Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Sports for all...

Sometime in my childhood, we adopted a pretty rigorous approach to athletics. Teams, coaches, rules, schedules, and of course, parents. The result has been a few spectacularly skilled players the rest of us watch. But what about the fun we used to have inventing and then playing our own sports? Maybe it's not completely gone.
And it also poses an interesting question: Why don't more people invent new sports?

After all, we live in a golden age of play. The video-game industry is bristling with innovation: You've got haptic controllers on the Wii, titles like Eye of Judgment merging card-games with computers, and the increasingly strange economic activity in online worlds. Our culture is clearly hungry for new forms of play.

Yet how many new major physical sports have you played in recent years? Zero, I'll bet. The pantheon of major team-sports -- football, basketball, baseball, soccer, hockey -- hasn't significantly altered in decades.

So Russotti decided to expand the field a bit. By creating a new sport, he decided, he could level the playing field between athletes. When you join a pickup game of basketball or football, it's always slightly marred by the fact that some of the players will be totally experienced -- making it slightly more dull for the less-expert folks. A new sport wouldn't have that problem. [More]
[Please check the video link adjacent for a visual explanation.]

Between the obnoxious
all-closeup-all-the-time TV production style in vogue today (how many times do I have to see Andy Pettite peer over his glove?) and the adoption of frenetic quick cuts, sports especially have become hard to watch if you have any attention span at all. Throw in boorish (heck - violent) fan/player behavior, I have pretty well tuned out professional sports.

Still, I love a game, and I need the exercise.