Dan Carson@@DrCarson73Trending Lead WriterDecember 19, 2013


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    Harry How/Getty Images

    Why do grown men watch football shirtless in subzero temperatures?

    What drives athletes to stick their inner thighs with sharp pins? Why do we scream in front of the television at players who can't hear us?

    These questions can be debated and argued for hours, but at the end of the day, the answer boils down to one word: sports.

    "Sports," as an amorphous concept, is a combination of excitement and superstition doused in gallons of competitive spirit. It can be difficult to explain to those unversed in the world of athletics, but you know it when you see it.

    The following is a list of seemingly pointless, weird and counterproductive activities that athletes and fans do on a regular basis. Why do we do these things? 

    As I said: "Because sports."

Not Wearing Sleeves in the Cold

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    Rich Schultz/Getty Images

    The wind chill is negative 10? Fans' beers are freezing in their cups?

    That sounds awful, but I have good news—the "Gun Show" goes on sleet or shine, sports fans.

    Athletes could try to make their lives less miserable in cold weather, but acknowledging the elements isn't SPORTS. Warmth is for Snuggie enthusiasts and St. Bernard's with barrels under their necks—not big, burly men.

Heckling Others

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    Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

    "Oh, look at Mr. Magic Man! Doing tricks for the kids! You're a bum! Miss it!"

    You can't talk trash at David Blaine shows. People aren't allowed to show up to The Voice and scream abuse at contestants as they step up to the microphone. 

    Heckling is one of the most unique sports things we have in this world. At no non-athletic spectacle is it acceptable for onlookers to single out participants in the hopes of making their lives miserable. Buying a ticket to a ball game gives you carte blanche to get inside your opponents' minds by hurling taunts at them from the stands. 

    Granted, not all sports enable heckling—but that doesn't mean they shouldn't. If an Olympic archer can hit a bull's-eye surrounded by a wall of vuvuzelas, they've earned that gold.

Watching Postgame Shows

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    You watch the pregame show in anticipation for the upcoming game. You watch the game because that's the main attraction.

    You should probably stop there, right? Wrong.

    After the game, it's the after party, which isn't located in or around the hotel lobby. The after party is the postgame show, where you watch other people talk about the game you just watched.

    If that sounds like a waste of time, you haven't been paying attention.

Painting Your Face

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    Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

    There is no reason to paint your face. Ever.

    The only people who had legitimate reasons to paint their faces died long ago attempting to free Scotland from the clutches of monarchy—and even then, their excuse was shoddy at best. 

    That being said, this list isn't about plausibility or functionality, and face painting is one of the most pointless beautiful sports things you can do as a fan. If someone asks why you paint your face, don't try to come up with some big, gimmicky answer. 

    Just square up, look them in the eye and state "Sports."

Celebrating First Downs

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    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    I got a first down, coach. That means we win.

    Wait, those don't come with any points anymore? They never did?

    Doesn't matter—celebrating first downs is one of the sports-est things you can do. You'll think I punched out Drago and saved Gotham by the time I'm done squat-thrusting and pointing my arm forward.

    You're welcome, world. YEAAAAHH!

Ripping Your Teeth out

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    A heavy rubber puck just crushed two of your front teeth. You're bleeding everywhere. 

    For a normal human being, this means your day will now consist of crying, panic and a long sit at the dentist.

    If you're a hockey player, you head to the sideline, pull the stumps out by hand and tell the team doctor to hurry up with the stitches. This is inadvisable, awesome and probably against health code—thus making it extremely sports.

Screaming at the TV

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    Screenshot via

    The athletes can't hear you, the coaches can't hear you.

    No one inside the television is listening to you, and you're terrifying the dog. You will not stop, however, because you're watching SPORTS, and last time I checked, this was still a free country.

    Had our founding fathers not wanted us to yell "(Blast) YOU, NICK SABAN!" in our living rooms, they would've included it in the Constitution. 

Jamming Needles into Your Groin

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    You don’t stick sharp metal into your crotch to impress people. You’re not doing it to drum up sponsors. 

    Jamming pins into your abdomen and inner thighs means one thing—you’ll do anything to get an edge, even if it borders on voodoo.

    Antrel Rolle is just one of a growing number of NFL players implementing acupuncture in their recovery regimens. They don’t care what it looks like, and they’ll post about it on Instagram.

    Why? Because that’s SPORTS.

Breaking the Law for a Ceremony

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    Warning: Video contains NSFW language.

    If you're not climbing fences and dangling your body high above the concrete walks, you're not sports-ing hard enough.*

    *This is not true. Do not break the law in the name of sports.

Playing with a Broken Limb

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    George Rose/Getty Images

    Letting a broken limb keep you off the field is not Sports—or at least it wasn't in the '80s.

    Just ask Jack Youngblood, the former Rams defensive end who played Super Bowl XIV with a broken leg. That's old school sports, where being an athlete meant wearing your body down to the gristle and telling anyone who complains about a pulled hamstring to man up. 

    What do you do because "Sports?"


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