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November 28, 2007

The Completely Useless Sports Guide #9

Horse Racing

Horse Racing, often abbreviated to just Racing, is a sport which involves midgets sitting on horses and beating the living daylights out of their steed in order to make them run faster.

Many races take place on a flat or undulating course of turf, sand, astroturf, carpet, mud or jelly. Other races, known as point to point, start in one Lord’s back garden and end in another’s, whilst in some races they construct obstacles, known as fences, which span this course, forcing the horse to either jump it, run away from it, throw their mount to the floor, or trip over it and die. Races can have anything between 2 to 40 teams taking part.

The races themselves are often a sideshow to the main attraction, the betting on which horse is going to win/lose/not quite win/have its rider slow it down enough to make money for themselves/sneeze.

Although the horses usually only do one race every 3 or 4 months, the riders will often do several in a day, as they aren’t being whipped all the time. At the end of the season, the “Champion Jockey” is the one who has made the most money from fixing races, whilst the “Champion Trainer” is the one who has the most interviews by John McCriririririririririririririririririck.


July 20, 2007

Side–effects of Pretorious (not) being allowed to run with everyone else

Now I did have a completely unrelated blog entry all done, but WB wouldn’t let me sign in and my computer promptly crashed, so that went.

Then I thought about doing an entry on the ongoing saga of the attempts of Paralympic athelte Oscar “Blade Runner” Pretorious to be accepted as an able-bodied runner, but that horse has been sufficiently flogged. So rather than just give a “no because…” entry, I thought I’d come up with some rather silly scenarios should the final decision on his Olympic future go either way.

Intentional Amputation

If Pretorious is allowed to run even though his blades offer an advantage, what is to stop an able-bodied athlete chopping off their own legs and having their own performance-enhancing limbs?

“You need four limbs”

If Pretorious is not allowed to run on the grounds that he doesn’t have four limbs, does this mean that an athlete without an arm isn’t allowed to run even if he’s really good?

Totalitarian trials

Everybody deserves the right to run in the trials. Unfortunately, we are still waiting for 84 year old Fred Brooks to finish the 10000m from last year before we can start this year’s trials. His pacemaker is Eric the Eel.

The end of segregation

Pretorious runs as a “non-disabled” runner, thus forcing all other Paralympians to run with the regular Olympians. At the same time, age and gender divisions are also abolished.

Enhancing leg technology

With Pretorious banned from the Olympics, companies are free to develop the most efficient artificial legs they can manage. The 100m world record is thus reduced to 6.47 seconds by Javier Mbangua, whose springy legs allow him to stride up to 19 metres a time.

I’m sure there are more potential silly ideas I can come up with. It’s an emotional issue, but the key issue here isn’t at all about why he shouldn’t be allowed to run with his non-disabled rivals, but why he should.


March 23, 2007

The Completely Useless Sports Guide #8

Athletics

Athletics is another generic term covering a large variety of disciplines. It covers both “track and field”, which takes place in a specially constructed arena, and “running”, which takes place at any convenient place. There is a running element in track and field but it also involves jumping, throwing, injecting and walking and thus should not be confused with running. For those who do not have

There is little specific team element to athletics. Some running races will have a team competition which awards points according to finishing position and the lowest combined score of a team wins. Others races, known as relays, involve passing a baton, a hollow metal tube, from one runner to another. Some track and field events also have a team competition which takes place across all events and scores participants per event.

It is a well known fact that track and field attracts far bigger sponsorship at elite level than running. It is also a well known fact that running makes far more money than track and field, and consequently track and field is funded by running at all levels bar international standard. In the interests of equality, anybody is allowed to take part in running, but only beanpoles are allowed to take part in the running events of track and field. Anybody too fat to do so is instead either allowed to chuck big heavy stuff about or inject. Participants lacking legs are allowed to use a wheelchair, but can’t compete against athletes with legs.

Competitions take place between track and field clubs in a league system where every team in the league at the same goes to one club’s track once and do their events and promptly get shouted at when they don’t lose, causing more injections. Runners compete as and when they feel like and will promptly bore you to death with stories about the time where I was doing this race in….


January 24, 2007

The Completely Useless Sports Guide #7

Ice Hockey

Ice Hockey is a form of multi-player combat sport taking place on ice involving sticks and blades. When not fighting participants try to put a small rubber disc into a net past another participant who is generally too fat and slow to reach any brawl further than five metres from his goal.

An ice hockey team consists of six players on the ice trying to fight and a further array of substitutes who are resting from previous fights but may take the position of any brawler on their team at any time of their choosing. At the end of the game, everyone shakes hands and share stories about the various hits they made during the game down the pub.

The overall bout takes place in three twenty-minute rounds. Whilst there is no restriction on what you use as your instrument of choice in fights, it is impractical to take your skate off and use it as you will end up being hit very hard. There are a few rules about putting the puck in the goal between fights but I’d hate to bog you down in detail.

Most competitions are predominantly in league form, with playoffs at the end of the season for the highest-ranking teams. While this is useful for the USA where teams are spread over timezones and thus leagues are done by region, it’s pretty pointless in the UK where most teams are a couple of motorways away. International tournaments are also decided in a similar fashion, although they try and make the fighting more glamorous at the Olympics.


September 26, 2006

The Completely Useless Sports Guide #6

Rugby

Rugby is a confusingly generic term used to describe two similar but different sports. In both the aim of the game is to score points by kicking a ball over a bar and between two posts, sitting on a ball in the score area, and sitting on your opponent.

Teams for Rugby Union consist of 15 players, at least eight of which have to be big fat alcoholics. Teams also usually consist of one or two midgets who are like Cilit Bang through a penny. Rugby League teams consist of 13 similarly large players who like running into people. Each team must also supply a keg of ale for after the match.

League largely consists of running into the opposing team five times before kicking the ball to them. Should the opportunity persist players should sit on the nearest round oval object, be it ball or player. Brawling is positively encouraged on the pitch but everyone is too nice to do it after the game. Union is very similar, except there’s a lot more kicking and no limits to the amount of times you can run into a person. The two sports are also scored differently, even though you do exactly the same thing in both.

Competitions come in the cup and league form. The Cups are cash-cows designed to ensure the top flight teams from the league earn as much money as possible playing meaningless fixtures before two teams at random turn up for a final. The leagues consist of home and away fixtures, with each side getting a number of league points at the end determined by rolling a dice. Leagues then have a pointless end of season money-spinner by which the team which finished 27th usually ends up being crowned champions of the universe. Far more countries play union than league, so the latter’s World Cup consists for 14 New Zealand sides to make up for it.


August 05, 2006

The Completely Useless Sports Guide #5

Judo

Judo is a “safe” combat sport in which the aim is to either throw your opponent to the ground with a high degree of skill, hold them down on the ground for a set period of time, or apply a technique which forces them to submit.

The sport consists of a one-on-one fight between two people wearing differently coloured pyjamas, and a man in a suit watching over them. Throws are scores on quality, holds are scored on time, and arm locks and strangles are rather painful. Unless a winning score is given during the contest, the winner of the contest is the one who has scored the highest-scoring technique, not the one with the most number of points. The fact that 3×5+1×3<1x7 AND 7+7=10 is not only a very confusing scoring system to the layman but also mathematically wrong. Should the contest still be a draw by the time the timekeeper has drunk her coffee, the contest, two corner judges help the referee decide who wins on who they hate the least.

There are a number of banned techniques, including throws that might end up snapping the opponent’s head off, hold which might end up snapping the opponent’s head off, and locks which might end up snapping the opponent’s head off. It is, however, perfectly legal to pick a person up and drive them shoulder-first into the mat provided you can remember the Japanese name of the technique, or the referee is your dad.

Competitions take place all over the place and involve segregation of participants by gender and weight. This is not only to prevent fat people sitting on me, but also to stop perverts groping female opponents during groundwork. Club competitions are usually round-robin where everyone wins a medal no matter how rubbish they do, but serious stuff involves double-elimination tournaments.


May 06, 2006

The Completely Useless Sports Guide #4

Darts

Darts is a game in which the aim is to throw small shart pointy sticks at a wooden target, scoring points depending on where the stick lands. The first player to throw exactly the number of required points wins the game. Sticks must be thrown from a line drawn on the floor often by a piece of string but sometimes by a very large pen of liquid chalk, which is an absolute nightmare to get out the carpet afterwards.

Darts is generally an individual sport. During the period in which your opponent is playing darts players must consider their next three target areas, their next three drinks at the bar and their next three choices of bling. Most players set the drink as the priority, followed by the bling, and then finally the choice of target.

Alcohol plays a major part in this game, as a valid method of victory is to get your opponent so drunk he can no longer throw his sticks at the wooden board without substantial risk to the jailbait bargirl with tissue stuffed down her bra. Unfortunately the sticks may be used against neither the other player nor the annoying person who tells the entire world how inaccurate you are with your stick-throwing.

Competitions generally take place over a set number of games, which at lower levels become team competitions in either a league or cup format. In both cases they are set as close to the bar as possible to minimise dry time.


April 18, 2006

The Completely Useless Sports Guide Part 3

Table Tennis

Table Tennis is a game in which the aim is to ensure that your opponent cannot hit the small hollow ball over a net, onto a table between you and the net in a way that you are unable to reciprocate.

Each game of tabe tennis is played by teams of either one or two, with each player taking it in turns to serve twice, and the first to 11 points (provided they have a lead of 2) winning the set, and first to 4 sets winning. Of course it used to be first to 2 sets, 21 points and 4 serves, but they changed it because TV said so.

Valid tactics include hitting the ball in a way that the opponent is unable to hit it, playing a shot that doesn’t allow them to hit the ball back over the net and onto the table your side, and smacking it as hard as you can at their face. Diving around is not only impractical, but also makes you look like a complete goit.

The World Circuit consists of playing the same people in a number of different places around the world, thus giving everyone a chance to be completely ignored. The player ranked #1 is the one who least often gets hit in the face, while the World Champion is the person with the biggest trophy.


March 29, 2006

The Completely Useless Sports Guide #2

Rhythmic Gymnastics

Rhythmic gymnastics is a derivant of the floor event in gymnastics, in which competitors must prance around to music whilst utilising each of the ball, the ribbon, the club and the hoop. Guessing which film the gymnast is trying to show is sadly not part of the game.

Rhythmic gymnastics is almost exclusively done by schoolgirls, often those who were either bored with more conventional gymnastics or were fed up with the fat kid in 9F perving at her leotard during lunchtime. Although all the gymnasts have prefered equipment to use it is uncommon for top-level players not to be proficient in all of the items.

Each round will involve the competitor dancing around to music while doing stuff with the item, for example catching the ball, waving the ribbon around or throwing the club at the French coach. There is a team of judges who consider the music, difficulty of technique and synchronisation, then ignore all of that and roll a 20-sided dice to give the score for that athlete.

Rhythmic gymnastics does have a world championship, but the only time television cares about it is during the Olympics and the Commonwealth games, where it receives about half an hour of coverage. In each case a winner is awarded for each apparatus, and then they have to do all of them in turn for an all-round title.


March 27, 2006

The Completely Useless Sports Guide #1

Football

Football, formally known as association football and known by some other countries as soccer, is a game in which the aim is to use any part of your body to propel the ball into a net held by one horizontal and two vertical poles. There is a line parallel to the goal which the ball is supposed to cross in order for a score to count but in practise this isn’t generally worried about.

Each team has a goalkeeper, usually the fat kid or the one whose hands need keeping warm the most, who will try to catch the ball or failing that knee an opponent when he jumps. The remainder of the ten players on the team are split between defenders (the kids who like to stand around and talk), midfielders (the kids who like to show off) and attackers (the kids with the biggest egos). Unlike most sports, players will often have to fulfil more than one of these roles in a given game, or in the case of Sunderland none of them.

Within the rather simple aims of the sport there are a number of sub-complexities. Besides the ultimate objective of the sport, valid subgames include debating, freestyle diving, improvised acting and the ever popular gum spitting contest. Whilst victory in none of these can be converted into game-winning points, they can be used to influence the flow of the game. In-game discipline is controlled by a single referee (either the PE teacher, the fat maths teacher or the kid who is even more unpopular than the keeper) who issues yellow and red cards to players who break the rules, although if you send your largest three players to have a polite chat with him he may reconsider his decision.

Competitions generally take place in either league format or cup format. In the league format, each team will usually play every other team at both their own and their opponent’s ground. The fixtures are usually arranged to cause upmost inconvenience for supporters of the travelling team, and are usually packed around public holidays and periods of expected bad weather. Cup games are normally single-elimination format arranged around league games in order to provide as much revenue for the leading clubs as possible.


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