January 23, 2004

The votes are in: NASCAR is a SPORT (11-3) and RACE CAR DRIVERS are ATHLETES (8-6)

posted by forksclovetofu to navel gazing at 09:58 PM - 28 comments

For now and forever more, NASCAR is a sport. This week's contender: FISHING: Sport or Not a Sport? FISHERMEN: Athletes or Not Athletes? Seeing how much fun you had with the last one, I'll let ya'll work out the details 'mongst yerselves.

posted by forksclovetofu at 10:04 PM on January 23, 2004

No, no. That's like making farming a sport and famers athletes.

posted by grum@work at 10:14 PM on January 23, 2004

FARMERS, not famers.

posted by grum@work at 10:14 PM on January 23, 2004

no no. any event where you can be totally shitfaced and still perform well should not be considered a sport.

posted by jerseygirl at 10:57 PM on January 23, 2004

I do a lot of surf fishing (12 foot pole, lonnnnggg casts from the beach), but I still don't think it's a sport. It's a great workout and requires practice, strategy and skills, but it lacks one crucial ingredient: watchability. If you can't watch it and not be bored to tears, it's not a sport.

posted by dusted at 11:43 PM on January 23, 2004

But then, fly fishing is watchable, so there goes my theory.

posted by dusted at 11:44 PM on January 23, 2004

dusted: sooooo... put your respective vote down as...?

posted by forksclovetofu at 01:26 AM on January 24, 2004

any event where you can be totally shitfaced and still perform well should not be considered a sport Well, that rules out football.

posted by dng at 06:05 AM on January 24, 2004

Errr Nascar? You never mentioned Nascar. I was talking about F1. Fishing? Well I suppose they have competitions, world championships and suchlike which might support the argument that it was a sport. Having said that I used to go fishing every weekend as a youth and I don't remember it ever making me any fitter. So in conclusion. Sport - maybe. Athlete - indubitably not.

posted by squealy at 09:15 AM on January 24, 2004

The problem is that fishing can be so many things. Example A is the fat bastard towing a boat with two 250HP Evinrudes out to the dock, with his dually loaded down with Budweiser. Example B is the Hemingway-wannabe hiking out to his favorite stream with a fly reel, shoulder sack and a journal. They're both technically doing the same thing, but besides the name, there is no similarity. dusted: sooooo... put your respective vote down as...? No and no.

posted by dusted at 11:41 AM on January 24, 2004

Are we talking bass fishing or fly fishing? With or without alcohol? Sammy the Talking Fish or Charlie the Starkist Tuna?

posted by billsaysthis at 12:39 PM on January 24, 2004

I can't believe Nascar is a sport and the drivers athletes, according to you yahoos! What fools these Spofites be! Fishing (any kind): a game, a hobby, a diversion, a waste of a perfectly good morning of sleeping, a way to feed oneself... all these things and more, but NOT a sport, and NOT athletes. Look, let's get one thing straight: no one has yet developed telekinesis, so by definition, all human behavior and interaction is physical. Is a spelling bee a "sport"? Are the competitors "athletes"? Why, look at how they have to move their lips, teeth, and tongue in coordinated effort with their brain, while withstanding the pressure of competition with only one final winner standing! Clearly, these are sport athletes performing at their peak!!! Puh-lease. It isn't athletic simply because in some, tangential way, it involves the body. I think athletics in the classical greek kind of way- it's all about the human body. Football, basketball, baseball, hockey, track and field, tennis, etc. Whether they manipulate props or not, their whole body is deeply involved; Barry Bonds may swing a bat, but the whole of his sport is finessed physical competition. These are sports with athletes competiting in them. Driving? Fishing? Geez, what about backgammon? How about poker- why, these guys endure long stretches of no sleep, and non-stop sitting! How about computer programming- look at the athletics of the typing, the endurance needed to program at 4am with nothing but Dr. Pepper and some nutter butters to sustain you!!! I see no difference between computer programming at 4am and "the high g-forces of race car driving!". In either event, the bulk of the work is done by the machine, not the man. And if NASCAR is the arena of athletes, then a trip to the 7-11 in your Geo Metro must therefore also be the work of a highly trained athlete! Race car drivers compete, yes, but they compete in a game, and they are not athletes. Athletes are people who principally involve the whole body in their activity. Dancers are athletes, as are those hardbodies in the workplace who go out jogging every lunch hour. A game is a competition. A sport is a competitive athletic endeavor, a game involving athletes with a clear definition of a winner and loser (I discard judge-only competitions, where the winner and loser is decided on aesthetic grounds; that's more akin to an "Art-Off" or something.). Not all athletes play in sports. Not all games are sports, but the structured games involving athletes are sports. Fishermen: not athletes, not sports, game players yes Bowlers: not athletes, not sports, game players yes Golfers: not athletes, not sports, game players yes Cards: not athletes, not sports, game players yes Figure skating: athletes, not sports, not game players (artists, yes) DDR: athletes, possibly sports, definitely game players (I assume DDR involves getting the most correct moves without a mistake) Quake/Unreal: not athletes, not sports, massively game players yes Etc, etc, etc. Just because our society is so jock-friendly and jock-rewarding does not mean every last thing we do has to be a "sport"

posted by hincandenza at 01:44 PM on January 24, 2004

Hm- let me rescind part of that. I'm not so sure that joggers/track and field are athletics, if it's a person who just does one of the competitions. I.e., decathletes are definitely athletes. But sprinters? Harder call. Not a sport, possibly not athletes.

posted by hincandenza at 01:53 PM on January 24, 2004

(Hal flips out -- points warranted or not -- and tries to settle all debate on what is and isn't a sport, unfazed punters continue the discussion) I'll go with Sport - yeaish, and Athlete - NAY way.

posted by gspm at 03:22 PM on January 24, 2004

Recreational fishing is NOT A SPORT; the pro tour stuff is a SPORT. But fishermen are NOT ATHLETES.

posted by mbd1 at 12:12 PM on January 25, 2004

Fishing in any form: Not a Sport Fishermen: Definitely Not Athletes

posted by dales15 at 08:34 PM on January 25, 2004

Fishing is a hobby and but can be a competition. However, it is not a sport nor are fisherman athletes.

posted by scully at 10:05 AM on January 26, 2004

competitive fishing: sport fishermen: not athletes

posted by goddam at 10:12 AM on January 26, 2004

Fishing is not a sport. Fishermen are not athletes.

posted by rocketman at 01:02 PM on January 26, 2004

Fishing is not a sport, though they try to make it into one. Fishermen are sportsmen, whatever that means.

posted by garfield at 01:08 PM on January 26, 2004

For the record, fly fishing is the one of the most rewarding, calming, exciting, and educational experiences one could pursue. I fly fish, for fun.

posted by garfield at 01:11 PM on January 26, 2004

Competition != Sport!!! Rewarding, calming, exciting and educational != Sport!!!

posted by billsaysthis at 01:18 PM on January 26, 2004

any event where you can be totally shitfaced and still perform well should not be considered a sport So my thoughts of naming Joe Namath commissioner of my new HOSKL (Hit On Suzy Kolber League) should be dropped? Fishing is not a sport. Fishermen are not athletes. They are liars, though.

posted by wfrazerjr at 04:04 PM on January 26, 2004

IMHO, it's a sport if there's no panel of judges to look at things - ice skating - not a sport, futbol - sport, fishing - well it depends on the competition, but in general probably not, high diving - not a sport, baseball - sport, etc. One problem with this philosophy is that boxing gets placed in the "not a sport" category, but I can live with myself...

posted by BigCalm at 04:08 PM on January 26, 2004

Hey garfield, how does one start out in fly fishing? I've wanted to try it for a long time, but it's an intimidating sport activity for beginners. I know if I just tried a A River Runs Through It imitation, I'd hook my eyeball. Are there books or sites that you'd recommend for technique and equipment?

posted by dusted at 04:45 PM on January 26, 2004

I think i agree with Hal... I didn't vote earlier, but NASCAR is as much a sport as pro wrestling.

posted by StarFucker at 08:24 PM on January 26, 2004

"There's a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore looking like an idiot." I saw someone on ESPN identified as a "Pro Fisherman" yesterday. I wonder if it will effect his ability to fish in the Olympics?

posted by scully at 10:43 AM on January 27, 2004

dusted, its alot easier than it looks. and alot harder, but ignore that part right now. equipmentwise, start off with a kit (rod, reel, line). i don't want to steer you to a particular brand, but Orvis has a nice beginner set up. you'll need waders(breathables), a net, polarized sunglasses(the better to see you under the water, deary) and GINK. ask your local expert about what flies are working. this depends alot on the area and time of year, as hatches occur throughout the summer, so its always a good idea to stop by the fly shop right before you go out on the stream. as for the actual mechanics of casting, don't worry. Rule #1, if your fly isn't on the water, you won't catch anything, except maybe a branch or two. check out some fly fishing television on saturday mornings, and practice sans fly/hook. the season is about to start, so there will be a few programs which always have helpful casting hints. I'm no expert, so I won't attempt to provide bona fide instruction. As you can see, the lingo can be a bit exclusive, but that's just braggin' creek-style. And If the opportunity arises, get a guide and try fly fishing out in the salt water. I highly recommend it.

posted by garfield at 10:45 AM on January 29, 2004

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