anybody actually watch it longer than 2 minutes to see how it is played?)

    There. I feel much better. Thanks for the post!

  • At Wed Feb 22, 11:20:00 AM, Blogger Lauren said…

    I love the cat throw up thing. I do that too (hope my husband doesn't read this!).

    As for sports, I too, am not a huge fan. I'll go to games occasionally, mainly for the social aspect. I sort-of know the basics of football, basketball, volleyball, hockey, baseball...I was in drill team in high school and went to my fair share of sporting events. I agree with you on the weight lifting and skeleton...what are those people thinking?? How about we add the ski jump to that list?

  • At Wed Feb 22, 12:13:00 PM, Blogger Angela said…

    Yup, I did the SI gift subscription one year too. When the swimsuit issue arrived I cancelled the subscription and we used the refund to go out to dinner!
    As for sports...I don't care to define "What is a Sport?" because I have no time, no interest, no place in my life for any of them. Having said husband is a fanatic so I do occassionally amuse him by watching a few minutes of "the sport of the moment". :-)

  • At Wed Feb 22, 01:49:00 PM, Blogger Amy said…

    So what do you think about the new Olympic "sport" of curling? Looks like how I sweep my kitchen floor. Now that's a sport!

  • At Wed Feb 22, 03:00:00 PM, Blogger Brian said…

    I remember Mom got Dad an SI subscription in Big Spring, in that first house that we lived in.

    I think she got it from the 'Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes'. Remember all those stamps and prizes you have already won? Go Ed McMahon!

    I was checking the swimsuit issue out-it must have been the first one-and thinking 'hey, these girls are better than the girls in the car magazines I had a subscription to!'

    Mom promptly took that SI away-I guess I shouldn't have been looking at it at the dinner table...wonder what happened to that issue? Only Mom knows....

  • At Wed Feb 22, 04:19:00 PM, Blogger David Michael said…

    I heard on the radio that the swimsuit edition is the biggest selling single issue magazine of all each year.

  • At Fri Feb 24, 05:11:00 AM, Blogger Beverly said…

    Have you seen Curling in the Olympics? Man, a bunch of guys had to make it a sport to pick up a broom...

  • At Fri Feb 24, 09:25:00 AM, Blogger Jana said…

    Fabulous. Love it. (Not sports...your article!)


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