Americans crave new sports. I came to this conclusion recently when it became apparent some people were actually excited about soccer.
Baseball, football, basketball, hockey, golf – all fine sports. Americans have become a bit jaded about them, however. The bloom is off the rose (if we can talk about roses in connection with any sport except horse racing.) America is ripe to be taken by storm by something new.
Not mixed martial arts, which isn’t much more than the boxing pig with lipstick. And I’m certainly not talking about that snooze-a-lose we call soccer (and the rest of the world calls football, except for those who call it futbol).
Talk about unnatural, counterintuitive rules. I imagine that sport got its start something like this:
“Hey, what’s this thing I stumbled on? It’s a ball! Come on, guys in short pants, let’s see if we can get it past these other guys in different color short pants. And it would be easiest to control if we bounce it off our heads. And maybe our knees. And occasionally our noses. Anywhere but the hands! Who can control a ball using the hands?”
So of course this new sport became an instant hit with people who like to walk around with their hands in their pockets.
Which brings up the question – why are we teaching our kids this sport? It can be argued that mankind’s ascent to dominance over the natural world is in large part due to magnificent dexterity and hand-eye coordination. Now we’re teaching our kids to ignore their hands and go around kicking things. Planet of the Apes, here we come. In fact, I predict that if soccer becomes the dominant sport, within three generations mankind will be surpassed by at least three species – chimps, dolphins, and chihuahuas. And possibly goldfish.
What sort of sport do we need, then? It should be one that develops our physical abilities and our mental prowess as well. It should be a sport that leaves both the participants and spectators better people and citizens. And it should not involve bouncing balls off our heads.
The obvious sport that meets all of those criteria is aerobic laser flag chess. Existing soccer fields can readily be converted to large chess boards. Each square is ten yards on a side. The pawns play on their knees, in a subservient, groveling stance. The knights ride a steed and brandish a jousting lance. The bishops carry five gallon vats of holy water and super soakers. Rooks are armed with tasers and tear gas. The queen has a concealed tactical paint bomb.
The rules are fun, especially for the spectators. Cheerleaders (male and female gymnasts) are plundered from neighboring chess fields, and must serve several months of indentured servitude, unless pardoned by two bishops and the White King. Players must start the game as a pawn, and work their way up the chess ladder, unless their parents are a king and queen, in which case they’re a rook. If your father is a bishop, he goes to the dungeon, and you sign a ten million dollar book deal. When a solar eclipse occurs, the players all move counterclockwise one square, in unison. It gets more complicated from there, but those are the basics.
I think you get the idea. This sport is obviously intended for only the most advanced, decadent societies. We may not be there yet, but it’s coming up on the horizon, like a slouching beast.