The real report on what's a sport

Dec. 19, 2002, midnight | By Chris Biggs L.A. Holmes | 18 years, 1 month ago

Chips reporters face off over which athletic competitions deserve the distinguished title

Christopher Biggs, esteemed member of the Silver Chips sports staff, decided to assert, once and for all, whether athletic activities field hockey and cheerleading do indeed constitute actual sports. L.A. Holmes, resident opinionated brat, could not help but disagree.

Chris: Let me break down the definition of the word "sport" for you, L.A. A sport involves the use of a special skill. It's about sweat, competition and hard work. I view sports— meaning real sports, like football—in a bone-crushing, slam-dunking, home-run-hitting, getting-punched-in-the-face way. You can't possibly argue, especially since you have little to no sports knowledge.

L.A.: I may not be a sports guru, but I do watch The History Channel, which recently one-upped its ability to render even the most exciting moments in human history painfully boring: An entire hour of programming was dedicated to the intense athletic world of professional bowling. A snowball flew in hell, and a tear was shed by the entire sports world.

Chris: Bowling? You're thinking of bowling as a lame first date. Real bowling is one of the most American sports there is. Where else are you totally free to recklessly toss around a large, dangerous ball? Not in Canada, that's for sure. Also, if you want to talk about non-sports, let's discuss cheerleading, Ms. co-captain of the cheerleading "team."

L.A.: Cheerleading, Chris, is a hardcore sport. In just ten years, cheerleading has grown to be a dominant high school sport among girls in the South and in the Midwest. We girls have to use brains and brawn to design routines that involve far more than booty shaking and rah-rah-rah-ing. Cheerleading entails brute strength, unique skills and undeniable gymnastic ability.

Chris: Now, let's think about something. When the basketball team is suited up, going head-to-head against 6'6" centers, where are you and your girls? Sitting on the sidelines, sipping lemonade, rooting for the home team with catchy cheers like, "Jump ball! Get it, get it!" I equate cheerleading with the Math Club, which requires great mental ability but is obviously not a sport.

L.A.: Competitive cheerleading is intense, unlike sideline cheering. We stunt, tumble and dance for three minutes straight. Contrary to popular belief, cheerleading is very, very hard. You try lifting a 120-pound girl over your head for no less than two full eight-counts, then tell me cheerleading's not a sport.

Chris: I've already tried, but that's another story. I concede that cheerleading is important for morale and that cheerleaders add pep to the school, but cheerleading is not a sport. Not a chance.

L.A.: If you want to talk about illegitimate sports, let's look at field hockey. What a sad excuse to run around with short skirts, bent over and whacking at a rubber ball. Hitting a ball into a net is a simple first-grade motor skill.

Chris: You're so critical, L.A. Field hockey is an Olympic sport regarded as one of the most fast-paced, thrilling games in the world. Internationally, the sport is dominated by European men, who usually do not wear skirts (although anything goes in Europe). And while I poke fun at field hockey, all signs point to it being a legitimate sport. The girls play a full schedule, pour their hearts into the game and practice in the offseason. First graders can't do that.

L.A.: It's an Olympic sport? Well so are curling and synchronized swimming, but that doesn't make them sports. I agree that field hockey players work hard, but I work just as hard buttering popcorn at the movie theater. Anyway, the American definition of "hard work" is the average Joe pulling up his LA-Z-Boy recliner on Sunday with a foam hand and ice-cold drink to watch 12 hours of gridiron action.

Chris: The stereotype you're describing is not commonly found in today's homes. Unless, of course, your home is the trailer park and you're a redneck.

L.A.: And we all know what rednecks enjoy most, don't we?

Chris: Shooting tin cans off the fence with a BB gun?

L.A.: Besides that!

Chris: Oh, of course. They love most idiotic sport of them all . . .


Chris: Amen.

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Chris Biggs. Chris Biggs, a senior in the Communications Arts Program, is a Managing Sports Editor for Silver Chips. His greatest love is sports, especially soccer. Playing for Blair's varsity soccer team, Biggs has aspirations of winning the state championship this year. Besides soccer, he also enjoys … More »

L.A. Holmes. L.A. Holmes is a SENIOR!! ('03 Baby!) in the Communication Arts Program. L.A. currently reigns as Managing Opinions and Editorials Editor of <i>Silver Chips</i> with her dear friend, Rachel Yood, and she is the first in <i>Silver Chips</i> history to hold the hotly contested and … More »

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