As a sports fan, I often come to the dilemma of what a sport actually is.
Paying too much attention to a somewhat questionable sport over a universally accepted one is distracting, and you do get called on it.
I thought of several ways on how to structure this article, at first it was not meant to be a slide show, but then I thought, you really have to grasp the elements.
For there is no one clear definition for a sport, but there are numerous themes, I present to you my main points for a sport, and if what you call a sport has none of them, maybe you should start calling it a game instead, for a game is NOT necessarily a sport.
A sport is a game in many ways, but what makes it more compelling than playing monopoly is the direct competition, as in, not taking turns. Your opponent should always be on the other side, challenging you to beat them.
In sports such as Volleyball or Tennis, there is always an opponent on the other side, as the crazy dad from "American Pie" said, you want a partner to return the ball, although hitting back and forth between a wall might be fun, it's not much of a game.
Another element that separates a sport from playing a game of Clue is the muscle strain. Although yeah, your eyes might get tired after a while, that's not the kind of strain I'm talking about.
When you go out for a jog for the first time in months and your legs are all cramped up, that's good, it might not feel good unless you're into misogyny, but it's a good sign that you are physically exercising.
By definition a sport is a physical game, and one where you can get injured and have to go to the hospital, that might seem rough, but that's the world of sport for you.
Not to say boxing is the only sport out there, but the point of a puncher's chance is on any given day, even the biggest long shot can win.
A real sport is not choreographed, it's raw, and the best player on paper might not always win, hell, he or she might suffer a freak injury and the underdog wins by default.
Seem lame? Well that's a part of the game that is called sport, anyone can win if the pieces fall into place.
Sport, as most activities in life, is open to cheating, what makes a real sport however is that cheating is discouraged.
Oh sure, a close line tackle in an NFL game might seem dirty, but that's not really cheating because the other player can do it too, if he has the balls.
However any sport which condones cheating as part of the game, is not a real sport. It takes the raw "anything can happen" key element out, and makes for poor betting.
Although if I knew a race horse was getting fed ectacy pills, that might make it easier for me to place a wager.
Oh, now this might seem like a sore spot, but I have to make a call to the sports fan, where, at least, organized sport would not exist without the fans.
I present to you the age old question, if a man bowls a perfect game but nobody is there to see it, did it really happen?
Of course bowling is far from minute when it comes to fanbase, especially in the United States, many Olympic events come into question.
What of the variants from true sports? Can they be sports on their own?
Everyone likes a good race, and eight athletes running as fast as they can to the finish line is a physical battle, does race walking really deserve it's own spot at the greatest stage in sports competition?
While it may surprise many, that stadium in Beijing was not empty when I saw the last lap, which is odd for a sport I never see anybody playing in real life.
Perfection is subject to opinion, and although some people may call any one sport perfect, there will always be the bashers. More specifically, bashers of certain players or teams, or both.
A sport where all the fans clap and say " good job " is hard to acknowledge as a true sport, of course there is such a thing as sportsmanship, but sport is about winners and losers, and cheering on a side against another.
If a fan can't criticize his team's coaching or the other team's star player, then we might not see as many bar fights as we do, and I mean that in a sad way, because in the liberal society many of us live in it's already hard to find fair reasons to beat someone's brains. It's called stress relief, hello!
Although fans make a sport, the media is responsible for bringing it to light to the general public.
Although the underground fight clubs that do exist might be fun, without the media giving you up to date facts online or at the bottom of your TV screen, it's hard for the sport to grow, and more importantly, make money, which is how you get better athletes to play your sport.
It also gives the common sports fan something to watch, and although watching darts is quite boring, it's better than watching Paris Hilton's BFF.
The media also tends to over blow and exaggerate events in a sport, create controversy and news from thin air, and that brings more people into the sport, and more cash, which again, helps to make for better athletes and better competition.
Any true sport has its stars, whether or not they are dominant is another story, but eventually you do get fans and analysts of a sport debating or perhaps coronating a "greatest" star of the sport.
Sports that are too diluted in stars or lack at least one superstar to judge as the greatest for the sport, lose luster with the general public.
Every sport must have an ambassador, like European football with Pele, or Michael Jordan in Basketball and the best part about those sports is there is not shortage of fans who argue other players are better.
Now Taufik Hidayat may be somewhat of a national hero in his homeland of Indonesia, but the sport of Badminton doesn't really have any standout stars, although I did do some research and got some names.
I had never heard of them before and I'm sure outside of East Asia nobody has either.
I believe this is standard, any game period has a set of rules, hell life is filled with rules, ever go to school?
Rules are the basis of humanity, as they are in a sport, however I should mention a true sport has at least one type of universal rules, although there can exist variants, there is at least some basic rules, like with European Football, only the goalkeeper can touch the ball with his hands, got it? Good.
Okay, my first bold statement of the slide show, here it is, horse racing is not a sport. You can bet on it all you want, and good luck to you, I personally love to go for the underdogs, 50-1? Put $5 down why not? But it's NOT a sport.
It's a guy on a horse, "racing" against other guys on horses. Now here's the difference between Polo and Horse Racing.
In Polo, the athlete is a guy on the horse, with a long handled mallet, batting a ball trying to score against a team's goal posts, the horse is necessary, but it is only an accessory to the main aspect, a player helping his team score.
While Horse Racing is horses racing against each other and the jockey, the small guy on the horse is the accessory and all he really does is steer the horse and paddle his butt sometimes to startle the horse to gallop faster, the horses are technically the main aspect and the main players.
Last time I checked, people don't bet on the jockey, and the jockeys don't have ratings...or do they? It's the conditioning of the horse that matters.
Likewise in car racing, it's largely the car that matters, although I'm not going to get into whether I thing car racing is a sport I'll say this, a great engine and wheels often makes the difference in who wins, take from that what you will.
I'm sure everyone has heard of kids sports games where scoring is not kept track so all the kids gets to play and nobody feels bad for losing.
While this is good for exercise and may keep the fat kids from clinical depression, a basketball game that ends 0-0 is not a basketball game I want to watch.
I find some people don't like European Football for the low scoring games, but it's great fun to play, and in the end, there is a winner.
Without a scoring system, there is no sport, and essentially life is based on a scoring system as well, you might get an office job because of some points you score with the boss's daughter, just like you might win a trip to the hospital because you downed more vodka shots than your friend, but I guess that's the point of a scoring system, so you know when you've won.
No question overtime is great, but it's established in some sports in case of a draw when there has to be a winner.
Time limits are needed in sport like in everyday life because without that structure, some people would just go on and on and on and on until they died, or you died.
Ever wonder why most people demand to get paid by the hour, because that's the universal standard for how much crap one can take before he or she wants something back in return.
Now some people can bend those rules, like a powerhouse sports team, say in the NFL when they go up by five touchdowns with one quarter left to go, then the starters head to the showers.
Or a further example correlating to everyday life, like how many hours should a man spend on making dinner for a woman he's yet to sleep with, or how many days should a woman wait before kicking a guy to the curb after sleeping with him.
I think the most important part of calling a sport a sport is the general public agrees it's a sport.
Although all the previous slides made note of several qualities a sport should have, the bottom line is, if 99 percent of the world's population refers to your sport as a game, maybe that 99 percent knows better than you?
Even if there are Video Game Championships out there, they are events, they are in no way sports because most of the competitors are people who not only have a hard time making friends with the opposite sex, a mandatory process in the circle of life, but are most likely physically weak and afraid of natural sunlight.
I say this because anyone who's that good at playing video games must spend most of their time indoors, sitting on their ass and the majority of their labor is in their fingers, what's another game that consists most of the athleticism in your digits? Darts?
Poker is also not a sport, it's a competition you can make loads of money in no doubt, and some retired or sub-par pro athletes play in Poker Tournaments all the time, but it's a game, through and through because the main aspect is getting the cards and putting on the right face and vocal tone.....sport how?
Always remember, calling something that it's not is called ignorance, just like a pregnant virgin.