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Old 07-24-03, 01:32 PM   #1
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Sheesh. Here we go again.

From The Betting Fool in the Sports section of SFGate.com:

Quote:
Sorry, people, cycling is not a sport
Betting Fool, SF Gate
Tuesday, July 22, 2003
©2003 SF Gate

URL: http://www.sfgate.com/columnists/fool/

The buzz moved throughout the office like a very small wildfire.

Lance Armstrong was making a move in the Tour de France. Left for dead, and fearing that evil German Jan Ullrich was about to pass him in Stage 15, "Our Man Lance" defied the experts and overcame an attack by a French handbag to take control of the race.

"This has to be one of the best stories in sports this year," said one cycling enthusiast.

My head began to hurt. Something was terribly wrong. Oh, that's right. Cycling is not a sport.

You heard me. For many reasons, the thing Lance Armstrong does so well is not a sport. It's an activity, a hobby. It's no different than darts, or lawn bowling or kayaking or rock climbing.

Golf is a sport. Hockey is a sport. Real bowling is a sport. Cycling is not.

Why? Glad you asked.

My basic premise is that given a couple years training and a cool bike, I could be a professional cyclist. I might not be able to compete in the Tour de France, but I'd get close. Come on, pretty much everyone can pedal a bike.

Here are few more concrete reasons why cycling is not a sport:

* The activity's top event takes place in France. Yeah, the same country that produced the Warriors' top draft pick. You know the new saying: "If it's French, it sucks!"

* There is no strategy. Oh wait, go faster than the other guy. Terrific. I don't want to hear about this alleged team strategy. The other members of "Blue Crush," or whatever the hell they call Lance's team, are caddying for the great one. They have no chance of winning. Why do they bother to show up?

* You can do it with a broken collarbone. Tyler Hamilton is courageous and all that, but seriously, this is not a sport.

* There are no balls (insert lame Armstrong testicle joke here) and no scoreboard. Not a sport.

* You have to go to REI to buy equipment for this hobby. If you can't find it at Big 5, it's not a sport.

* It's on the Outdoor Life Network in the middle of the night. Swimming and poker and pool and dogs jumping off piers are on ESPN this week. Not the Tour de France.

* When Lance retires, and American cyclists return to the middle of the pack, the Tour de France will return to its proper place in our sports media, in small type on the agate page.

* Millions of Europeans and a handful of Americans are wrong. Soccer is boring and cycling is not a sport.

* A quick recap of cycling folk: They pay $80 for a shirt because it has superior "wicking." They drive Volvos and Saabs and live in Noe Valley, are crunchy and self-indulgent, liberal, but not TOO liberal, they voted for the Green Party and they cheer those who participate in Critical "Mess." They have to do something on the weekends they can tell their vegetarian (but I eat sushi!) friends about. "I did a 50-miler on Saturday. I got an outstanding view of the sunset (or ocean, or hills, etc.)"

If their friend(s) did a 75-miler, they'd say: "I was up for that, but I had to get back for a macrobiotic party a friend of mine was holding at their new place at the Presidio."

Call me an ugly American or a beer-guzzling dinosaur. But you know I'm right.
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Old 07-24-03, 01:38 PM   #2
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poker and pool and dogs jumping off piers are on ESPN this week....

and to think I missed all that athleticism on ESPN.
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Old 07-24-03, 01:40 PM   #3
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Here's the email I sent to the Fool:

Quote:
Your column today would have been merely lame had it been original. But it appears to parrot Ron Borges' msnbc.com article of nearly a year ago [cite]. Original drivel is one thing; derivative or plagiarized drivel is something else altogether.
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Old 07-24-03, 01:57 PM   #4
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Anyone can run too, so we better pull track and field out of the olympics. Football should be withdrawn as anyone can catch a ball and how much bravery does it take if you have to wear pads and a helmet? Baseball, hmmm, I think just about every kid knows how to play baseball so we better scratch that one too according to this logic. Hockey? Well, I suppose not everyone can ice skate, well, everyone in a certain latitude anyway, so Hockey is only a sport in southern climes where not everyone can ice skate. Nascar, Hmmm I don't think I even need to go there. My bet is this guy just outlawed all sport because everyone has a certain aptitude in just about any given sport/activity, unless you maybe look at american gladiators and that is because people don't normally hang from a ceiling and try to whack each other with giant que tips. I don't think the author did very well in debate as a child.

Also....
Last I checked golf was also extremely boring unless actually playing it in person as well (more so than soccer in my opinion).
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Old 07-24-03, 02:08 PM   #5
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but football, baseball etc. have, well, BALLS.


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Old 07-24-03, 02:12 PM   #6
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And he claims bowling is a sport ?? If i can riff from Jim Rome.. any thing you can do with a beer in one hand, and a non-filter dangling out of your mouth, is not a sport... it is merely a recreation...

Is anyone else tired of the France bashing that has occurred the last 8 or 9 months ? Get over it people...

Jeff
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Old 07-24-03, 02:13 PM   #7
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So, if cycling isn't a sport, then cyclists aren't really athletes?! This guy is something else.

SPORT:

Main Entry: [2]sport
Function: noun
Date: 15th century

1 a : a source of diversion : RECREATION b : sexual play c (1) : physical activity engaged in for pleasure (2) : a particular activity (as an athletic game) so engaged in

2 a : PLEASANTRY, JEST b : often mean-spirited jesting : MOCKERY, DERISION

3 a : something tossed or driven about in or as if in play b : LAUGHINGSTOCK

4 a : SPORTSMAN b : a person considered with respect to living up to the ideals of sportsmanship <a good sport> <a poor sport> c : a companionable person

5 : an individual exhibiting a sudden deviation from type beyond the normal limits of individual variation usually as a result of mutation especially of somatic tissue
synonym see FUN


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Old 07-24-03, 02:18 PM   #8
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The columnist is a self-proclaimed and self-named fool... enough said and most of it by himself.
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Old 07-24-03, 02:24 PM   #9
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Paul L, I think the only way I could enjoy golf is where you pick a club or iron and then whack the ball and run after it using only that one stick. This could be even more fun with two people going after the same ball.
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Old 07-24-03, 02:25 PM   #10
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That 'anyone can do it given a few years' is the lamest Ive heard yet. I could become a helluva synchronized swimmer given time...I could be a great golfer (true athletes right there) given a few years to whack balls...I could even be a great basketball player, all I need to do is put a ball in a hoop. No scoreboard? Sorry didnt know the crowd was so stupid as to not figure out who won the stage, 'was the guy who finished halfway in the pack,was he the stage winner?', obviously hes never heard of the gc, while not a scoreboard its still a 'score', and all the jerseys too. Wheres the strategy in golf?bowling?hockey? you just try to put a ball(puck) where it belongs. the 'blue crush' that has no chance at winning, how bout the guys that sit on the bench for most of their career in professional sports? why do they show up? And yes the french bashing has gone on long enough. Shouldnt we respect other nations stances on things in the world. And whatever idiot came up with the whole 'freedom fries' and crap, I want to know if he orders 'freedom fries' or 'french fries'. Boy I think this is my longest post yet!
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Old 07-24-03, 02:28 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rev.Chuck
Paul L, I think the only way I could enjoy golf is where you pick a club or iron and then whack the ball and run after it using only that one stick. This could be even more fun with two people going after the same ball.
Isn't that called croquet? Or do it with horses (or singlespeed MTBs) and call it polo.
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Old 07-24-03, 02:33 PM   #12
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I wonder if this guy considers NASCAR a sport. It seems to me the guy is mainly just trying to be funny (emphasis on trying). I wouldn't take this one too seriously.
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Old 07-24-03, 03:02 PM   #13
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Yeah. I realize it's a troll but what annoys me (and I emailed him such) that it's a derivative troll.

I wonder how long he's been covering Bay Area sports. In the Niners' glory days the Chron regularly lauded Joe Montana for his comeback from a cracked vertebra and Ronnie Lott for choosing to chop a finger off his mangled hand rather than miss games to let it heal.

The REI v. Big 5 argument is just baffling.
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Old 07-24-03, 03:31 PM   #14
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Why aren't they calling it the Tour de Freedom? ;D I am amazed at the idea of how democracy is only a good thing when it agrees with you. I am pretty tired of the France bashing, I thought our politicians were above petty name calling,..... wait a minute.... now that I think about it, Namecalling....' political campaigns.... name calling.... is there a connection here? Why hasn't anyone pulled Switzerland on the carpet about this (shameful how they refused to help isn't it? )? Ok, I'll quit with the sarcasm, just tired of the rhetoric. ;D

BTW Rev. Chuck, what we really need is a game with clubs, a ball, and bicycles for the players to move around on! Now THAT would be a sport! The goalie could have a BMX trick bike and a halfpipe for a goal.:
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Old 07-24-03, 03:35 PM   #15
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this guy is a dork. and also what's with ripping on cycling attire and equipment? I've never paid $80 for a jersey and even if I did it pails to the prices for authentic baseball or basketball jerseys, $150-$200+
And soccer, boring? I guess he's never heard of Manchester United....
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Old 07-24-03, 03:45 PM   #16
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Cool - just means one (or more) less rider(s) crowding the trails and streets.
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Old 07-24-03, 04:01 PM   #17
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Quote:
In a tiresome screed, the Fool said:
Call me an ugly American or a beer-guzzling dinosaur.
This is a real insult to our intelligence. I, for one, can think of many better names to call him.

Quote:
Originally posted by lotek
but football, baseball etc. have, well, BALLS.


Marty
Bicycles have balls. Dozens of them. Disassemble a bottom bracket, a hub, or a headset and you can see how many balls there are in the sport of cycling.

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We're not gonna take it, never did and never will...
We forsake you.
Gonna **** you.
Let's forget you better still.
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Old 07-24-03, 04:06 PM   #18
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I e-mailed him...he answered - the guy is useless...just doing it because he's a moron and wants to yank some chains.

See his response below:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
My latest response to him:
That's a WEAK answer.

Define what defines a "sport"! Tell me WHY golf, baseball and football ARE sports and cycling is NOT a sport...


-----Original Message-----
From: Stephen Tady [mailto:stady@sfgate.com]
Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2003 3:51 PM
To: Donaldson, Keith
Subject: Re: Cycling...not a sport...


clearly, golf, baseball and football. Those are my favorites.

>If cycling is not a sport...then please clarifiy what a sport is?
>
>Keith Donaldson
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Old 07-24-03, 05:00 PM   #19
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Do golfers even sweat?
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Old 07-24-03, 05:25 PM   #20
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That guy is just another close minded neaderthal. So some of us shave our legs, spandex is a common material in our clothing, the problem is that in every group the one that is differnt is always going to be singled out/picked on/roughed up/ or kicked out.

To categorize all of us a veggie-sorta liberals driving volvos.... well does he have another thing coming.. Like to see him try some of our shoes on weather it be riding through many inches of snow ( for the winter times in the north)....or even down here in Houston... like see him take on a all you can eat BBQ, then drink the rest of the night... Then the next day get up hangover or not, and take on the HO CHI MIN in the 95+ degree heat with the 50-100% humidity, and the mosquitoes...actually.....

lets him do his couple of months of training and then let him take on Hans Rey!
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Old 07-24-03, 05:42 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by Paul L.
Do golfers even sweat?
Now there's something that's a hobby or activity - definitely not a sport.
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Old 07-24-03, 05:48 PM   #22
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... and that article isn't jouranlism.
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Old 07-24-03, 05:50 PM   #23
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I actually thought the article was a good read... I really don't think it was meant to be taken seriously. Infact, it is almost glorifying cycling, because of the intentional stupidity in his statements against cycling. Almost like saying, "I'm a dumba$$, and I don't like cycling."

Makes you want to like cycling even more.
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Old 07-24-03, 05:55 PM   #24
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" A quick recap of cycling folk: ...They drive Volvos and Saabs and live in Noe Valley, are crunchy and self-indulgent, liberal, but not TOO liberal, they voted for the Green Party..."

I hope nobody tells my former boss, the U.S. Attorney General, that I am a liberal. He might be surprised to find out.

Also, I get tired of people trying to determine what is a "sport" and what is not. The way I see it, if people compete at it and want to call it a sport, why should it bother me if they call it a sport. I have more important things to worry about.
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Old 07-24-03, 05:56 PM   #25
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first of all i don't see why you guys are getting riled up about it.... it sounds much more sarcastic than it does derisive. in fact if you read many of the statements they are ridiculous because the exact opposite is true.

second, his argument against cycling being a sport is useless without defining what exactly a sport is. he (along with most people) seems to think that a sport isn't a sport unless it's a spectator sport - one that is a source of entertainment to the general public. according to such a definition, sports such as cycling, competitive running, rowing, triathlon, etc aren't really sports because they (for the most part) don't really entertain anyone other than people within the sport. if however you define a sport as a grueling test of athletic ability, the above sports would be included, and others would be excluded.
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