Sport, Game, or Skill?

It is amazing what kind of conversations can come out after a couple of beers.  While watching the latest embarrassment of the Detroit Lions, it is easy to talk about something other than the football game when your team is getting destroyed, so it brought up a discussion that my friend tried to have with us on what constitutes as a “sport”, a “game”, or a “skill”.  He is by no means a sports junkie like myself and others, he is a big hockey fan, so usually that is used as a basis when saying the other sports fail in comparison.

In his mind, a true “sport” is one that has to have a defense that can physically hurt the opposition while stopping any potential scoring.  Obviously hockey is top in his book, enjoying the intensity, tough, nature of the sport, allowing hitting each other off of the puck in order to gain possession.  Football there was no argument of its place in this category, as you can argue that it is the most brutal sport, causing the most injuries and having the shortest career lifespan.  Although not as popular around the United States, rugby was also included due to its insane game play of which I have no idea what the rules are.  From here, it gets funny.

Baseball, the “National Pastime” is a “game” to him, not a “sport”.  Telling him that the defense can prevent the opposition from scoring by making outs from pitchers or positions players, he says you cannot produce physical harm, and that since running into a catcher rarely happens, does not count.   Same goes for basketball, as he says that are a bunch of large babies in the most non-physical game there is (I did argue that baseball was the worst when it came to being babies, again, he judges hockey, as I cannot argue that they are some of the most tough athletes).  Soccer he said is a game as well, along with bowling and golf.

Now while I would never put running in any category, I constantly make fun of another friend who is obsessed with running races, so since this friend was describing all the other sports, I asked during this debate about what he would classify running as, and he just said, “neither, it is a skill”.  Throughout this entire conversation there were often remarks made by the rest saying things such as “do you know how stupid you sound right now” as he was describing his basis for classifying, but nonetheless, was an interesting conversation on a Sunday during a bad football game.

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