Define "sports"

Jul 10 | Posted by: Fighter #1 | Tags: My Alienating Opinions

I’ve seen a lot of arguments about what makes something a “sport”. It seems that everyone agrees that football (either version) is a sport, but crocheting isn’t. But how do we settle those disputed edge cases? Is golf a sport? Gymnastics?

Being the objective observer that I am, I’m going to come up with Fighter #1’s Definitive Definition of Sports to settle the issue once and for all.

Here’s where we need to end up:

  • Competitive eating is a sport.
  • Nascar is not a sport.
  • Professional Starcraft is a sport.
  • Poker is not a sport.
  • Ice dancing… I have no opinion on.

First: sports need to be objectively competitive. Whoever scores the most points against the other guy wins. This does not mean points granted by human observers.

  • Competitive eating - whoever eats the most cheeseburgers wins. Pass
  • Nascar - whoever finishes the race first wins. Pass
  • e-sports - whoever slays all the other guys units wins. Pass
  • Poker - whoever gets all the money wins. Pass
  • Ice dancing - whoever is awarded the most points by judges. FAIL

Second: Physical fitness must be a factor. Being in peak condition should help performers win.

  • Competitive eating - Staying in good physical shape allows competitors to maintain a high metabolism and avoid compressing their stomachs with excess fat. Pass
  • Nascar - Weight is kind of a big deal in any kind of race. Pass
  • e-sports - Maintaning a high actions per minute is critical to staying competitive. Pass
  • Poker - I have no idea how being fit helps you wear cool sunglasses and look passive. FAIL

Third: The majority of the Work done in an event must be human-powered rather than done by a machine.

  • Competitive eating - Until they invent a cheeseburger lifting machine… Pass
  • Nascar - Ha ha! Nope. It’s all the cars. FAIL
  • e-sports - A human at rest generates about 335,000 Joules of energy in an hour. (Assuming they burn 80 calories; those kids can be twitchy though, so it could be as much as twice that!) A high-end computer may have as much as a 1000 watt power supply. That’s… 3,600,000 joules per hour! Frig! Sorry Starcraft kids. It looks like you’re not playing a real sport after all. :(
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