While over at my mother’s house on Saturday, my wife, Baby E, and I watched the Kentucky Derby. Personally, I didn’t want to watch it, but Baby E wanted to see the ‘horsies’. During NBC’s broadcast, the announcer said something that I had heard many times before. It was a quote from somebody who said that the Kentucky Derby was, “the most exciting two minutes in sports”.
As I sat there, I kept thinking to myself that there were many things wrong with that statement. First, and foremost, is that the Kentucky Derby is not exciting…..at all. I suppose if you had a bunch of money bet on it, it might be somewhat more interesting. Even that doesn’t make it exciting, though. It’s just horses running around a track once.
Most importantly, it can’t be “the most exciting two minutes in sports” because it’s not a sport. Sorry, but horse racing is not a sport.
It’s not alone in the ‘not a sport’ category. There are many things on sports channels that aren’t sports. Auto racing isn’t a sport. Poker isn’t a sport.
The reason they’re not sports? It’s very simple. With horse racing, auto racing, and poker, you don’t have full control over how well you do.
In actual sports, such as baseball, football, or soccer, you do as well as you can physically do. In horse racing, you could be the best jockey on the planet, but if you have a bad horse, you’re not going to win. In auto racing, if you don’t have a good car, it doesn’t matter that you’re the best driver. You could be the best poker player, but if you don’t get the cards, it can make you lose.
Now, I’m not saying that that those things do not take skill to do. They do. Racing and cards require skill to be good at them. However, that doesn’t make them sports.