Top Sports for Slobs

Top Sports for Slobs

One of the great benefits of living in the 21st century is that you can become a sports star without being an athlete. Whilst the men of yesteryear toiled to perfect their physiques and master kinetic skills, both of which were required to reach the peak within their various sporting disciplines, the new generation of sportsmen are instead focusing on eating more hamburgers.

Darts

LONDON - DECEMBER 30: Raymond van Barneveld of the Netherlands throws a dart during his third round match against Ronnie Baxter of England during the 2009 Ladbrokes.com PDC World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace on December 30, 2008 in London, England. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

How the pub game of darts transformed itself into a multi-million pound sport with huge sponsorship deals and live broadcasts on Sky Sports is anyone’s guess. One thing is for sure – it had nothing to do with the athletic prowess of participants.

Witness the likes of Dutch darts maestro Raymond van Barneveld, whose imposing physique strongly suggests that most of his training is done in Berlin during the Oktoberfest, where he prepares for the World Darts Championship by drinking beer by the litre, slapping blonde barmaids on the bum, and eating pork sausages.

Cricket

Kingston, JAMAICA: Pakistani cricketer Inzamam-ul-Haq watches his teammates during a practice session at the Sabina Park Cricket Ground in Kingston, 20 March 2007. The colorful and controversial Inzamam-ul-Haq brings the curtain down on his one-day career in Kingston 21 March as Pakistan end their tragedy-hit World Cup with a match against Zimbabwe. AFP PHOTO/Jewel SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

Cricketers try very hard to give the impression that their sport requires athletic fitness and prowess. While this may be true at times, it certainly isn’t always true, and proof of this can be found by examining several of the game’s legends, many of whom rose to the top of the game in spite of lugging extra tonnage around the cricket field.

Australian spin wizard Shane Warne, for example, was quite open about the fact that his training mostly involved the eating of pies. The only part of Warne’s body that needed to be fit were the fingers of his bowling hand, which he exercised by sending dirty text messages to ex-girlfriends.

Then there was Pakistani batsman Inzamam-ul-Haq, who apparently fed out of a trough during team dinners. Ul-Haq’s genius was directly related to his girth, as he appears to have developed his devastating batting style to score most of his runs off boundaries, and thereby save himself the effort of having to run to the other end of the wicket.

Horseracing

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 2: Jockey's are presented to the Television audience in the weigh in room during The Emirates Melbourne Cup Flemington Racecourse November 2, 2004 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mark Dadswell/Getty Images)

Whilst most sports encourage players to bulk up their physiques and increase their strength, horseracing instead encourages its athletes to transform themselves into anorexics. No other profession, bar professional modelling, places such pressure on individuals to lose weight. In fact, jockeys spend a significant portion of their lives attempting to lose weight and hide from rogue calories.

To be fair to these sportsmen, they are known for being durable despite their somewhat puny physical appearance, with many surviving multiple serious injuries during their careers.

Poker

LAS VEGAS - JULY 14: Poker player Mike 'The Mouth' Matusow (R) of Las Vegas reacts after knocking out another player during the sixth round of the World Series of Poker no-limit Texas Hold 'em main event at Binion's Horseshoe Gambling Hall and Hotel July 14, 2005 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Over 5,600 players signed up for the event which began on July 7 and the final nine players wil compete for the top prize of $7.5 million on Friday's final table. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Poker stretches the term ‘sportsman’ to the limits of credibility. In fact, one look at the likes of Doyle Brunson, Mike Matusow and Tony ‘the windbag’ G, should be enough to convince any rational person that poker is entirely undeserving of being labelled a sport.

Poker players train for their discipline in various ways. Whilst the likes of Daniel Negreanu and Chris Ferguson show some genuine athletic talent, the rest seem to prepare for big tournaments by waking up at the crack of dawn, to eat, drink and explore the full range of pharmaceutical stimulants available in Las Vegas.

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