Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Have sports actually gotten to be easier to play over the years? Think about it. Most sports these days include equipment to play with whether they be bats, clubs, rackets, skies, etc. And in most sports this equipment is getting better and better allowing the athletes using them to be worse and worse. Lets look at golf and tennis for the time being. Pull out one of your old grandfather’s one woods or moms old tennis racket and you’ll find a much smaller, heavier cousin of today’s extreme gear. The old golf clubs and tennis rackets we actually made of wood and the heads were rather small. A golfer needed to hit his ball perfectly in the center of his wooden club head to hit a beauty off the tee. A tennis player had very little room for error as well to get some topspin on the ball sending it back over the net toward his opponent. Now head into any sporting goods store and see the latest; super light, metallic golf clubs with heads bigger than beach balls and very light weight titanium rackets with mesh covering more surface area than my aunt Sally.

Now a golfer doesn’t even have to hit the ball center or swing with any type muscle to drill the ball home while a tennis player could hit a ball with his eyes closed! So while it looks like our athletes have improved over the years, really they don’t need to be as good as they once were to look like they are better. Technology makes the sports what they are today. Baseball bats can hit balls further today than ever before, parabolic skies make flying down the slopes easier than ever, shoes help you jump higher, play longer. Performance enhancers make you stronger, more focused. Even swim suits have developed to aid the swimmer with less drag.

But maybe this is the essence of sport itself. Perhaps sport does need to evolve with the times in order to keep all our interests. There has to be some kind of limit to which the human body can perform and what is the fun of sport if we have to stop there?

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