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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
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10908 clicks; posted to Main » on 29 Apr 2004 at 2:19 PM (14 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2004-04-29 04:32:06 PM  
I think someone already pointed out that the list was ambiguous in what it was ranking. At many points, boxing is listed as "the toughest sport," while other times, specifically the grid title, is entitled "Degree of Difficulty." As a hockey player, I would grant that boxing is physically tougher and more taxing than hockey. But in terms of difficulty, I would say hockey any day.

MikeRaphon also pointed out that "to say that a hockey player could box but a boxer could not play hockey is not fair. Both men have the ability to stand flat footed on the ground when boxing. The hockey player trained for years to be able to ice skate at a professional level. Give a boxer that same amount of time to learn to ice skate and you would have an even showing. all else being equal, the boxer would beat down the hockey player every single time."

I think that is the purpose of training for a sport. Boxing doesn't require the ability to skate, therefore, the boxer does not train for that. Meanwhile, hockey does often require fighting, and thus hockey players become proficient at fighting, in addition to skating, shooting, passing, checking, etc. Therefore, it is fair to take two athletes with skill sets adequate for their sport, and compare them.

Just my $0.02
2004-04-29 04:33:44 PM  
2004-04-29 01:58:57 PM Dr.Knockboots

i said the other day that i thought Hockey took the most skill out of the 4 major sports..
well, i suppose when factoring in all of those other sports as well, ranking #2 is still pretty impressive.
although, while boxing is all about beating your opponent, i still believe due to all the variables in hockey, its the hardest.
boxing-toughest.. yes.
toughest to play.. nopers.

--hockey player and fan..gloating.

First of all, Hockey sucks.

Secondly, Boxing is more than just standing there and swinging at your opponent. Do you realize how HARD and how MUCH a boxer gets hit? How much one has to move and time the punches? How hard a boxer trains? You might be jaded from some rich heavyweights, but look at middleweights, lightweights and the guys you don't hear about getting arrested or whatever, Boxing is much harder to do than some lame ass hockey thing.

I tried to watch hockey last night.. the Fliers and the Leafs... that shiat was boring.
2004-04-29 04:35:46 PM  
Baseball tougher than soccer? Well, maybe for the three people actually in play at any given time. Soccer has their constant running, action, and strategy, not to mention being a fan of the game. Falling off of upper stands, getting trampled at fences, battling police and looting in a drunken stupor after your team either won or lost.
2004-04-29 04:39:27 PM  
That's funny, call me a dumbass because I said soccer is easy to play. When you explained why soccer is popular you basically admitted it is an extremely easy sport to play. The professionals that play soccer are obviously very skilled, but it isn't comparing apples to oranges. One sport has you going around on ice skates in a small rink with people wanting to rip your head off, while the other has guys jogging around kicking the ball to each other and scoring once or twice a game. And no, soccer is not a contact sport. A contact sport is football, hockey, rugby, NOT soccer. In basketball they pull each others jerseys and sometimes tear their ACLs or get bumps and bruises but that does NOT make the sport a contact sport!

Yes technically this is a never ending discussion and when it comes down to football vs hockey there is no right answer really, but you are just stretching the meaning of contact, skill, and ability. Now thanks for calling me a dumbass just because you couldn't make yourself clear when I was trying to stay on topic in this debate.
2004-04-29 04:39:35 PM  
2004-04-29 02:59:53 PM downstairs

Example. Most Ice Hockey and/or football players could box. Sure, they wouldn't win any belts... but they'd come close. They would preform at a professional level.

No, they would die. This is what I hate most about Hockey, the fans. You guys really worship this sport and think its the toughest thing since shiatting nails. Do me a favor, sign yourself up to go 12 rounds with a professional boxer, then tell me whats tougher.
2004-04-29 04:45:39 PM  
Where's darts?

Pleased to see skateboarding listed - in my opinion, the hardest of all sports to master, especially if you want to keep your teeth and bones intact.
2004-04-29 04:45:51 PM  
my sport is better than your sport.

2004-04-29 04:49:13 PM  
Boxing is for P***y's. In Hockey, you drop the gloves before you fight.
2004-04-29 04:55:44 PM  
While we're on the topic...

Can anyone explain how this...

[image from socalusra.com too old to be available]

is a "hobby" and this...

[image from onlineathens.com too old to be available]

is a "sport"?

Is it because of this?

[image from nascar-info.net too old to be available]

/fire-suppressant system is armed
2004-04-29 04:57:19 PM  
2004-04-29 04:45:51 PM Roger_the_Shrubber

my sport is better than your sport.

Where you been the past 3 hours? You on dial-up or something? :p
2004-04-29 04:57:24 PM  
Boxing is more demanding. You have to be in physically better shape to be successful at boxing than you do at hockey. I do believe that hockey requires a more well-rounded athlete, though, which is also suggested by the ESPN rankings.

Hockey requires a higher degree of training to reach a base level of competency. If you took two guys of equal physical/mental capabilities, and trained each of them for a year in one of the two sports, the boxing guy would probably look, at least, decent. The guy playing hockey would look like crap.
2004-04-29 05:03:48 PM  
Sorry about the dumbass thing, I'll search for a synonym . . . idiot. You're an idiot.

I said soccer is an easy sport to organize, not play.

I might also point out that your tough, manly man sports require their participants to put on body armor*--this certaily increases the level of violence, but were they forced to remove the protective layers, you'd find the level of "contact" would approach the level that you see in a soccer game (in which, idiot, people sprint, and elbow, and push and pull and spear, and kick and grab--all with only shinguards. If that's not contact, I don't know what is).

I tore my ACL when a defender made a high tackle on me while I was running full speed down the field. It sure felt like contact to me. And gee, I wish I'd had a helmet on all those times when a defender headed my head instead of the soccer ball. Let's see, I've been punched in the face by goalkeepers trying to clear 50-50 balls, flipped over in mid-air while attempting headers at mid-field . . . It all felt like contact to me.


*I'll concede that rugby players don't wear pads, but, much as I admire rugby players, it doesn't require the dexterity and finesse that ball (and puck) manipulation sports require. (See, idiot, I can love my sport and recognize that hockey's a great sport, too.)
2004-04-29 05:03:57 PM  
Wrestling (no, not pro wrestling) is definitely one of the toughest. There's a reason they call it "6 Minutes of Hell."
2004-04-29 05:05:10 PM  
Possum_Stu, I think the mean something more like this, not NASCAR:

[image from orlandofloridaguide.com too old to be available]
2004-04-29 05:05:45 PM  
2004-04-29 04:10:54 PM flameingtoilet
every person i've talked to that plays other sports considers all of us (CC runners) completely insane.

Yeah, even the Hockey players used to think we were crazy.
2004-04-29 05:08:35 PM  
This is mostly a pointless discussion. There's a few problems. First you're comparing individual sports with team sports. Football (American) requires great strength from the linemen, great analytic from the quarterback, good hand-eye from the receiver, great toughness by some players, etc. But no one position would rank terrifically high on this list (running back, linebacker and safety come to mind as the most demanding by this categorization).

The other problem is no person is conversant enough with all of these sports to rank them accurately. WTF is gymnastics doing so low in strength. Have you seen those guys on the rings, anyone ever tried that (who doesn't think it takes unbelievable strength)?

For those bashing figure skating:
After a scientific study done on runners running a mile and a figure skater after a 4 minute performance, they ranked roughly equal in most categories of effort put forth, etc.

Also a relatively recent figure-skating champion was also a black-belt in some martial art or another (Elvis Stojko). There was some rumour of him kicking the ass of some hockey player in a fight, but I never heard any substantiation of it.

Gen_Turgidson: "Lacrosse another 3rd world game like soccer. " Actually lacrosse was originally a Native American (or should I say First Nations for Canadians?) game, played over huge distances and with incredibly violence. As far as I know it is mostly played in the US and Canada if not exclusively played there? I'm not sure where you got the ideas you have, but they seem to not be a real reflection.
Also, soccer happens to be the most popular sport in Western Europe I do believe, which is hardly 3rd world.

Don't knock lacrosse 'til you've given it a reasonable chance. It has a lot that a lot of people complain about not having in other sports. There's some scoring (10-15pts in a game would seem avg?) but not constant like in basketball. It's also very fast-paced as it doesn't stop for long at all. It takes quite a bit of toughness (a reasonable amount of body contact, and they swing those sticks Hard). It's not as violence-prone as hockey, but takes a fair amount of skill to play.

One thing they didn't seem to think of in this selection is what sports take a long time of playing to become good at. Very few baseball players or hockey players come straight out of high school into MLB or the NHL. Basketball players can come straight in and dominate.

Anyway, most of the other things I would have bothered to say have been said, so enough is enough.
2004-04-29 05:15:03 PM  
Big Al:

Soccer is easy to learn to play, but the same can be said of any of the big sports. It's very difficult to learn to play at a highly competitive level. I think that is the point jeffale was trying to get across.

Also, yes, soccer is not meant to be a contact sport, but there is a great amount of contact involved.

And NO, I am not insinuating that hockey et al are easier or have less contact that soccer.

and this type of comment

"Half the soccer team is jogging or standing around, and if contact is made (usually a dive) theres always a foul"

doesn't make you a dumbass, but it does call your judgement into question.
2004-04-29 05:17:52 PM  
Left foot and others...

Yes, cheerleading is a sport:
Here's a link to a video of my team at Canadian nationals.
2004-04-29 05:19:29 PM  
Just want to clear this up

contact sport: Football(Soccer), Basketball

collision sport: American Football, Hockey
2004-04-29 05:22:11 PM  

if you consider cheerleading a sport, you have to, by definition, consider football et al. a super-duper sport or something.
2004-04-29 05:35:14 PM  
I hate these ESPN and US type lists. The take no account for real sports played outside the US. Thats fair enough I guess as you can only comment on what you are interested in. They should qualify the list.

Anyway from the sports I have played my top 5 would be.

1/ Cycling ( daylight second )
2/ Rugby League
3/ Rugby
4/ Cricket
5/ Soccer
2004-04-29 05:36:04 PM  
i'm pretty sure the toughest sport of all is calvinball.
2004-04-29 05:40:56 PM  

how long ago did you run CC, or do you still do it? my best time isnt very good, but i only have 1 season of experience. of course, from last year at track to this year of track i actually didnt improve at all, so i hope thats not going to continue this august
2004-04-29 05:45:50 PM  
I once watched about 5 minutes of a soccer game once. During that 5 minutes I didnot see a single person running around the entire time...never mind the entire 45 minute half. What I saw was some guy kick the ball, then two guys run a bit after the ball while the rest of the people sort of walked around. Then two other guys ran after the ball because it was in their general area. Again the rest of the people where either standing around or walking around. So stop writing all this crap about soccer players running the entire game.

p.s...you want tough. Try standing in front of the net (hockey) and try tipping a 100 mph slap shot coming at you while a couple of 220 lb defencemen are crosschecking you in the back.


2004-04-29 05:53:31 PM  
hockey = difficult
hockey = overrated difficulty

sounds like fans of their favorite sport are defending their own as the most difficult.
boxing = no huge pads, no ice to decrease resistance while moving, no mullets, no teammates, no long breaks.
sure hockey lads are tired after 2 minutes, but put those fellas in a ring or wrestling mat and see how tired they are after 2 minutes, and then tell them they don't have a substitute and they must keep fighting.
both are tough, but you hockey nuts need to bow down to boxing.
2004-04-29 05:57:01 PM  
Sports played competitively, in order of toughness by their criteria:

baseball/fastpitch softball
Hash House Harriers

Sorry about the soccer thing. But the fact is, the ball takes so long to get from point A to point D, the amount of time you actually spend in full exertion is minimal, and that full exertion only involves running for a 10 second sprint.

The only difference between soccer and Hashing is in Hashing, you have beer instead of a ball.
2004-04-29 06:07:29 PM  
The notion that boxers are somehow better athletes than hockey players is amusing. I've seen fat retards like David Tua and Butterbean in the ring - I can't name a single out-of-shape NHLer. Any one of those guys in the NHL could outrun all of us, kick the crap out of all of us, and bench press more than any of us.
2004-04-29 06:10:44 PM  
I submit that US-hating be added to the list. It has grown exponentially in popularity over the last few years. Much like my distaste for the jews.

/kidding, kidding...
2004-04-29 06:24:52 PM  
I agree with everyone complaining about rugby. It's an outrage outrage! that it's so low on the list. baseball doesn't get to face things like the joys of toe cleats.
2004-04-29 06:26:58 PM  
baseball doesn't get to face things like the joys of toe cleats.

Ask any catcher about the truth of that statement.
2004-04-29 06:29:29 PM  
Hey, how about you tell me that you only spend minimal time in full exertion while I and my fellow midfielders sprint from goal to goal. And no, we don't "stand around" the whole time.

Big Al
While I admit that sports like hockey have a lot more contact, I can tell you from experience that soccer is a painful as hell sport. Why don't you tell my orthopedic surgeon what you think about the lack of contect in soccer?
2004-04-29 06:36:11 PM  
if you sprint from goal to goal, you are a) uninformed about the origin of the phrase "midfield", and b) lying.

Or else you don't know what "sprint" means.

by the way, people, just because you managed to injure yourself doesn't mean the activity is tough. I blew out an ACL running out a walk.
2004-04-29 06:40:21 PM  
Yeah, boxing requires more endurance than hockey.

Hockey requires more speed and agility.

The scores seem pretty much straight on. Ya know, if you bother actually reading them and what they mean.
2004-04-29 06:40:32 PM  
Boxing belongs at number 1. If you've never been in the ring with a good fighter, then I can't explain it to you. Most guys couldn't hold their gloves up for three rounds, let alone ten.
2004-04-29 07:16:08 PM  
2004-04-29 05:40:56 PM flameingtoilet
how long ago did you run CC, or do you still do it? my best time isnt very good, but i only have 1 season of experience. of course, from last year at track to this year of track i actually didnt improve at all, so i hope thats not going to continue this august

I ran 4 years of XC in High School and 4 years in college, ending in 1982. My best time in a 10K race was 34:21, and in a 5K my best time was 16:10. I've been out of racing for about 6 and a half yuears, but I'm trying to get back in now--it's hard to find open XC races for 40+ year olds.
2004-04-29 07:24:50 PM  
Boxing is definitely number one.

Hockey is rough too, but boxing is simply much more punishing. A good striker is going to hit far harder than some hockey player, and much more often.

I'll go ahead and say MMA is more lethal than boxing. A MMA fighter would probably make quick work of a boxer. However, boxing is still far more brutal. You dont get up and start fighting after you've been knocked out in MMA, you do in boxing.
2004-04-29 07:29:52 PM  

A) Midfielders do not stay at midfield. A midfielders traditional job is to help out both the offence and the defense. Hence, I sprint (and yes, it is a sprint, when I am running as fast as I can, thank you very much) from goal to goal.

B) Don't call me a liar just because you don't understand what you are talking about.

C) I'm not saying that the activity is tough because of my injuries. I'm saying my injuries spring forth from the fact that 4 150 lb men are flying at me with metal spikes on their feet. And that just happens to be commonplace at my level in the sport.
2004-04-29 07:40:35 PM  
I agree with Boxing, Hockey, and Football as the top three. I am wondering why Triathalon (Ironman specifically) was not included. Rugby should be moved up. Lacrosse should definitely move up as it is basically hockey with running instead of skating. Oh, and crosschecking is not only legal in Lacrosse, it is encouraged.

I still stand by the rule that states if you can smoke while doing it, it's not a sport. Therefore Baseball is not a sport.

Baseball is essentially a game of catch between 2 players with a player from the other team there to fark it up. If the game of catch gets farked up, there are 7 other people on the field to help out.
2004-04-29 07:45:10 PM  
[image from sanjosestealth.com too old to be available]

Lacrosse should be higher on that list
2004-04-29 07:46:35 PM  
Comparing sports like this is more than a bit silly.

Still, the sport that requires the best all-around ability of its athletes is hockey. There's more training necessary to avoid looking like an idiot, and when you get to a high enough level of ability, it's still farking hard.

Props to boxers are deserved too. Anyone want to volunteer to get hit until you fall over? The skill of boxing is underrated, as is the required conditioning for boxers, especially middleweights and under. Those guys are tough as nails and all muscle.

The sport I think they should have considered is the biathlon. All of the endurance work of cross country skiing with the required precision and coordination of riflery. I think it's way tougher than basketball, for example.
2004-04-29 07:51:14 PM  

Come on, man. I play midfielder (at the college level, anyhow) and the conditioning requirements are pretty solid but not inhuman. I mean, I'd put us middies around cross-country runners in terms of conditioning (less emphasis on constant pace, more emphasis on sprint/recover and lateral movement).

We're only working half of our body, and the strength aspects of other sports more or less don't exist in ours. It's a fun game, but it's nowhere near as difficult as something like hockey.
2004-04-29 07:54:54 PM  
Yeah, hockey should be #1.

But tell me this. What the hell does nerve have to do with anything? "NERVE: The ability to overcome fear. Example: High-board divers, race-car drivers, ski jumpers."

It seems to me that if you are a high diver, rodeo clown, or anything like that, fear is not part of the equation. This is something you want to do. If you had to overcome the fear to do it, then you did it once and your done. No more fear. It's not something that you have to overcome everyday. And do you really think a race car driver has that much to fear? A crazy redneck doing what he's been doing since he was tall enough to reach the pedals.
2004-04-29 08:04:17 PM  
the problem with this list is that most of the activities aren't sports. boxing? not even close to a sport. boxing is in with wrestling and martial arts in the "acts of war" category. while difficult and tough, these activities are not sports. any activity with a winning distance or winning time - not a sport. any activity where a judge or panel of judges decides the winner - not a sport. and sport where the competitors stop competing at different times - not a sport. this isn't a knock on how difficult an activity is to do well. i'm just saying they aren't sports.
2004-04-29 08:16:13 PM  

In other news, after adopting your definition of "sport," the IOC has announced there will be precisely three events in Athens this summer...
2004-04-29 08:20:25 PM  
Points_for_effort, I hope you realize that wrestling doesn't fall under any of your three bs exclusionary groups. It has nothing to do with a wining distance or time. It's competitors stop at the same time. And judges don't determine who wins. Sure there is a ref but he plays no more of a role than a soccer ref. He just calls what he sees. THere are no points for technique or how much the ref liked a move, it is all about getting points for completing moves. As a wrestler in HS I can assure you that it is one of the toughest SPORTS out there. Way more so than basketball. I suggest you revise your definition of a sport.
2004-04-29 08:23:04 PM  
If boxing is so tough, then this should be even tougher.
2004-04-29 08:26:42 PM  
Toughest sport evar: Skogshockey...Finnish Forrest Hockey.

2 points if anyone knows what I am talking about :)
2004-04-29 08:26:51 PM  

Indeed, Lacrosse easily beats baseball and tennis...

I played football too, I consider cheerleading a much tougher sport. I am more tired after a 2 1/2 minute routine than a full football game.
2004-04-29 08:28:39 PM  
I'm not totally sure if these ESPN guys have ever seen a lacrosse game played by the way they ranked it. It's a lot tougher than a lot of people think. Metal sticks are flying everywhere and breaking on people (one kid on my team had a stick broken on him yesterday). A lot of running is involved, especially during the practices. Hand-Eye Cordination and speed are a must. It should at least be in the top ten.
2004-04-29 08:29:36 PM  
God, who knew hockey fans were so whiny?

Of course if my favorite sport was hockey I guess I would be mad most of the time also. Life would suck.
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