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Guys, I hate to tell you this, but the sports we grew up with won’t be around forever. Baseball’s popularity sadly declines with each year, and it’s only a matter of time until every moderately protective parent prevents her kid from playing football, which will dry up the talent pool of the current athletic hegemon. Basketball will probably be okay for a while, but we now know that every owner is one racist comment away from no longer being an owner, and given that 28 of the 30 owners are rich white guys, this doesn’t statistically bode well. To fill the void of our favorite sports leaving us, I have a few replacement ideas.
1. Paper Basketball
How many hours have we spent in the office trying to one-up each other with fancy trick shots and fadeaways in rolling chairs using a simple, wadded up husk of a report we weren’t going to read anyway? Extrapolate that out to every other office in America and you have a huge training ground of untapped athletic talent. We’re all ex-ballplayers, ex-pickup ballers, ex-exercisers at this point. We’re all out of lower rungs on the athletic ladder, so let’s go into the basement shall we? This can take whatever form we want. It could be more of a HORSE-type game where you try to one-up each other’s shots or it could be some kind of competitive situation with office chairs, similar to wheelchair basketball. Depends on how much effort you want to put in, I suppose, and given the nature of paper basketball, I’m assuming it’s not much.
2. Amateur Competitive Eating
I don’t give a shit about watching Joey Chestnut throw down 493 hot dogs with a weird water dunk, science method. Once I know a guy can do that, I no longer want to watch it again. You know what I do want? A weekly show where randoms from all over the country who fashion themselves big eaters show up and eat a bunch of something, but the exact identity of the food isn’t revealed until they show up–sort of like how “Chopped” is with mystery ingredients. You might be able to slug down a silly number of slices of pizza, but what happens if the item turns out to be fried chicken drumsticks? You still got it in you? It’ll be the best combination of absurdly fat guys, college offensive linemen, and random skinny guys who shock everyone. We’ll call it “So You Think You Can (Explode Your) Pants.”
3. Segway Gladiators
Segways are silly machines that are absurdly safe to ride, so what if we made them unsafe? What if you put a bunch of guys in pads, souped up the engines, sent them through a twisty-turny course, and let them run into and punch each other? Hell, give each guy a foam bat and let them bludgeon one another like knights fighting from horses. In fact, it would basically be like a “Ben-Hur”-style chariot race, only there’s one guy on each machine, and he’s responsible for both driving and fighting. Imagine these guys speeding around at 20 or 30 miles an hour flailing at each other with blunt objects. Are you really telling me you wouldn’t be all in on that idea?
4. Kicking Ball Game
Some sort of sport that has a ball that you can only use your feet to maneuver. Maybe some sort of rectangular goal that you try to kick it into. I’ve heard rumors that some isolated cultures have games of this nature in other parts of the world, but I’m not sure if that’s true. We should work on it, though. Definitely the type of game that has the potential to end in a tie, though. I like that.
5. Couch Racing
No, not the kind where goofy engineering types with too much time on their hands put a sofa on a chassis, give it an engine, and drive around on it. I’m talking about the race to go nowhere. It’s an anti-race. My roommates and I do it basically every Sunday. You sprawl out on your spot on the couch, and then you see who can move around the least. Getting up for bathroom breaks is the only excusable movement. Other than that, you have to arrange for everything to be brought to you, or time it perfectly with your restroom breaks. If you need food or a beverage, you have to talk whoever else is in the room into getting it for you. Usually it’s about being able to time it with your buddy’s restroom break schedule, or fitting it in with your own. If you can manage to walk out of the john at the exact moment when the doorbell rings with your pizza on the other side, that’s how you know you’ve hit the next level in this sport. I’d like to see where this thing can go if we start offering prizes other than “Your hangover isn’t quite as bad if you move as little as possible.”