For some reason, I felt the need to blog about the age old debate between UFC and Pigeon Racing. Say what??? Read on….
A couple of strange things happened in the past few weeks or so. My enjoyable read of a couple of well known daily publications was interrupted – not once, but twice – by a couple of specific items I had noted and each time left me distracted for a few minutes afterwards. So much so, I lost track of the subsequent articles read. Given both were part of the Sports section, I felt the need to make a decision once and for all – based on a fictional scenario to help me decide of course.
So what is the decision and scenario:
If there was one more sport to be admitted as officially being considered in the “Sports” category ever, which is more worthy – UFC or Pigeon Racing???
I know, I know, a topic everyone has debated endlessly over the years!!
So maybe a topic many have debated over the years!!??
Ok, so maybe a topic I may be the first to ever debate actually. (Yes, I’m weird – it’s official now and in print)
So here goes…
How did I get here to even think about posing this conundrum? To expand on the introduction above, my enjoyable read was twice interrupted by thinking both UFC and Pigeon Racing are not Sports in my mind. That was my immediate reaction to both of these, lets call them, interests as I read vastly different ink on the relevant broadsheets of interest over my dark rye, ham and salad sandwich recently.
UFC, a specific championship of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), has never been a sport in my mind. More akin to some sort of barbaric war which was waged to actually conquer and gain land or power in a medieval era. Yet my read of the sports column was rudely interrupted with some review of a recent battle between a couple of unknown blokes and it sounds like many people (local thugs maybe?) tuned in?? Odd.
Pigeon Racing jumped out at me from the corner of my eye. As I reached the end of the sports pages one day, arriving at the rarely noted pages of scores from various sports, both local and overseas. There it was, among the lists from sports such as the EPL, Serie A, Rubgy, Volleyball and a few others. The bold header – Pigeon Racing. Really, this is a sport?? Unbelievable. I just hope they add some scores from the next Uno Classic at the Walkerville RSL then for consistency.
So with two so-called sports in the paper (ah… again, interests in my mind), I felt the need to consider if I had to choose one or the other to truly accept as a sport, which one would it be?? Alas my question above which I break down into each interest below, followed by my inevitable conclusion.
Having never watched a UFC event, and happily declaring I never intend to, my thinking and research on this interest is based on what I can find online and what has been pushed in front of me in mainstream media. I don’t necessarily have an issue with the fact this interest exists, and since I don’t like it, I don’t tune into it. Those who like it, feel free to tune in as desired. No problemo.
Except when this interest does creep into the mainstream, the thinking that we all – for some reason – could care about two people beating the living daylights out of each other and want to watch or read about it next to Roger Federer, Lewis Hamilton and the Golden State Warriors. When it is forced upon us in this way, we lose the ability to tune out and so do our kids and others easily influenced into thinking this sort of interest should be accepted.
On the flip side, well boxing is accepted and has been for generations. It’s an Olympic sport too, along with fencing, taekwondo, and wrestling. Karate has also been added for 2020. So with these combat sports long accepted into the mainstream, maybe the interest of UFC isn’t far off the mark?? It certainly combative. All have rules and referees. Although it doesn’t appeal to me personal palate, perhaps just perhaps I could make an exception and move it into the sports category??
Having never watched a Pigeon race, and happily declaring I am unlikely ever to, my thinking and research on this interest is based on what I can find online and what has been pushed in front of me in mainstream media. I don’t necessarily have an issue with the fact this interest exists, and since I don’t like it, I don’t tune into it. Those who like it, feel free to tune in as desired. No problemo (once again!!)
However, now every time I come across that 12-character heading as I scan the depths of my sports section I will forever be distracted by the fact this interest is even documented within said sports section. The sporting legend Bill Lawry loves these birds and also really enjoys this interest judging by some of his classic commentary in over 30+ years of Aussie cricket summers. But it just doesn’t stack up in the same section featuring Ronaldo, Usain Bolt and the Bledisloe Cup. It seems like a misprint to me, belonging near the daily shipping arrivals, legal notices and tidal observations instead. Those who are interested will surely find it there rather than have it take my focus off world class identities?
Ah but hang on, why neglect the humble pigeon? Horses get their fair share of space in the centre of the publication. Dogs for that matter too. Racing of animals is watched and loved by many all around the world, often quite interesting and exciting. Pigeons were bred to carry messages and early on, no doubt, owners challenged their peers to a race to find out who could deliver a message the quickest. Although it doesn’t appeal to me personal palate, perhaps just perhaps I could make an exception and move it into the sports category??
One of these interests features:
- a clear start
- questionable objective scoring which is open to fault, bribery and general differing opinions
- followed by an at times questionable ending measured by some kind of final score – albeit sometimes even death, permanent disablement, and lifelong injuries to boot
The other features:
- a clear start
- offers precision timing down to the fractions of a second
- an absolute first-past-the-post ending
One of these interests, if performed outside of the designated environment, would be subject to penalties in almost every court of law around the world. It also provides a case for some to consider rendering such a relevant and worthwhile cause as promoting the dangers of the ‘coward punch’ as pointless.
The other, if performed outside of the designated environment, it’s just observing the natural habitat of one of the worlds most popular birds. Suitable to witness by all ages, unobtrusive, and not in conflict of any such worthwhile cause.
One of these interests attracted a record crowd of over 55,000 spectators, while the other barely rates a mention of any crowds and is most likely observed by only those participating in the interest along with their closest friends and family at best.
So with this in mind, by a score of 2-1, the winner and undisputed interest to take the final fictional place among the category of sports ever …