Nothing captivates a man’s attention quite like people throwing their bodies around in sweat-inducing fashion to win something. Doesn’t matter if we’re sitting across from the hottest girl in the bar—if there’s Division III women’s water polo playing on a screen behind her, we’ll have trouble maintaining eye contact. But not every endeavor calling itself a sport is worthy of that label—and the media exposure, fan admiration, and potential glory that come with it. Telltale signs? The activity’s top competitors are nutjobs, pantywaists, or schlubs. It’s a hyped-up version of something kids play in the backyard. And there’s no way to participate in it without looking absolutely ridiculous. That’s why the following 10 “sports” need to be taken behind the woodshed and beaten to a pulp by some real, actual jocks.
Originally played on frozen ponds and marshes in 16th century Scotland, curling involves four-person teams sliding 40-pound stones across ice toward a big round target in an effort to get their stones closer to the bull’s eye than their opponent’s. As of 1998, you can win an Olympic medal for doing this. Which is just fine, except that controlling the stone means sweeping in front of it to reduce friction. That’s right, one of the major pieces of equipment is a broom. The pros, who uniform their eighth-grade science teacher physiques in polos and slacks, embrace a tradition of actually giving up mid-match if they don’t think they can win. And in Canada, where curling is hugely popular, fans proudly refer to it as “chess on ice.” Gee, that doesn’t sound boring at all.
9. Ultimate frisbee
If there was one hint the ’70s were going to suck, it may have been those New Jersey high school kids adding boundary lines and rules to a perfectly innocent Frisbee toss in the spring of ’69. That was the dawn of Ultimate, a game that’s just like football—minus the helmets, the hitting, the cheerleaders and, oh, everything else that makes football cool. Instead, unsuspecting college campuses and public parks find their quads and fields overrun with gangs of last-picked-in-gym-class goofballs chasing a $20 piece of plastic while making sure no one gets hurt. According to the Ultimate Players Association bylaws, “Such actions as taunting opposing players, dangerous aggression, belligerent intimidation, intentional infractions, or other ‘win-at-all-costs’ behavior are contrary to the Spirit of the Game and must be avoided by all players.” Also, everyone gets a Capri-Sun and a Twinkie after the game. And no one gets laid.
Yes, it was Arnold Schwarzenegger’s route to fame and fortune. Yes, most chicks dig a guy with some muscle. And yes, when bodybuilding pioneer Eugen Sandow staged the first contest in London in 1901, one judge was Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. But we’re still talking about an activity that requires devoting your life to lifting weights, eating vast amounts of food, and using dangerous quantities of performance-enhancing, um, supplements. Then, rather than, say, kicking the crap out of people on some sort of field, you remove all your body hair, strip down to a Speedo, and apply a bunch of fake tanner and baby oil to prepare for the awesome challenge of… flexing for a crowd. Sorry, Arnie, but wethinks this sorry excuse for a sport should be terminated.