The Watchers Council Forum

Every week on Monday, the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week’s question: What’s Your Favorite Sport? Why?

The Daley Gator : Easy, regular season college football is number 1. Love sports, but the passion of college football is unmatched. I am more passionate about my Gators than any other sports team I support. My only knock on the game is that the manner in which a champion is crowned is sub-standard. Oh it is getting better, at least we have a 4 -tea playoff now, but we should double that number.

My favorite post-season sport is easy too, the Stanley Cup Playoffs are far and away the most entertaining, dramatic, and unpredictable in sports. And nothing in sports matches an overtime playoff contest where, as a fan, your team is a split second from defeat or victory for an unspecified period of time. The OT might end in seconds, it might to to a second, third, fourth OT, maybe longer. And the grit these teams show? Phenomenal!

Stately McDaniel Manor : I much prefer participating in sports to watching them on television, in part because during the school year, I have no time for television in general, and certainly none for lengthy sports broadcasts. During my younger years, I was a runner, and completed several marathons and a wide variety of shorter events. In fact, my wife and I ran the first ever Devil Tower Death Run, and it nearly was, too.

These days, I participate in three primary sports. Bicycling is important not only for conditioning, but fun as well. Due to a neck injury I suffered during my police days, I can’t right an upright bike, and about two decades ago, switched to recumbents. Since then, I’ve ridden a Lightning P38, a Rans V-Rex, and my current steed, a Terra Trike Sportster. I switched because my wife is a bit older than me, and is experiencing the kinds of minor balance unsteadiness that accompanies aging. We thought we’d get ahead of that and go for trikes, and we haven’t looked back. We ride from 16-40 miles on normal training rides.

I also participate in European and Japanese fencing, which is enormous fun, and also keeps the reflexes and mind sharp. But so does my third sporting hobby: shooting.

Not only does shooting maintain the brain, not only is it enormously enjoyable, it keeps my skills sharp in case they’re needed. Besides, gun ownership really aggravates progressives. I primarily shoot AR pattern rifles and semiautomatic handguns, though do longer range shooting with a .308 bolt gun, and a .17 HMR semiautomatic as well. This review of one of my toys–the H&K MP5 SD6–has been constantly popular.

The Glittering Eye :I don’t follow professional or amateur athletics. It just doesn’t interest me.

Over the years I’ve been on organized teams or individual events in baseball, soccer, wrestling, fencing, judo, and kendo. Of all of the sports I’ve ever practiced I love kendo the most. I’d be doing it now if I weren’t so old and broken down. Nothing matches it.

GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD : Baseball. Always loved it.

Laura Rambeau Lee, Right Reason : The one sport I make it a point to watch is figure skating. I am captivated by the grace and elegance of the women skaters; the strength and power of the men skaters; and the sheer beauty and synchronicity of the pair skaters and ice dancers. Of course the fact that their routines are all choreographed to great pieces of music adds to my wonder and delight as these athletes push their bodies to perfect ever more difficult jumps and combinations of jumps.

Bookworm Room : That’s an easy one: My favorite sport is Martial Arts. It pings my happy meter on so many levels.

First, utilitarian person that I am, I love that it teaches a practical skill. I think every girl should know how to throw a good hard punch and an equally hard kick. With luck, knowing that she can do those things will give her the kind of body confidence that means she’ll never actually have to use them. Predators like easy victims and a girl who looks as if she can hit back is definitely not the slowest gazelle in the herd.

Second, Martial Arts provides a fantastic aerobic workout. When you’re sparring with someone, you’re using every part of your body, including your fingers and toes.

Third, Martial Arts is great for bone density — as long as you don’t trash your joints along the way when working out on the bags or wrestling.

Fourth, Martial Arts is never boring. I can’t stand aerobics because you just flap and kick aimlessly for way too long. With Martial Arts, even when you do repetitive drills, you’re constantly improving your form. And when you’re sparring or, in the case of Brazilian jiu-jitsu, rolling, it’s a dynamic situation that requires focus and mental agility. (Physical agility helps too, obviously.)

Fifth, a good dojo is a very tight community. When you’re constantly hitting people (not to hard) and sweating all over them, it’s hard not to become friends. But please note the emphasis on a “good” dojo. Not all of them have that good feel and you shouldn’t stick around in a dojo that doesn’t feel comfortable.

Sixth, sometimes it just feels really good to hard something very, very hard. We all have days like that and people who do Martial Arts get to act on that impulse in a non-destructive way.

Well, there you have it.

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum. And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere, and you won’t want to miss it.

The Watcher’s Council can also be followed on Facebook and Twitter. Please, gentle readers, return each Friday, same bat-time, same bat channel, for the results of each week’s voting.

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