Mountain Climbing Really Is A Sport

Walter Gibson www.dbbsports.comContributor IMarch 5, 2009

A sport that blows, that is. And if you don’t even want to call it a sport, I’m okay with that too. Where’s the ball? Where’s the net? What about the other team, the referee, the gambling and the crappy coverage on ESPN?

I hate to belabor an age-old question, but a recent stint to the top of a 20,000-foot volcano has me asking myself: really, why climb a mountain? Is “because it’s there” the best that anybody has come up with so far?

A basketball court is there too. And a football field. But that’s not the reason athletes play those games. They play for the money. And the women. In that order.

Because as we all know and have heard before, you can lose money chasing women but you’ll never lose women chasing money.

Which reminds me, Dickens was full of shit. Remember A Christmas Carol? It’s the one about the guy who worked his ass off when he was young to become the richest guy in town … and he ends up alone without any pussy. Anybody actually know the richest guy in town who doesn’t have a fine piece of assI realize every sport has its price.

Football players take big hits and break their bones.

Hockey players take cross checks and loose their front teeth.

Baseball players take steroids and scratch their shrunken nuts. And each other’s.

But they get paid millions to do it.

Mountain climbers, on the other hand … what do they get? Well, a lot of them get dead, for starters.

There’s also frostbite, acute mountain sickness and, if you’re bright enough to climb a mountain that’s an active volcano, you can also get lungs full of sulfur. Pretty sweet.

Oh, and most mountain climbers don’t get paid millions. They don’t get paid at all. In fact, they usually pay shit loads for the permits and the gear and the travel.

As for the women … okay, it’s true. Mountain climbers generally are regarded as the badass alpha male in the parts of the world that have big mountains.

Big mountains exist in two places. One, the Himalayas in central Asia. Two, the high Andes in South America. Which means if you kick ass at mountain climbing you get your pick of the finest hunchbacked Buddha-bellied Tibetan or a coca leaf-chewing toothless Bolivian.

I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. I have nothing against Tibetans or Bolivians. In fact, I’ve never met anyone from either place. And I understand that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so I’ll let you decide.

Below are a sampling of football player groupies and mountain climber groupies. I’ve included a range of both to ensure the study pool is without bias and has scientific merit.

Typical indigenous football player groupie, at her best.

Typical indigenous mountain climber groupie, at her best.

Typical indigenous football player groupie, at her worst.

Typical indigenous mountain climber groupie, at her worst.

There’s a lot to be said for the consistency of the mountain climber groupie. And a lot more to be said for the inconsistency of the football player groupie. So it’s probably just me, but I’m still going with Jessica Simpson at her worst on this one.

I realize that mountain climbers bag their peaks as a matter of passion, not money.

And if I had to pick one athlete who truly embodies that passion, who without question is in it for the love of the game, hands down my pick goes to Stephon Marbury. Can you think of anyone else you’d want by your side while climbing a mountain?

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