Did you know that football only sees around 11 minutes of action in the average game? The rest is just filler, commercials, and line outs. Baseball isn’t much better. People who love that game seem to spend more time pouring over statistics than they do actually watching it. It’s a game for closet statisticians and anoraks who love acronyms.
So with that said, what sports are there around the world that don’t suffer from the same flaws as some of our most cherished staples here at home. Let’s take a look.
Yes, that’s right – it’s not a typo. Chessboxing is a real thing. It basically involves two guys sitting opposite each other in boxing gear, playing a game of chess. It’s mostly played by nerds since any real boxer would completely dominate. The game is either won by checkmate, knocking your opponent out, or if your opponent walks away from the table. You never know whether it’s going to be left rook to D4 or left hook to your upper jaw. It’s not all that fun to watch – but then again, neither is football.
Sure, we’ve had surfing for a long time. But outside of a niche community, it’s never really gained widespread popularity, like it has in Australia. But with the rise of companies like Surf Ride making surfing something fashionable, it’s likely that it will become more mainstream over the next few years.
There are two main problems with the sport. The first is that its events and stars aren’t particularly high profile. Yes, some companies do sponsor events where the best in the world thrash it out to win a world title. But few people outside of the sport have ever heard any of the big names. The second is that it is hard to do, but this is becoming less of a problem over time, thanks to intermediate sports, like paddle boarding.
Strongman competitions have been a staple in northern Europe and Russia since they first went international back in the 1970s. World’s Strongest Man features 400 lb giants hurl logs, lift up Atlas stones and deadlift cars. In recent years, the sport has been dominated by an American called Brian Shaw with many people coming to the conclusions that he is probably the strongest man in history. Shaw recently won the 2016 world title thanks to impressive performances in the deadlift and the Atlas stones.
Strongman isn’t just about lifting the heavy weights. It’s also about following the lifestyle of these beast-men and how they get as strong as they do. Shaw, for instance, eats about eight meals a day, each of which comprises more than a pound of meat, as well as a healthy serving of veggies and potatoes.
Thanks to the cult video game Mirror’s Edge released back in 2008, many people are now getting into parkour. It’s still to hit the US in the same way that it has Britain and France, but it’s coming our way soon. The activity involves jumping and running across objects in the urban environment, making it look as natural as possible in the process.