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(ESPN)   ESPN "experts" rate boxing the toughest sport, baseball tougher than soccer, auto racing tougher than track and field. Masturbation is not even on the list   (sports.espn.go.com) divider line 279
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10900 clicks; posted to Main » on 29 Apr 2004 at 2:19 PM (10 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2004-04-29 03:29:34 PM  
2004-04-29 03:21:55 PM Holy_Snappers

Hockey is so tough. I mean being out there for your 3 minute lines is ssssooooo hard.


Theres a reason hockey players a dead tired after a 2 minute shift so maybe you should just not comment on something you have no clue about?

2004-04-29 03:24:50 PM MikeRaphon

Boxing is more difficult than hockey because there is no rest for the boxer. sure there is time between rounds, but there is no line substitution or timeouts or 15 minute intermissions.


Not even close, if you're a goalie you get a 20-30 second break before the next play. If you're a boxer you can just hug the ropes or your opponent just to milk the time. I don't consider it more skill to throw punches than the skill it takes to be a professional hockey player. Not even close to a comparison.
 
2004-04-29 03:30:08 PM  
amoricanCrowe and AJ33 - Amen.
 
2004-04-29 03:32:46 PM  
If you do it correctly, you shoudn't be able to last 3 whole minutes on the ice, if you can, you're not skating hard enough. everytime i finish a shift, I'm hyperventilating when I get back to the bench. I still say road cycling is harder.
 
2004-04-29 03:34:36 PM  
With the way they are rated, that list sounds about right to me.

I play hockey now, I played football on a team a few years ago, I played baseball for years, I did martial arts and contact sparring, and I played basketball.

Hockey is by far the hardest of those, and the hardest sport to master comparing positions. It takes some skill to swing a baseball bat, but 9/10 if you strike out it wasn't because of what you did but because you got beat by the pitcher... same as hockey, except its the goaltender beating the skater.
 
2004-04-29 03:35:33 PM  
Wow. OK, anyone in the U.S. has obviously played baseball before. That's a given. But I'll bet a lot of you have never played soccer, so you have no idea what you are talking about. There is pretty much ZERO standing around, it's just as dangerous as football, it requires WAY more finesse than any other game I can think of, and is one of the most entertaining games to watch out there (if you know the rules). Baseball is fairly lame to play, let alone watch. It's almost as boring as golf to watch. Now hockey, theres a fun sport to watch. And boxing. And MArtial Arts should be higher on the list too. Anyways, theres a reason that soccer is the MOST POPULAR SPORT IN THE WORLD. If you think otherwise you are a sheep.
 
2004-04-29 03:35:33 PM  
What the hell is up with this list, nearly half of it is things that aren't even sports. If it doesn't involve running and an object of circular cross-section, it's not a sport

Waterskiing: hobby, not a sport
Table tennis: hobby, not a sport
Track and field: means to an end, not a sport
Canoe/Kayak: hobby, not a sport
Horse racing: excellent form of gambling, not a sport
Golf: hobby, not a sport
Cheerleading: are you kidding me???
Roller skating: not a sport
Equestrian: expensive hobby, not a sport
Archery: hobby, not a sport
Curling: WTF??
Bowling: almost a sport
Shooting: Not a sport
Billiards: Good form of gambling, not a sport
Fishing: not a sport
 
2004-04-29 03:35:57 PM  
Toughest sport: buzkashi, an ancient game played by Afghan horsemen, in which the mounted contestants vie for a water-soaked calf carcass over a course miles long. The carcass needs to be placed in "the circle of justice" while avoiding the dozens of other riders who are attempting to prevent you from doing so. It's full contact, and severe injuries and death are not uncommon in the tussle for the "ball." The practice of stabbing your opponents was discontinued a few centuries ago, but riders still are allowed to hit other contestants with whips, or grab their reigns in a effort to unseat them.

Imagine a mounted Ultimate Fighting competition played by the Northern Alliance.

Face it, these guys make our sportmen look like the overpaid, spoiled babies that they are.

re: baseball. I love the sport, but I got to wonder why one of the "toughest" sports so frequenlty has guys getting injured just running up the first base line, not to mention has "athletes" like Mo Vaughn.
 
2004-04-29 03:37:04 PM  
Arguably the greatest basketball player of all time looked like a schmuck when he tried playing baseball.
 
2004-04-29 03:37:16 PM  
Ok, I get the feeling that half the people arguing with the article need to read it first.

They have an entire rating system and, based on the rating system along, I can't disagree with their findings. I DO believe that baseball takes a LOT more hand-eye coordination to play, I do believe that soccer takes vastly more endurance...well guess what? That's what they have on their chart.

Oh, and to the people complaining about boxing > hockey, boxing IS the toughest sport. Try getting out of the stool in the 10th round after taking 9 rounds of body shots.

I'd say that mixed martial arts fighting is the toughest, but not on their scale. It doesn't take as much endurange, IMO, because all the ones I've seen only last 3 rounds. Definitely takes more nerve, though, as the guy can break your limbs if you refuse to tap out.
 
2004-04-29 03:37:30 PM  
Hackey Sack, toughest sport ever, no question
 
2004-04-29 03:37:54 PM  
Hockey has to be the most difficult on the list - and I am not really even a hockey fan (I am a college football fan).

But the most difficult sport is 43-man squamish.
 
2004-04-29 03:38:14 PM  
Have these "experts" ever seen a rugby game?
Rugby below baseball = list means nothing.
 
2004-04-29 03:38:29 PM  
What separates boxing from most other sports is that there is no body armor, unless you want to count the gloves (but a gloveless fight would be pretty boring). It takes a great deal of mental toughness just to put yourself in the ring and get the shiat beaten out of you (which will happen whether you win or lose). No substitutions, no teammates, no second chances, you have to have superb hand-eye coordination, endurance, strength, speed, etc.

I don't know how to order the rest, most sports are pretty tough, but baseball most definitely is not "tough." Sure it requires skill, but a tough sport it is not.
 
2004-04-29 03:38:51 PM  
Anyways, theres a reason that soccer is the MOST POPULAR SPORT IN THE WORLD. If you think otherwise you are a sheep.

This is a hilarious pair of sentences. I guess we should just watch what everone else is watching. That's not sheep like at all.
 
2004-04-29 03:39:53 PM  
"i wanna be a race-car passenger, the guy that bugs the driver.
'Hey, man, can i turn on the radio?
you should slow down.
why do we gotta keep going in a circle?
can i put my foot out the window?
man, you really like Tide.'"
~mitch hedberg
 
2004-04-29 03:41:08 PM  
"I'm not an athlete lady, I'm a ballplayer." - John Kruk
 
2004-04-29 03:41:49 PM  
amen, Coliosis. basketball harder than water polo? i don't THINK so.
every sport has it own plus/minus factors, and such a ranking study is difficult to do. i have never been as tired as when i was done finishing playing a water polo match- but i've never reached points of instantaneous fatigue like in wrestling, or in rugby.
water polo is a more constant fatigue than hockey, or soccer, or basketball- even when you're not moving around, you're still having to tread/swim and keep the other guy from assaulting you.
cycling and rowing are tough, though. rowing doesn't rank real high on the ol' mental agility scale, though, but still should be higher.
and team handball should be at the same level as basketball. somebody has obviously not ever TRIED it.

somebody needs to make a java spreadsheet out of that so you could adjust as you see fit.
 
2004-04-29 03:42:14 PM  
They really ought to have done more research on some of the sports. I fence and play ice hockey... disregarding any argument over where these two sports ought to fall on the list, I can nitpick quite a bit at the individual characteristics assigned to them. For instance, ice hockey was rated as requiring more analytical ability than fencing (a.k.a. "physical chess"). Fencing ought to have been rated 10.0, well above most other sports there. On the other hand, the endurance rating for hockey was only slightly above that for fencing, which in turn wasn't that much higher than for golf. Come on, people: fencing a 15-touch direct elimination bout against an elite opponent requires about a million times more endurance than playing 18 holes of golf. Skating like hell for three periods of hockey while the other team is trying to take your head off requires even more than that. A far more accurate line for fencing would be:
endurance: 3.5 (with golf at 1.5, ice hockey at about 7, and boxing at 9.5)
strength: 2.0 (it's useful, but just not stressed, in fencing. Golf would also be about a 2. Hockey would be maybe 5.5, and boxing 8.)
power: 6.5 (this, on the other hand, is essential in fencing. Golf would rate at maybe 4 here, ice hockey at 6.5, and boxing maybe 7.5.)
speed: 3.0 (foot and hand speed are important in fencing, but that's more agility. It's not that important to be able to run quickly. Golf -> 0, ice hockey -> 8, boxing -> 2)
agility: 8.0 (changing directions quickly and maintaining body control is essential in fencing. Ice hockey -> 6.5, golf -> 1, boxing -> 5)
Flexibility: 7 (long lunges, contorted body evasions... golf -> 2, ice hockey -> 4, boxing -> 2?)
Nerves: 5 (winning close bouts requires nerves of steel, but it's nothing like trying to deflect in a 100 mph slap shot with your head, or stepping into the boxing ring with someone who's gonna take your head off. You get over the having-a-pointy-thing-poked-at-you thing pretty quickly. Golf -> 5 here for big money putts. Hockey -> 7, boxing -> 7)
Durability: 2 (fencing doesn't stress it to nearly the same extent as hockey. Hockey -> 8, boxing -> 8, golf -> 1.5)
Hand-eye coordination: 9.5 (fencing requires as much, if not more, than any other sport. The tip of a fencer's foil moves at hundreds of miles per hour in some attack moves! Maybe only Jai-alai and a couple others might beat it out. Golf->7, Hockey->7, Boxing->6)
Analytic Ability: 10 (outthinking your opponent and making multiple decisions in a fraction of a second requires more of this than probably any other sport. Golf -> 3 for lots of thinking, but lots of time between shots to do it. Hockey -> 6, boxing -> 6).

All of these sports are hard. If they're gonna compare them, though, they oughtta at least get their scoring close to accurate.
 
2004-04-29 03:42:37 PM  
I love how people are biatching so much when the number 6 and 14 slots are separated by a measely 3 points. Baseball: 62.250; Soccer: 61.500.

BTW, Baseball can be a lot more strenuous than Soccer, especially for the pitchers, catchers and middle infielders. Plus, most regular players play between 5 or 6 games a week.

And don't act like there is no downtime in soccer; just because the clock is running, doesn't mean that the players are doing anything. And at any given time, only a quarter of the people on the field are actually running; most are walking/jogging into position. And stoppage time doesn't replace all of the time wasted.

That being said, rugby should probably be ahead of both.
 
2004-04-29 03:43:02 PM  
baseball is tougher than very little. might be tougher than softball. maybe. softball chicks are tough.
 
2004-04-29 03:43:11 PM  
Joe091
I can't really argue with the soccer comment. If you think about it, MLS is to European Soccer as NFL Europe is to the NFL. It's the minor leagues over here.
But when the Olympics/World Cup comes around, I'll watch it till the wee hours of the morning. It is pandemonium in those stadiums, and is really something spectacular to watch.
Oh, and Andres Cantor is God. :p
 
2004-04-29 03:43:58 PM  
evidence? they thing baseball is harder than lacrosse. OK, maybe hitting a fastball is hard. But I'm pretty positive nothing else is.

While I know baseball shouldn't be high on that list, other than extreme need for hand-eye coordination, try hitting a Fransisco Rodriguez slider :)
 
2004-04-29 03:44:24 PM  
2004-04-29 03:35:33 PM Joe091

Anyways, theres a reason that soccer is the MOST POPULAR SPORT IN THE WORLD.


Because people in poverty can play soccer easier and cheaper than they can play hockey?

If you think otherwise you are a sheep.

Wow I hope this is a joke! You should like what is the most popular and if you think otherwise you're a sheep? If that isn't dripping with irony I don't know what is
 
2004-04-29 03:44:34 PM  
In case anyone who has failed to mention this, ask Dickie Thon, Herb Score, Tony Conigliaro, Steve Shields, etc. if baseball doesn't require PHYSICAL toughness.

I'm sure most of us could take a 97 MPH Randy Johnson heater right in the ribcage and then jog 90 feet.
 
2004-04-29 03:46:23 PM  
I'm sure most of us could take a 97 MPH Randy Johnson heater right in the ribcage and then jog 90 feet.

I'm sure it hurts when a figure skater attempts one of those high-flying spins only to crash onto the ice with no body armor, but I wouldn't call figure skating a tough sport.
 
2004-04-29 03:46:36 PM  
Speaking as a calf roper(40), golfer(51), basketball player(4), soccer player(10), and wrestler(5), I'll have to call the panel of experts (who by the way, look like none have ever competed seriously at anything except barstool balancing, minus Brian Jordan, of course) a bunch of know nothing, drooling, knuckle dragging monkeys.

/speaking from experience
//probably have competed in more of each sport on the list than the average farker
///would love nothing better than to wager any professional athlete listed as a top 4 that I could play their sport better than they could play mine.
 
2004-04-29 03:48:13 PM  
What about Ferret Legging?!?

Basically, ferret-legging involves the tying of a competitor's trousers at the ankles and the insertion into those trousers of a couple of peculiarly vicious fur-coated, foot-long carnivores called ferrets.

Alternatively referred to by professional ferret handlers as "shark-of-the-land," a "piranha with feet," "fur-coated evil, " and "the only four-legged creature in existence that kills just for kicks," the common domesticated ferret -- Mustela putorius -- has the spinal flexibility of a snake and the jaw musculature of a pit bull.
 
2004-04-29 03:48:49 PM  
No mention of MOTOCROSS!

I also agree hockey is much tougher than boxing but motocross should rank first or second.

ESPN = a bunch of friggin idiots
 
2004-04-29 03:49:55 PM  
Obviously non-surfers rated the difficulty of Surfing.

Below Racquetball, Volleyball,Speed Skating, Soccer, Tennis, Baseball, Alpine Skiing?

Endurance 4.63? Ever been on a linup for 6 farking hours trying to out paddle aggressive asshats?

Power, 4.12. THe initial takeoff on a short board requires allot of paddling power, delivered instantly.

Durability 5.50? Hmm I know LOT"s of 50 + surfers.

Hand Eye and Analytic aptitude around 4.00?


Obviously the raters have never surferd. Learning to read wave breaks takes time and thought. Waves always vary unlike sporting fields.

One more BS, Shooting hand eye coordination 6.65?

Bull farkign shiat, Shooting is ALL hand eye coordination
(as fellow students of "quick kill" know.).

Should be a 10.

Aargh, damn lists always aggrivate.
 
2004-04-29 03:50:40 PM  
Based on the headline I was expecting hockey to be missing off the list. I'm glad it's #2. Just to play hockey you need to know how to balance on a 0.5cm thick piece of metal while on ice.
 
2004-04-29 03:52:56 PM  
you people are all idiots. try playing TWO SPORTS AT ONCE LIKE BO DID
 
2004-04-29 03:56:01 PM  
And just because something is the most popular that doesn't mean it is the best nor the toughest to play. It just means people unfortunately don't like sports they weren't watching as children. Half the soccer team is jogging or standing around, and if contact is made (usually a dive) theres always a foul. non-contact sports are NOT the toughest
 
2004-04-29 03:56:10 PM  
Curling 56, bowling 57.
Take that all you keglers.
 
2004-04-29 03:56:58 PM  
Wow. A gimmick poster, never seen one of those before...
 
2004-04-29 03:57:41 PM  
Cheerleading didn't make the list...

Waterpolo should be higher, endurance is incredibly important, you have to either swim or tread water the whole game! There is no way Basebal or Tennis can be higher than Waterpolo.

This list is fubar.
 
2004-04-29 04:02:33 PM  
Actually Odinsposse, having tried some basic mixed martial arts (didn't last too long, I admit that), there is a lot more getting punched /kicked/kneed in the face and liver than you would imagine. In order to get to certain grapples, once the guy is on his back, you usually try to punch him in the face repeatedly until he other gives up, gets knocked out, or puts him arm in the wrong place so then you can start a submission that will nearly break his arm. Blocking a punch from a guy sitting on your chest with his knees limiting your arm movements = ouch.
 
2004-04-29 04:03:18 PM  
1. The Octagon
2. Ultimate Frisbee
2.5 Double Dutch
3. Tournament Scrabble
4. Monopoly
998. Tic Tac Toe
999. Baseball
 
2004-04-29 04:03:41 PM  
ESPN = Teh Ghey.

Game Over. Nuff Said. They're farking STUPID.

Table tennis is harder then rollerskating?

Badmington is harder then skateboarding?

Basketball is harder then Martial Arts? (Ok - Non contact martial arts maybe, but Capoeira or traditional kungfu styles? geeeet farked.
 
2004-04-29 04:04:49 PM  
crazy_gaijin

in regards to track and field not being a sport, you're certainly living up to your name. there's a reason decathletes are considered among the best athletes in the world. idiot.
 
2004-04-29 04:07:23 PM  
Big Al-

I've got two reconstructed ACLs (neither dives) and lots of stitches to prove to you that soccer is a contact sport.

Soccer is popular sport for many reasons, not least because it has simple rules, it isn't expensive to equip, it's a true team sport, and doesn't require a tremendous amount of organization to get a game together. I also think it's great because it's a players game, and not a coaches game, which makes it much more fun to *play*.

And for these reasons it'll remain popular and still be played long after American football, hockey, and baseball have gone the way of the Mayan ball game.
 
2004-04-29 04:09:06 PM  
Since I know few of you will actually take up boxing to find out...some time go watch the intramural boxing championships at your local university (if they haven't been lawyered out of existance yet). It is hysterical to see guys who are at rec center playing basketball all day be TOTALLY gassed after about 4 minutes in a boxing match.
 
2004-04-29 04:10:21 PM  
Those experts blow. Wrestling should be at least #3. The numbers are farked up. For example, in the speed category wrestling is ranked behind WATER POLO and Badminton? WTF? Did they ever watch a wrestling match? Speed is essential to being a good wrestler.

What a waste.
 
2004-04-29 04:10:54 PM  
2004-04-29 02:57:18 PM Phocion


Cross-Country. The sport that is used as punishment by other sports.


exactly. i think Phocion hit the nail on the head here, and thats coming from a cross-country runner. every person i've talked to that plays other sports considers all of us (CC runners) completely insane.

2004-04-29 03:35:33 PM crazy_gaijin


What the hell is up with this list, nearly half of it is things that aren't even sports. If it doesn't involve running and an object of circular cross-section, it's not a sport

Waterskiing: hobby, not a sport
Table tennis: hobby, not a sport
Track and field: means to an end, not a sport
Canoe/Kayak: hobby, not a sport
Horse racing: excellent form of gambling, not a sport
Golf: hobby, not a sport
Cheerleading: are you kidding me???
Roller skating: not a sport
Equestrian: expensive hobby, not a sport
Archery: hobby, not a sport
Curling: WTF??
Bowling: almost a sport
Shooting: Not a sport
Billiards: Good form of gambling, not a sport
Fishing: not a sport


i agree with some of those, but unless youve done them (like track and field) then you probably shouldnt judge. talk to me after youve completed a meet where you just ran an 800 (half a mile) as part of a relay, the mile, and another 800. and sometimes even the 2 mile. all as fast as you can possibly go.
 
2004-04-29 04:12:56 PM  
2004-04-29 04:07:23 PM jeffale

Big Al-

I've got two reconstructed ACLs (neither dives) and lots of stitches to prove to you that soccer is a contact sport.


It is not a contact sport because the second you run into another player you get a penalty. People tear their ACLs and MCLs jogging but that doesn't make it a contact sport


Soccer is popular sport for many reasons, not least because it has simple rules, it isn't expensive to equip, it's a true team sport, and doesn't require a tremendous amount of organization to get a game together. I also think it's great because it's a players game, and not a coaches game, which makes it much more fun to *play*.


I agree soccer is fun to play and very easy but then you can't turn around and argue it takes more skill to play than hockey or football which some posters have tried on here


And for these reasons it'll remain popular and still be played long after American football, hockey, and baseball have gone the way of the Mayan ball game.


But again that is a different debate altogether, the topic now is toughest sport, and soccer is not even close
 
2004-04-29 04:13:05 PM  
One problem with this list:

It is not a sport if you can gain weight while doing it.

/bowling, fishing, billiards...
//not my joke; just sayin'
 
2004-04-29 04:13:42 PM  
Heh. Figure skating trumps cycling. Brian Boitano to Lance Armstrong: owned!
 
2004-04-29 04:17:56 PM  
Pitier_of_Fools

I've done MMA for a while too, and I maintain my position. I know there is striking and boring on the ground, but it is largely secondary. MMA fighters do incur many of the injuries that boxers do, but they don't have anywhere near the number of injuries. Boxing has killed more people that MMA probably ever will and that is because of the punishing nature of the sport. As people above have pointed out, MMA matches last about a third as long as boxing matches, and few MMAists can keep up the flurry of movement boxers can.
Understand I'm not denigrating MMA. It's probably the best thing to happen to the world of martial arts in decades. But it is simply not as physically punishing a sport as boxing.
 
2004-04-29 04:20:47 PM  
Pain threshhold isn't even a category, nor is mental stamina. Talk about ballsy, try rowing through more lactic acid (pure unadulterated man made pain) in the first 30 seconds of mile and a 1/4 SPRINT. In crew, each stoke has to be precise and accurate, let alone powerful and controlled. It's the equivalent of having a perfect golf swing and driving the ball perfectly down the fairway 400 yards, except you have to do it 36 times a minute at exactly the same time as 7 other guys. I am not saying rowing is the hardest sport, but almost every sport is debatebly one of the top 10 most difficult sports for different reasons.
 
2004-04-29 04:28:08 PM  
Analytic Ability: 10 (outthinking your opponent and making multiple decisions in a fraction of a second requires more of this than probably any other sport. - thyros

That's not analytical reasoning, that's conditioning and instinct. The human mind simply doesn't work that fast my friend.
 
2004-04-29 04:30:56 PM  
Big Al-

I wasn't interested in debating "the toughest sport" question, because it is a stupid bar-stool conversation that can't be resolved. It's an apples and oranges debate complicated further by the fact that "toughest" isn't very well defined. So you are welcome to believe whatever you want on this matter.

But there's one point that is not debatable--soccer isn't "easy" and it *is* a contact sport. Anyone who's played at a remotely competetive level can back this up.

As for what sports requirte the most skill- this is another stupid question--at the highest levels all of these sportsmen have skill sets that push the very limits of human accomplishment. I'm willing to concede it's very very hard to hit a Randy Johnson fastball, but I also insist that it is equally difficult to one-time volley a cross from 20 yards out with your opposite foot--it might be harder if you're running full speed with a defender pulling on your shirt (yes, big Al, people pull on your jersey in soccer).

you dumb ass.
 
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