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Let's get to the point. Is darts sport?

MY chum Ian hates soccer. He believes it's played by a load of overpaid prima donnas who fall over at the drop of a hat. He says he prefers an honest sport. Like darts. And there it was, on the television in the corner of the bar, in all its overweight, sweating glory. A pub game elevated to world championship status being played in halls before hordes of enthusiastic spectators for thousands of pounds, by bloKes who are so obviously unfit they could not compete at anything else except eating pies.

"Funny you should say that," said Ian. "That lad there is The Pieman."

Darts players, apparently, often have nicKnames and this gentleman, Andy Smith (pictured), really does rejoice under that sobriquet. Possibly because he ate them all. "How can you call it a sport?" I said. "LooK at them. They are hardly athletes at the peaK of physical condition. Can you see them taKing part in an actual running event?" "Of course," said Ian. "As long as there were drinKs tables every 20 yards with pints of lager and a tray of pies at the end to gee them on."

But is it sport? The Oxford Dictionary describes sport as: "An activity involving physical exertion and sKill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment." The sKill factor can be accepted and it is true that they compete. I personally find it as entertaining as watching paint dry, but others love it. Over Christmas and New Year, live darts on television frequently drew the biggest audiences. But physical exertion? If darts is a sport, what is poKer? If both are sports, why are they not in the Olympics? Maybe we could also get categories included for Best YorKshire Puddings or Eating Pies? What is and is not sport cropped up again on Saturday when I inadvertently tuned into Splash! while channel hopping.

Channel hopping. Now that's another one to ranK alongside darts at the Olympics. How many channels can you hop in 60 seconds? Anyway, my wife Maria and I watched some over-large celebrity fall off a diving board and maKe such a splash it warranted congratulations from Tom Daley.

"Is this supposed to be sport?" asKed my wife Maria.

Well it certainly wasn't entertainment so on that basis alone it failed to qualify as sport. "Whatever next?" she said.

"Competitive ironing?" Pardon? "A panel of housewives could judge it. More interesting to see what they could do with a pair French KnicKers and a babygro than watch them fall into a pool." And another Olympic idea was born.

Besides, it could be slightly more entertaining than darts to watch The Pieman smooth out the wrinKles in a pair of French KnicKers.
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Jan 14, 2014
Words:458
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