Friday, January 06, 2006

A Sport By Any Other Name

In 2012, the Olymipics will be held in London (Whopee!!!). Since I live in one of the last remaining territories of the severely diminished empire that is the United Kingdom I have to endure all the hoopla that has been growing steadily since London narrowly beat Paris to get the nod and host the games (leave it to the French to hold a transport worker's strike on the day of the IOC's visit).

There is some debate going on over whether or not darts should be included as a sport in the 2012 Games. Reading the arguements for and against reminded me of similar Absurd Men discussions and promted me to write this piece.

What makes a sport a sport? A question we have spent many hours debating. Most would agree there must be a certain amount of physical exertion involved. This would be my biggest gripe with darts: it's just not physical enough. Dart players argue that they have to train everyday to compete on the professional cicuit. That's no different than saying that musicians have to practice everyday to perform for people. I should stop to clarify something here. I think they were getting the word "train" confused with the word "practice". Jugglers, bongo players and dart throwers practice. Footballers, runners and sumo wrestlers train.

To be in the Olympics a sport must have an internationally recognised governing body as well. This point is a bit trite, but here too darts falls short. Unfortunately, there are only nationally recognised dart organisations, none that are international. This technicality alone is enough to keep it out of the Olympics.

The biggest strike that darts has against it being included is that it is, to my knowledge, the only "sport" that you can drink and play at the same time. I can think of plenty of sports that you can, and often do, have a beer after play has ended but in darts you can drink before, during and after the match. This also raises the question as to whether or not this constitutes a proformance enhancing/diminshing drug?

Darts needs an image makeover. To start with the equipment needs to be larger and more physically demanding to use. Observe the fat, bearded guy in the pub throwing a dart smaller than his palm at a board a few feet away; absurd. Back him up 20 meters, put a javelin-esque spear in his hand and have him hurl it at an enlarged target; he is now an athlete. Hell, make the targets movable and have him wrestle his competitor for possession of the javelin-dart (the jart?) before he can throw it; he is now an extreme athlete, bound for Olympic glory.

Folks, in the same amount of time that it would have taken me to complete an average bowel movement I've just invented a new and exciting sport; a variation on the theme that will do wonders for the sporting world. Why should we bicker about getting the IOCs rules and regulations changed when we can just invent a new sport that complies? People have been doing it for years. Don't like skiing? Let's snowboard! Cycling not exciting enough for you? Try mountainbiking! Surfing lost it magic? Harness your and your wake board to a 10x5 super-kite and feel the power of the wind!

Hey dart-boy, you want my opinion? Abandon your darts and start fashioning some jarts before someone else does.


Blogger Erasmus said...

Jarts is a brilliant idea. Perhaps we could combine darts and football in some way and call it "farts". I guess you would have to wear some kind of metal boot to play farts or else the whole affair could become rather bloody.

Sunday, February 05, 2006 4:34:00 PM  

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