the world’s most challenging sport.

17 02 2011

I’ve been part of this particular debate multiple times now:
What is the most difficult sport to play?

I’m talking overall.
When all things have been factored in, what sport is the most challenging and demanding of its participants?

What would you guess?

I’ve heard a couple different arguments.

The hardest part about baseball is trying to hit the blasted ball.
Have you ever struggled at the batting cages?
I have. I think I was only on the 35 mph setting as well. It’s pretty hard to hit that little bugger.

As far as my golf game is concerned, I’d say that whole game is challenging. But, not very physically demanding.

Soccer always gets my vote. Soccer consists of 2 non-stop 45 minute halves. That is a lot of running. You also have to be mentally sharp in order to read gaps in the defense or protect your own side of the pitch.

Every time I have been part of one of these debates it usually ends with everyone more entrenched in their previous views (pretty much standard for all debates, right?).

Well, Google has made debates like this a little more conclusive. After my latest sports encounter I decided to see if any one has tried comparing sports.

I think ESPN basically has the answers for anything and everything sports related.
This debate is no exception.

They ranked EVERY sport based on the following categories:

ENDURANCE: The ability to continue to perform a skill or action for long periods of time. Example: Lance Armstrong
STRENGTH: The ability to produce force. Example: NFL linebackers.
POWER: The ability to produce strength in the shortest possible time. Example: Barry Bonds.
SPEED: The ability to move quickly. Example: Marion Jones, Maurice Green.
AGILITY: The ability to change direction quickly. Example: Derek Jeter, Mia Hamm.
FLEXIBILITY: The ability to stretch the joints across a large range of motion. Example: Gymnasts, divers.
NERVE: The ability to overcome fear. Example: High-board divers, race-car drivers, ski jumpers.
DURABILITY: The ability to withstand physical punishment over a long period of time. Example: NBA/NHL players.
HAND-EYE COORDINATION: The ability to react quickly to sensory perception. Example: A hitter reacting to a breaking pitch; a drag racer timing acceleration to the green light.
ANALYTIC APTITUDE: The ability to evaluate and react appropriately to strategic situations. Example: Joe Montana reading a defense; basketball point guard on a fast break.

Each sport was given a number ranking from 1-10 based on how demanding the sport was in the particular category. The score were then compiled to give each sport a score out of 100. The sport with the highest overall number is the “world’s toughest sport”.

What sport won?


Boxing? Really?

It only gets more bizarre.
Here are the top ten:

Ice Hockey.
Martial Arts.

To be fair, I haven’t played all of these sports at a competitive level, so I guess I am in no position to make official judgments.

I was shocked to see Soccer SO far down the list.

Well, the next time your friends are bantering about how difficult their sport is, just let them know it’s nothing compared to boxing.

I wonder how warfare would rank next to some of these sports.
I mean Ammon single handedly chopped off a crap load of arms and then hit some guys with a sling shot and stones. It would seem that he would probably be ranked near the top of this list, right?
“But Ammon stood forth and began to cast stones at them with his sling…
But behold, every man that lifted his club to smite Ammon, he smote off their arms with his sword; for he did withstand their blows by smiting their arms with the edge of his sword, insomuch that they began to be astonished, and began to flee before him; yea, and they were not few in number; and he caused them to flee by the strength of his arm.” (Alma 17:36-37)

? What do you think is the most demanding sport?

the only brawl that begins with a prayer.

18 09 2010

Do you play sports with other Mormons?

If you do, then you understand the reality of the this blog posts title. There is something strange about LDS people (guys) and competitive sports. It’s as if all of those primary songs about loving your neighbor are pushed aside and replaced by something by Rage Against the Machine.

“ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John 13:35)

My first “brawl that begins with a prayer” experience was playing Stake basketball as a youth. I can remember playing a game against the Friendswood ward (at the time known for very athletic youth) and not even halfway through the game we had to send my buddy Jamie to the hospital for stitches because he got pushed on a breakaway into the stage.

Years later I joined the ranks of thousands of BYU students who participate in Intramural sports. Intramural sports are for people who love sports but aren’t good enough to play at the collegiate level. (That’s me and basically every other BYU student).

I played four years and did soccer, basketball and football. Never in my entire life have I witnessed such a high level of trash talking and “undercover” physical abuse.

In fact I am sad to admit that I have been part of several skirmishes on the field.

My worst offense?
I’m not sure I want to admit this.
Last Fall before I moved back home I was playing in a soccer game that got a little heated. I went in and challenged for the ball and the other guy got knocked over. His teammate came up behind me and said something I won’t even begin to write. I turned around and (before I finish this, let me just point out that I had just broken up with a girl I was engaged to, was just laid off, and basically was mentally in a bad place) said “what the f man? and then knocked him to the ground.

I know.
Immediate guilt and remorse.

It was crazy because I am typically so chill about everything. Part of me feels like that is the reason a lot of guys lose their cool. Things could be going wrong in their life, the game gets heated, somebody makes a comment or pushes them too far and then suddenly they SNAP!

I promised myself I would never react like that EVER again.
I haven’t.

But we had an intramural game this morning (my first one since I moved back) and I was instantly reminded of the sometimes brutal nature of the game.

It will never change – it’s just the nature of church sports I guess.

? Do you have any crazy intramural or church sports stories?

chip on your shoulder.

2 06 2010

“Chip on your shoulder”

Have you heard this phrase before?
It’s mostly used in sports.

“He’s played his entire career with a chip on his shoulder and that’s worked well for him.” (5 NFC South Players Ready to Pounce, ESPN)

Do you know where the phrase comes from?

The most accepted origin comes from the nineteenth century U.S. practice of starting a fight by placing a chip of wood on your shoulder, daring others to knock it off.

Today the phrase is often used to portray someone who has been slighted and feels an increased desire to prove his worth.

Here’s an example:

Mario Chalmers was a championship caliber college basketball player. Chalmers was projected to be a 1st round top 10 pick.

He was a second round 34th overall pick.

Chalmers felt more than slighted.
“Hell hath no fury quite like that of a scorned NBA draft pick.” (Chalmers Playing Well with Chip on Shoulder, ESPN)

It was his anger and frustration that fueled his desire to show everyone who passed on him that they made a big mistake.
And that the mistake would cost them.

I have a chip on my shoulder. (probably several)

It’s fuels my desire to hone my talents and abilities. It keeps me far from complacent or satisfied. It has created a sense of urgency in my life that is hard to explain.

And – it has created a desire to show those who doubted they made a big mistake.

I’ve been racking my brain to think of people in the scriptures who might have had a chip on their shoulder –
(the great thing about this blog is that a lot of the time I have to spend awhile thinking about the scriptures and how to tie them in to what’s on my mind)

The closest I can come up with is someone like Saul of Tarsus.

“And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord…” (Acts 9:1)

Saul was busy destroying the church.
He was converted and later became a prophet.

There had to have been some people who questioned the sincerity of his conversion.

If it had been me – I would have thought, “dang, I’m gonna have to be SUPER righteous to show everybody that I was sincerely converted.” (of course thoughts like this are why I’ll never be the prophet) haha

Or what about Alma the Younger and the sons of Mosiah?

People must have doubted. They seem like the type that would like to prove the doubters wrong.

A couple questions today because I know my examples were a stretch…

? Can you think of a scripture example that works better than these of someone who had a chip on his/her shoulder?
? Have you ever had a chip on your shoulder?

scripture sports.

9 05 2010

After spending time with Grandma Hughes in Houston I came up to visit Dallas and Kailynn in Dallas.

Kailynn is my sister and Dallas my bro-in-law (but he’s basically just another brother)

They’re here in Dallas because Dallas landed a great accounting job with Deloitte.

They just purchased their first home and will be having their first baby this November!

I’m the oldest in the family, but all things point to Kailynn basically acting like the oldest!

She has always been more mature – even as kids.

Not much has changed.

They are an amazing couple. I have, and always will admire them.

We’ve done a lot of great things this week. One of the highlights was a trip to watch the Texas Rangers!

I’m not a huge baseball fan – BUT, when you’re in the park it’s a whole new world.

Ballpark hot dogs
Cool summer breeze
Instant friendships with strangers

It’s an experience everyone should have.

What kind of sports did they have back in the times of the Bible?

Well, the word ‘sports‘ doesn’t give you much:

“And it came to pass, when their hearts were merry, that they said, Call for Samson, that he may make us sport. And they called for Samson out of the prison house; and he made them sport: and they set him between the pillars.” (Judges 16:25)

Sport? Not what I was hoping for. It’d be nice to think of Moroni or Nephi or Samson playing football or soccer…

? Which scripture character would you like to see playing a sport and what sport would it be?

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