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August 19, 2013 | by  | in Opinion |
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Hoopin’ and Hollerin’ – That’s Not a Sport, Bro

As a worldwide sport-loving family, we sure have a lot of failings. I mean, there’s the obvious and worst ones, like when we riot after our teams lose and cause wars, or when we throw away our livelihoods on repeated $10 multis. Then there are the medium-level transgressions, like getting our (k)nickers in a twist over shocking DRS decisions and magical bat-tape. Plenty of column inches have been devoted to those problems, but there will never be enough discussion on the frankly alarming rate at which we’re making full-blown sports out of silly pastimes.

By way of example, let me point you to MLG, otherwise known as Major League Gaming. That’s a real organisation that exists, with a logo and everything. Look, I love to play video games as much as the next Steam subscriber. Really, I do. I’m a Star Citizen backer, for God’s sake. But whenever I read about how seriously some people take bloody Call of Duty or StarCraft, I can’t help but weep.

The fact that people are watching you play a game of some kind does not elevate it to the level of ‘sport’. Take something like beer pong, say. There are some fairly big games of that around. I’ve been to GeoSoc events with more spectators than many rugby games. But that does not make it a sport. In the US, there are enormous tournaments where they play with water instead, to keep it professional. I’m sorry, but that is wrong on a fundamental level. That game was created to provide a distraction while sinking ludicrous volumes of foul-tasting light beer. The same may be said about baseball, too, but let’s not get caught up in specifics.

Back to StarCraft for a moment. You might argue that it’s a sport because it’s semi-professional. People’s families are risking potential starvation based on the construction of additional pylons (or lack thereof). That argument holds no truck with this writer. No matter how big and important something gets, you can’t just decide that it has gone beyond a simulated contest of clicking.

What I’m driving at here is that we need to be more vigilant, sports fans of the world. The next time you see someone bragging to their friends over a game of flip cup about Team SWAT totally being a sport now, you have my permission to take them out with a dive-tackle from the side.

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