Sine Qua Nonsense

The Sports We Should Be Playing

If you are a reader of this blog, you probably saw last week’s story about the Telecommandos and their valiant efforts to remain buoyant while playing Intramural Battleship. This unusual athletic endeavor by members of the department made me think about other sports our faculty, staff and graduate students should participate in together. Sure, we have a running group, a soccer team, and a few swimmers, but all those are conventional. Let’s think outside the box.

Assistant professors must always strive higher and higher in order to get tenure. Springboarding would be the perfect sport for them. Each person gets a log, an axe and a few springboards. They have to chip away at a log just enough to stick a springboard in the hole, climb on it, carve a little cranny for the next springboard, and so on. The first person to chop the top of the log wins. Victory usually comes with a monetary prize, but we can substitute that with the title of “Associate Professor”.

Another interesting sport is bed racing. Invented in Knaresborough, England, this competition requires six runners and one person who just sits in a four-wheeled, floatable bed. The six runners push the bed along the track before crossing a river with it. It would only be proper that a full professor sit in bed and graduate students do all the hard work. Think of the running part as coursework, and the river as the thesis or dissertation.

For those in the field of political communication, chess boxing would be a great way to burn calories and take out aggression. The motto of the World Chess Boxing Organization is “Fighting is done in the ring and wars are waged on the board”. As Carl von Clausewitz said, war is the continuation of politics by other means. Boxing is like politics, and chess is its natural continuation. The game is played in alternating rounds of the two types of competition. If you’re not that good at chess, just turn your opponents’ brain into cheese during the boxing rounds, and you’ll achieve a checkmate in no time.

Chauvinists think it is a woman’s job to do laundry and iron clothes. Feminists in our department can fight the patriarchy with an ironic twist on this oppressive opinion. They should take part in Extreme Ironing, where people take ironing equipment, including board and all, to the tops of mountains, little boats in the middle of the ocean and other crazy locations. So, who wants to be the first person to iron a shirt on top of that crane outside our building or while riding the Wells Library elevators?

Finally, for the knitters who roam our halls, the Woolsack Race can get you back in shape. Participants run up and down a hill with a sack of wool on their backs. How heavy can wool be, really? Sign up for the Woolsack Race I’m organizing next week. The first place finisher will take home all the wool he or she can carry, and will also win the privilege of making me a scarf.

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