Field Sports

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Field Sports

Postby thepaladin on Wednesday, 11 February 2009, 8:07 pm

I don't know how others here feel, but I have never been that interested in spectator sports, i have always enjoyed field sports. I'm not sure what would be the longest time I have camped at a time would be (tent camping...not camper). I enjoy these and other outdoor activities. Anyone else?
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Re: Field Sports

Postby owlcroft on Saturday, 08 August 2009, 11:15 pm

How's this for a delayed response? Anyway . . . .

I'm not quite sure what "field sports" includes; your mention of camping out suggests you mean outdoor activities rather than sports.

As to spectator sports, my feeling, which may well be idiosyncratic, is that a sport is interesting to watch in proportion as there is an element of intellect in its play (as opposed to sheer physical ability). Of course, in all sports, whether as a participant or as a spectator, there is some degree of intellect--strategies and tactics enter into everything from boxing to basketball. But the proportion of success that can be ascribed to cleverness and consideration, and especially the degree to which the spectators can think along with the players, is--I think--the chief factor.

For the spectators to be able to think along, the sport ought to proceed in small spasms of action followed by periods when the players, and the spectators, are contemplating the next move. That notably reduces, at least in American sports, to football and baseball. My feeling is that football remains, for all the complicated play calls, a basically physical sport. In baseball, however, while some remarkable physical abilities are required, the element of planning and consideration is much greater, notably in the batter-pitcher confrontation. I'll stop here lest this go off-topic (or further off-topic).

In my youth I engaged in a lot of outdoor activities, though not sports. At college I belonged to the so-called "Outing Club", and we did things like rappeling down cliffs (what fun for the beginner--you walk off the cliff edge backward, so to speak) and camping out and--my chief interest back then--spelunking. I went to school in upstate New York, where there are quite a few caves and even caverns. Spelunking can be a lot of fun, but my, oh my, you'd best not be in the least claustrophobic. There are passages where you have to crawl flat on your belly for a great many yards under a "roof" about 10 or 12 inches high (head sideways to fit). Or there was "the gun barrel", a many-yards-long straight passage, roughly circular and perhaps two feet in diameter: whatever position you entered it in (typically one arm forward, one arm back) was how you went through it. Invariably, some newcomer would get panic-stuck half-way through and have to be talked calmly out. Or there are the subterranean water flows, through which you wade with the water waist- or even chest-high (and cold--cave air and water are typically about 60 degrees).

When my lady and I toured northen Europe for some months (many years ago, when we were young and spry), we lived out of a Volkswagon camper, stopping once every few days in a B&B or inn to take a shower (or, more commonly, a bath).

Ah, youth . . . .
Cordially,
Eric Walker, webmaster
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Re: Field Sports

Postby fantomex on Friday, 27 April 2012, 11:09 am

I agree about the most entertaining sports having an intellectual element, but I think that baseball is a poor example (or of physical ability, for that matter).

Your point that the spectator should be able to "think along" is interesting, but I think you apply it incorrectly. For example, boxing (a sport I enjoy) is fast, but that doesn't mean you can't "think along", unless you limit your definition of thinking to only include talking to yourself in your head, which seems arbitrarily restrictive.
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