Tuesday, April 2, 2013

It's Not a Sport - by George Carlin

(The following excerpt is posted for non-commercial, educational purposes. I will remove it if requested. No lawsuits are necessary. Some words were censored to make it age appropriate.)

It’s Not a Sport
by George Carlin

To my way of thinking, there are really only three sports: baseball, basketball, and football. Everything else is either a game or an activity.
Hockey comes to mind. People think hockey is a sport. It’s not. Hockey is three activities taking place at the same time: ice skating, fooling around with a puck, and beating the [heck] out of somebody.
If these guys had more brains than teeth, they’d do these things one at a time. First you go ice skating, then you fool around with a puck, then you go to the bar and beat the [heck] out of somebody. The day would last longer, and these guys would have a whole lot more fun.
Another reason hockey is not a sport is that it’s not played with a ball. Anything not played with a ball can’t be a sport. These are my rules, I make ’em up.

Soccer. Soccer is not a sport because you can’t use your arms. Anything where you can’t use your arms can’t be a sport. Tap dancing isn’t a sport. I rest my case.

Running. People think running is a sport. Running isn’t a sport because anybody can do it. Anything we can all do can’t be a sport. I can run, you can run. For Chrissakes, my mother can run! You don’t see her on the cover of Sports Illustrated, do you?

Swimming. Swimming isn’t a sport. Swimming is a way to keep from drowning. That’s just common sense.

Sailing isn’t a sport. Sailing is a way to get somewhere. Riding the bus isn’t a sport, why the [heck] should sailing be a sport?

Boxing is not a sport either. Boxing is a way to beat the [heck] out of somebody. In that respect, boxing is actually a more sophisticated form of hockey. In spite of what the police tell you, beating the [heck] out of somebody is not a sport. When police brutality becomes an Olympic event, fine, then boxing can be a sport.

Bowling. Bowling isn’t a sport because you have to rent the shoes. Don’t forget, these are my rules. I make ’em up.

Billiards. Some people think billiards is a sport, but it can’t be, because there’s no chance for serious injury. Unless, of course, you welch on a bet in a tough neighborhood. Then, if you wind up with a pool cue stickin’ out of your [rear end], you know you might just be the victim of a sports-related injury. But that ain’t billiards, that’s pool, and that starts with a P, and that rhymes with D, and that brings me to darts.

Darts could have been a sport, because at least there’s a chance to put someone’s eye out. But, alas, darts will never be a sport, because the whole object of the game is to reach zero, which goes against all sports logic.

Lacrosse is not a sport; lacrosse is a [lame] college activity. I don’t care how rough it is, anytime you’re running around a field, waving a stick with a little net on the end of it, you’re engaged in a [lame] college activity. Period.

Field hockey and fencing. Same thing. [Lame] college [waste of time]. Also, these activities aren’t sports, because you can’t gamble on them. Anything you can’t gamble on can’t be a sport. When was the last time you made a [frikken’] fencing bet?

Gymnastics is not a sport because Romanians are good at it. It took me a long time to come up with that rule, but [gosh darn it], I did it.

Polo isn’t a sport. Polo is golf on horseback. Without the holes. It’s a great concept, but it’s not a sport. And as far as water polo is concerned, I hesitate to even mention it, because it’s extremely cruel to the horses.

Which brings me to hunting. You think hunting is a sport? Ask the deer. The only good thing about hunting is the many fatal accidents on the weekends. And, of course, the permanently disfigured hunters who survive such accidents.

Then you have tennis. Tennis is very trendy and very fruity, but it’s not a sport. It’s just a way to meet other trendy fruits. Technically, tennis is an advanced form of Ping-Pong. In fact, tennis is Ping-Pong played while standing on the table. Great concept, not a sport.

In fact, all racket games are nothing more than derivatives of Ping-Pong. Even volleyball is, technically, racketless, team Ping-Pong played with an inflated ball and a raised net while standing on the table.

And finally we come to golf. For my full take on golf, I refer you elsewhere in the book, but let it just be said golf is a game that might possibly be fun, if it could be played alone. But it’s the vacuous, striving, superficial, male-bonding joiners one has to associate with that makes it such a repulsive pastime. And it is decidedly not a sport. Period.

Sports, Games & Exercise.

Dear students,

One of the great failings of the Yes! Maturita book is how poorly it explains these three related, but different things. You need to memorize these simple definitions:

1. A game is a friendly competition for fun, and sometimes money, involving rules, luck, strategy, and various skills. There are many different kinds of games: card games, board games, video games, children's games, drinking games, sports, etc.

2. A sport is commonly considered any game that focuses on physical abilities, such as strength (sila), speed (rýchlosť), stamina (výdrž), dexterity (obratnosť), and aim (zámer). In sports, strategy is emphasized (zvýraznený) while luck is minimized, with only an occasional coin toss. The idea is that the winning player or team must be stronger and more highly skilled than the competition.

Some motorized races, such as NASCAR, Formula 1, and motorbike racing are considered sports because of the level of danger involved. The idea is that, if the level of danger and recklessness can compensate for the lack of physical strength, etc, it's still a sport. And horse racing is a sport where the real athletes are the horses.

There is some debate as to whether some games are "sports". It's a status issue, because calling it a sport sounds more impressive. In general, any game that doesn't require intense physical training is not considered a sport, which is why bowling, snooker, and chess aren't included in the Olympics.

People are sometimes confused about chess because of the Chess Olympiad, a yearly competition organized by a completely different organization, having nothing to do with the summer or winter Olympic Games. And, before you use the Olympics to define what is or isn't a sport, remember they used to have Olympic art competitions too. Is art a sport?

Sometimes you'll hear someone say that -x- isn't a sport because it's not their favorite. Maybe it's not popular or shown on TV. These opinions aren't true, and mostly based on machismo, but they can be funny. Here's George Carlin for example:

"Soccer is not a sport because you can’t use your arms. Anything where you can’t use your arms can’t be a sport. Tap dancing isn’t a sport. I rest my case."

3. Not every form of physical activity or recreation is a sport. A sport is a game, so it requires rules, a winner, and a loser. If there's no winner and loser, it's not a sport. It's exercise. Exercise is what people do to become strong and healthy. Some people do it to relax and unwind. Some do it to look more attractive. Some do it because their doctor told them they should.

Is running a sport? It can be. It all depends. If I go running by myself in the morning before work, that's not a sport. That's exercise. If I run in a race, then it's a sport. If I'm a criminal running from a policeman, I suppose it's a kind of sport, depending on how you define "winning" and "losing", but it's not an official sport. It is entertaining for spectators, though.

Is cycling a sport? It can be. It all depends. If I ride my bicycle to work, that's not a sport, that's transportation. If I ride it for a day out in the country, that's both recreation and exercise. If I ride it in a race, like the Tour de France, then it's a sport.

Is swimming a sport? It can be. It all depends. If I swim around Mlynky Dedinky with my friends it's not. That's just recreation. If I swim laps at the pool, trying to go as fast as I can, that's exercise, and maybe training, if I plan to enter a race. If I swim in a race (called a swim meet) then it's a sport.

Is aerobics a sport? Not usually, but it can be. There are aerobics competitions, as well as bodybuilding competitions. It all has to do with competition. And, hiking is not a sport. Hiking is just walking wherever it's okay to pee. Drink enough, and you can go hiking anywhere. I see people hiking downtown all the time. Orienteering can be a sport (that's finding your way in the woods with a compass). People organize competitions for orienteering.

P.S. I almost forgot! In Slovak, when you say atletika, you're referring to a set of races and competitions that we typically call Track and Field in English. In English an athlete isn't only someone who plays track and field. An athlete is anyone who plays any sport. So, if you exercise, you're strong, and you're skilled in one sport, you're an athlete.