Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A New Sport

When you were a kid, chances are good that you were annoying, often got food on your clothes, and thought you were awesome, only to come to the realization that you are not, in fact, a special snowflake.

Chances are also good that if you're like me (and all of the above was and still is true), you often created games. The reasons for this are many. My main reason is that my Mom often said "make your own fun," which frustrated me, because children expect everything, including fun, to be given to them. Now I realize that my Mom did what any good parent would do, and sent me away while she paid the bills so that we could remain indoors. I will eventually do the same, provided that my "send them away as babies to be raised by other parents, then let them come home when they're old enough to skate and use a bathroom on their own" idea doesn't pan out.

Often, the games that lasted longest were the simplest.

There was rakeball, which was essentially field hockey, but with less emphasis on skirts, and more emphasis on shooting a ball into one of three stacked milk crates with a small rake. I think my brother, sister, and I played that for a month or two.

My personal favorite was called CurveBall, I think. Bryan Esherick and I came up with it in the winter one day. Played on one of those basketball courts with hoops and foul arc things width-wise, you and an opponent took turns whipping a racketball across the court, with one bounce in between. If you didn't catch it, you lost the serve. Points could only be scored on the serve. Really, it was tennis without rackets, and I think it could be highly profitable.

The reason I mention all of this is because during the NHL Lockout, we all need to "make our own fun". Some may choose crack cocaine, which I'm told would possibly extend past the lockout. Others will take up playing the bagpipes, which is a surefire way to get the neighborhood to hate you. Still others will do something completely nonsensical, like watch something else on tv. Ridiculous, I know.

I will be creating a new sport. And I will do it right now.

-All good sports have balls. Don't laugh. GREAT sports have pucks. However, pucks require ice, so this sport will have to settle for "good". We're trying to keep this simple and realistic. Ice is neither. Plus, if I create a great sport, it will be hard to give up once hockey has returned.

-That reminds me, someone in the kitchen at work over the summer was making meatballs. They asked the head chef "how big do you want these balls?" to which the chef replied, "they've got to feed a lot of people, so I'd say we need them to be pretty big". I laughed my ass off, to the amusement of everyone. Usually at work, jokes make me chuckle a little bit and move on. Big balls, however, made me giggle like a 5 year old watching Barney. Do 5 year olds watch Barney?

Barney will not be a part of the sport. Neither will big balls. We will use a small croquet-sized ball.

-Shitty sports (tennis, golf, chess) are individual competitions. Awesome sports (excluding basketball) have teams. This will be a team sport. Rafael Nadal is not welcome.

-There will be full contact. This is not some stupid "tap and it's a foul" game, like basketball. This will probably involve ambulances and visits to the OR to remove pieces of things lodged in other folks. After all, bleeding for the sake of recreation is what sports are all about. If you thought they were about "fun," go play tennis.

-For maximum bloodletting, there will be a stick of some sort, which may or may not be used to hit the ball. It could just be used for protection or as a weapon. I haven't decided.

-Finally, most professional sports leagues have complained at one time or another about the problems posed by "human error". This sport will remove human error completely, as it will have no referees. Calls will be based on an honor system, like any other pick-up sport. That way, if a bad call is made, it's not an error, it's just someone being a dick.

I have taken all of this criteria and put it into my computer, the very cost-effective and efficient Lenovo Thinkpad or whatever its name is. The end result is in. Ladies and gentlemen, I am proud to present to you the sport which will deliver us from the doldrums of the NHL Lockout:

Rhinoceros Polo.

It will be played 5 players to a side, depending on rhinoceros availability. Statistics show that there are about 17,000 white rhinos alive today, which isn't quite enough to fill up Mellon Arena. There are about 4200 black rhinos left. I think that it will be best to use black rhinos, because we could breed them and help bring them back from the brink of extinction, which would look great on our college transcripts.

Rhinos possess notoriously bad eyesight, which will eliminate human error completely, since 1. they are not humans (though Kate Smith, the former singer of "God Bless America" at Flyers games looked like one) and 2. their bad eyesight will suck so much that they will merely run around in circles, which will put the blame on them instead of the people dumb enough to be playing such a ridiculous game.

Finally, since rhinos have horns and whatnot, they will provide the full contact action required by the people of America.

Come to think of it, why not just watch the NFL? This idea sucks. I just wanted to draw a picture of myself playing polo on a rhino, and decided to come up with a story behind it.