July 26, 2004

Help msacheson & aacheson settle a dispute!: OK, so msacheson & I were having a debate last night over dinner about which sport requires the athlete to be in the best overall shape? We couldn't agree so decided to hand it off to the all-knowing spofi-ers. Please rate these from the MOST fit to the LEAST fit. +Volleyball +Soccer +Hockey +Cycling +Boxing +Football +Basketball +Swimming+ Choose wisely, cuz if I don't win, msacheson doesn't get any :)

posted by aacheson to navel gazing at 11:23 AM - 44 comments

Well, uh, okay. I'd rank 'em as follows: Boxing Swimming Cycling Hockey Soccer Volleyball Football Basketball Luge Applying Clown Makeup Making a Sandwich Scratching Yourself Sleep msacheson: regardless of how this works out, brother, be strong.

posted by chicobangs at 12:29 PM on July 26, 2004

I think the real question here is -- do I get any for answering? *ducks* Cycling - and your butt has to be all tough Boxing - to be at the top of the sport, tyou must be able to go the distance Hockey - even if Todd Bertuzzi isn't assaulting you Swimming - long distances, yes ... short distances, who knows? Soccer - there's a lot of running, but there's even more standing around and wondering when something exciting might happen Basketball - two words -- Oliver Miller Volleyball - i think you should be in shape, but do you have to be? Football - okay, I played football. 'Nuff said.

posted by wfrazerjr at 12:59 PM on July 26, 2004

1. Cycling 2. Swimming Cycling requires an insane amount of training at the highest level, and swimming is right there, too (even for the sprinters, IMO). There are no out of shape athletes in these sports. 3. Soccer 4. Basketball 5. Hockey 6. Football I think team sports allow a little bit of leeway in training levels and overall fitness. A very talented or gifted player can excel without killing themselves working out. You still have to be agile and fast. 7. Volleyball 8. Boxing Volleyball and boxing are fairly stationary and require only quick bursts of energy. These are the two sports I know the least about, so I might be way off the mark...

posted by dusted at 01:41 PM on July 26, 2004

I read somewhere that competitive rowing is a sport that requires insane levels of fitness, but that's not on the list.

posted by trox at 02:28 PM on July 26, 2004

most< ---------->least Swimming, Cycling, Soccer, Hockey, Boxing, Volleyball, Basketball, Football

posted by mbd1 at 02:32 PM on July 26, 2004

Most to least: Soccer Cycling Basketball Boxing Hockey Football Swimming Volleyball.

posted by rcade at 02:51 PM on July 26, 2004

Cycling - Boxing - Soccer - Hockey - Football - Swimming - Basketball - Volleyball (I have swimming so low because I swim a lot myself, and I don't consider myself in the least bit fit, despite being on of the fastest in my local pool). trox, rowing would come between cycling and boxing for me, it's that hard.

posted by BigCalm at 03:19 PM on July 26, 2004

ESPN Page 2 did a feature a while back called "Sports Skills Difficulty Rankings" which isn't exactly what you're asking, but it sort of is, since they rank the sports based on things like endurance, strength, speed, power, agility, flexibility, and durability..

posted by blarp at 03:32 PM on July 26, 2004

Blarp, that's awesome! Thanks! That's exactly what I was looking for. (they put BASEBALL over soccer???) I would put soccer above hockey, just because in hockey you at least have "shift" changes. In soccer, you're in until you're out. No other people to take your place when you get tired. And you have to run the whole time but on skates you can slide around. That was my argument against having cycling above soccer, too. In cycling you have a machine to help you out. I would agree that boxing is pretty high, because you have to maintain strength and agility while getting the crap beaten out of you. Plus, I've tried it and I was so tired I could barely lift my arms after about 10 minutes. I think football are a bunch of fat guys with small scopes of talent (kicker, thrower, receiver, dead weight.) The only ones who really have to run are receivers. The rest stand around for long periods of time, bang into each other for short spurts, and then get taken out of the game again for long periods of time. So I guess mine are: Soccer Hockey Cycling Boxing Basketball (lots of running and coordination, but also lots of standing around and can be taken out of the game and put back in again) Swimming (Very intense but for short periods of time) Football Volleyball But they all require amazing strength and endurance and I am impressed with all athletes who participate in these sports. (Except fishing and curling and bowling!)

posted by aacheson at 03:55 PM on July 26, 2004

Basically, it seems to me that the more technical ability is needed, the less fit you have to be, since natural ability can mask fitness. Therefore the sports you must be the fittest for are the purely athletic ones: running, swimming, cycling etc. For overall fitness, I'd say long-distance running.

posted by salmacis at 03:56 PM on July 26, 2004

Soccer Boxing Cycling Swimming Hockey Basketball Football Volleyball

posted by StarFucker at 04:47 PM on July 26, 2004

aacheson said: "In cycling you have a machine to help you out." The machine allows you to cover more ground, but it doesn't help you (unless you're the only one riding a bike and everyone else is running).

posted by dusted at 05:39 PM on July 26, 2004

Cycling - to Tour de France standard anyway Boxing - I know from personal experience it's fecking exhausting Swimming - those boys put in some training Soccer - demanding 90 minute sport Hockey - like soccer but you get subbed more often Basketball - never played it but looks all action Football - seems to mostly consist of standing around Volleyball - ditto

posted by squealy at 05:52 PM on July 26, 2004

Soccer Hockey Boxing Cycling Basketball Swimming Football Volleyball

posted by goddam at 06:38 PM on July 26, 2004

Cycling Soccer Hockey Boxing - would be my number one, but there seem to be a lot of fat guys on TV doing it Swimming (actually any of the top five you can make an arguement for) Basketball Football Volleyball - if you can play it on a beach, it ain't that tough.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:18 PM on July 26, 2004

You guys are new parents. My picks: You+aren't+getting+any. Haha! (OK, it'll probably take about 6 months. If you do it sooner, I'm jealous.) ;-)

posted by worldcup2002 at 02:53 AM on July 27, 2004

Of those on the list: Cycling Boxing Hockey Soccer Swimming Basketball Football Volleyball But that's purely speculative, since I've only tried to be even mildly competitive in one of those (basketball). I agree that rowing is crazy-hard. The ESPN Page2 ranking of its difficulty is laughably misinformed. Scores under 3 (out of 10) for hand-eye and agility? While exerting at absolute maximum level, rowers make non-stop adjustments to everything from the relative pressure of their feet on the tie-ins to the depth of the oar as they haul it through the water. Doing all that, in time with 3 or 8 others, under variable conditions like a river, while lactic acid boils your muscles, is damned difficult. After a race, even the monster, Olympic-grade guys look like they're about to puke. Some do. Also, being an Iowa boy, I should mention that wrestling makes athletes that are astounding for their overall conditioning. A wrestling practice/workout is about as exhausting a regimen as can be imagined--it goes on just forever. When I was a kid in b-ball camp at the U of Iowa, we used to watch, in awe, as the wrestlers carried each other up and down the steps of Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Those guys are maniacs.

posted by jason streed at 09:47 AM on July 27, 2004

You guys are new parents. My picks: You+aren't+getting+any. We've got a winner! See, that was the real question being asked (wink) most< ---------->least Swimming, Cycling, Soccer, Hockey, Boxing, Basketball, Volleyball, Football I match mbd1's ranking for the most part (switched basketball and volleyball due to running up and down court). And like dusted, I think the individual sports rank higher. Swimming uses upper and lower body, cycling is mostly lower. Soccer above hockey for same reasons my wife gave (on the field entire time vs. shifts on bench). Honorable mention: as some have said, running, wrestling and rowing also deserve consideration. Maybe next time.

posted by msacheson at 11:22 AM on July 27, 2004

Ah the ESPN thing takes into account skill, nerve and all that, when I think what we're really talking about is the tax it takes on the human body... That's the only way I could ever see them putting baseball ahead of soccer.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 12:17 PM on July 27, 2004

Well, I've argued this before on this very forum, but I think basketball deserves some consideration because it requires two things that SOME of the other sports require at least LESS of - One is cross-training. In basketball, to play well, you need to be able to jump, run, and move side-to-side quickly, not to mention use a fair amount of upper-body strength. In hockey you don't have the same impact on the legs, although there is perhaps more upper-body impact. Soccer takes a touch less jumping, although there is more running, certainly. There are a considerable number of muscles and systems involved in playing basketball. Two is that when you are in the game at all, you are being active (NBA isolation plays, notwithstanding). I think this is an important point. In hockey or soccer you work one half of the playing area. In basketball, you need to be able to score and defend both and should always be active (again, the NBA notwithstanding). I'm not saying basketball should be number one, but it seems very far down on this list. I would say someone like Michael Jordan, Jerry Rice or Lance Armstrong is at a level where differences are not as perceptible. Oliver Miller, on the other hand, never caught on in the NBA because of his lack of conditioning. A better example would be Charles Barkley or Warren Sapp who have both succeeded despite seemingly flabby physiques (although Chuck was better early in his career).

posted by BobbyC at 02:15 PM on July 27, 2004

Another thing to talk about would be positions and how that affects everything. Football is the most obvious example; whereas a kicker does not need to be athletic, a running back or wide receiver certainly does. Even in the NBA I'd say you have to be very athletic to play point guard, while in some cases big men can get by being less athletic.

posted by swank6 at 03:01 PM on July 27, 2004

Bobby - ask any hockey player about the toll the skating takes on your legs. The fact that the shifts are short is basically due to the fact that you simply cannot play it for long stretches, fatigue sets on very quickly because so much energy is required. Lateral movement is just as prevalent and even more difficult. Basketball players are in great shape, no doubt - but there isn't a single fat guy in hockey. Not one.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 10:41 PM on July 27, 2004

WeedyMcSmokey: you forgot Kevin Fatcher. har har! Seriously, hockey takes a *huge* toll on those legs. Just because you're on skates doesn't mean that you aren't pumping the crap out of your legs to get you going. Besides, to do it correctly, you need to be crouching a bit and that will certainly add stress to the legs, not to mention the back. Another thing to think of, just like in basketball, you may be going forward right now, but that may not last very long thanks to some god awful turn-over. Forward skate, forward skate, forward skate, shit!, back skate, back skate, back skate, whoo-hoo!, forward skate, forward skate, I'm open, tap tap tap, shoot puck, godamn it I missed, turn around and catch up with everybody else, c'mon coach signal a line change I'm dying out here! Repeat. 45 seconds to one minute may not seem like an eternity, but you'd be surprised really. Especially when playing against a bunch of linebacker-sized dudes that would like to crush you. Lastly, who does nothing in their defensive end in hockey? Besides some high-scoring, cherry-picking Russian, that is. The one sport that everybody seems to be overlooking is that cross-country skiing/rifle shooting sport. The biathlon? I'd like to see *anybody* who thinks they're in great shape cross-country ski a hilly course for insane distances and still shoot a rifle accurately.

posted by NoMich at 11:40 PM on July 27, 2004

I don't think you can lump sports in there (especially with regard to american football) without considering the position of the player. I don't think there are any greater atheletes in the world than NFL cornerbacks, only because to play their position they must be able to both cover NFL wideouts and tackle NFL running backs. More than any other group of athletes, these are guys that literally could've chosen to play any professional sport.

posted by Discman at 02:52 AM on July 28, 2004

Cycling & Boxing & Swimming - The three purely athletic competitions Hockey & Soccer - Try Basketball on a soccer field. Football & Basketball & Volleyball - Too incremental to seriously challenge any of the above.

posted by garfield at 12:29 PM on July 28, 2004

I'm reasonably in shape, but far from an athelete, so I've created my list of what I can do to support my list of overall difficulty (least difficult to most difficult)... as follows: Can do: 8. Volleyball 7. Football 6. Boxing (I've been practicing TaeKwonDo since 1996) Can do with difficulty: 5. Swimming Knocks me on my ass: 4. Basketball (man, I need lots of breaks) 3. Soccer (fun, but again, lots of breaks) 2. Hockey (I can only guess on this one... never tried) 1. Cycling (I would never, ever attempt a 100 mile ride)

posted by sixpacker at 01:23 PM on July 28, 2004

Hey Worldcup, give me a break. It's been over 7 months since the little acheson was born! In a side note: Maybe cycling ought to move up due to the sheer beating a person's (man or woman) privates get!

posted by aacheson at 01:51 PM on July 28, 2004

I think right now, msacheson's privates need a beating! Hooohoohoo. btw, congrats aacheson - hey where are the pictures of mini-acheson? What's his or her name? Help, I am so behind. Also, if you guys wanna come visit again, that would be cool. Let me know (you have my email!).

posted by worldcup2002 at 02:12 PM on July 28, 2004

WC, send me your email address and I will send pictures.

posted by aacheson at 06:06 PM on July 28, 2004

What's his or her name? Wouldn't it be bacheson? For baby, of course.

posted by kirkaracha at 06:25 PM on July 29, 2004

didn't baby acheson get his/her own spofi username a while back?

posted by goddam at 06:52 PM on July 29, 2004

OK that's just sick. ;)

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 11:47 PM on July 29, 2004


posted by lucyacheson at 10:05 AM on July 30, 2004

Now that's just cute.

posted by dusted at 10:39 AM on July 30, 2004

Welcome aboard Lucy!

posted by dusted at 10:39 AM on July 30, 2004

(well, since this thread has completely derailed...) Here's the family, from left: Lucy, Amanda and Marc Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

posted by msacheson at 12:01 PM on July 30, 2004

As you can see, msacheson is hot. HOT!

posted by worldcup2002 at 12:09 PM on July 30, 2004

Luckily, my gut is cropped off in this picture.

posted by msacheson at 12:38 PM on July 30, 2004

Beautiful stuff guys - congrats!

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 05:14 PM on July 31, 2004

Also, being an Iowa boy, I should mention that wrestling makes athletes that are astounding for their overall conditioning.
My experience in Judo tends to back that up. First time I did randori (sparring), I lasted one 4 minute session against a yellow belt. I couldn't do any more for the balance of the half hour session, I was shattered. I suspect the same is true of any martial art where there's constant work and contact (and if the TKD at the olympics is representitive of high level Tae Kwon Do competition, it's likely got absolutely nothing on boxing for fitness levels...)

posted by rodgerd at 10:32 PM on October 03, 2004

yo........u guys seem to have no life........man.....what u doin wastin time on answerin these useless questions............man everyone knows that basketball has the most fit athletes..so why argue abt it....aight guys..have fun and stay fit....el paso brothers.. ....

posted by Tenzino at 10:00 AM on October 14, 2004

ESPN says soccer football needs a nerve of less than four? Tell that to his most divine ponytail, Bobby Baggio, in the '94 World Cup final. I'll comment on football, hockey and helmetball, as they're the three I've played most of and put them in that order too. Hockey shattered me much more than helmetball, even though I played halfback, but in both sports if my fitness was high I could do ok as, when I tired, I'd go sit down for a while. As mentioned before, in football there is no 'go sit down for a while' - you go 45 minutes, get 15 off and then go another 45 unless you get subbed out. There's no rotation and only three subs max in the whole game. There is some standing about at set pieces, but if you're a defensive midfielder then you better be ready to cover a lot of ground in annoying sprint-stop-sprint-stop-sprint-stop-sprint fashion. Anyone who thinks you get to stand around a lot waiting for something exciting to happen, hasn't played the game under the watchful gaze of my manager - look like you're thinking of taking half a second off and you'll get a verbal outburst full of enough profanities to embarrass a wounded pirate. You'll also be watching next week's game. I've no problem with boxing being top, though. Just the thought of trying to hold my arms up for 40 minutes troubles me - throw in someone trying to punch me in the face and I'm off.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 10:55 AM on October 22, 2004

Uh, excuse me, you have to be pretty fit to be a RUNNER, everything from marathon to sprint. It's easier to ride a bike than to run.

posted by mayerkyl at 12:10 PM on October 29, 2004

:)why did you say that?

posted by google163 at 02:26 PM on November 05, 2004

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