Putting sports under the microscope

Are football players smarter than hockey players? Are hockey players tougher than basketball players?
Are tennis players more agile than gymnasts? And are gymnasts more physical than soccer players?
What’s a more spectator-friendly sport—rugby or chess? What demands better reflexes—baseball or golf?
Put your mind at ease and have no fear because your messiah has arrived—me.
After formulating a complex equation (on a cocktail napkin at the bar) and punching in all the stats (on my Transformers calculator), I have come up with the list that will end all lists.
Eighteen sports that span the whole spectrum were chosen, with some being immensely popular while others only to those who play them.
I then stripped them down naked to unveil their flaws and their strengths, and ranked them from best to worst, toughest to weakest, hardest to easiest, and smartest to dumbest.
The respective sports that have been examined are as follows—auto racing, baseball, basketball, boxing, chess, cycling, fishing, football, gymnastics, golf, hockey, power lifting, rock climbing, rugby, skiing, soccer, swimming (medley), and tennis.
I then took the 18 sports and, in my best judgment, ranked them from highest to lowest in six categories—speed and agility, mental focus, toughness, physical, hand and eye co-ordination, and spectator friendly.
First place was awarded 1,000 points while 18th was given 50 (you’ll see the other scores as I put them in). In the end, I combined all the scores and then formulated the “Master List,” which will inform you on what is the best all-around sport in the world.
Here’s a hint, it’s not chess.
So without further ado, “Vanna, the envelopes please.”
•Speed and agility (rate of progress or motion and quick moving, or in other words, slower than a turtle or faster than a hare?):
1). Tennis—1,000 points 2). Rugby—850 3). Soccer—650 4). Basketball—550 5). Football—500 6). Hockey—450 7). Boxing—400 8). Gymnastics—350 9). Cycling—300 10). Swimming—250 11). Rock climbing—200 12). Skiing—150 13). Baseball—100 14). Power lifting—90 15). Auto racing—80 16). Golf—70 17). Fishing—60 18). Chess—50
•Mental focus (concentrate or to be concentrated on, or in other words, are you paying attention or counting the clouds?):
1). Auto racing—1,000 points 2). Golf—850 3). Chess—650 4). Skiing—550 5). Tennis—500 6). Soccer—450 7). Rock climbing—400 8). Gymnastics—350 9). Basketball—300 10). Football—250 11). Cycling—200 12). Boxing—150 13). Baseball—100 14). Rugby—90 15). Hockey—80 16). Fishing—70 17). Swimming—60 18). Power lifting—50
•Toughness (able to endure hardship and unyielding, or in other words, if you get a boo-boo, are you going to cry and call mommy or are you going to suck it up?):
1). Rugby—1,000 points 2). Boxing—850 3). Football—650 4). Hockey—550 5). Cycling—500 6). Basketball—450 7). Skiing—400 8). Auto racing—350 9). Tennis—300 10). Rock climbing—250 11). Power lifting—200 12). Gymnastics—150 13). Baseball—100 14). Swimming—90 15). Golf—80 16). Soccer—70 17). Fishing—60 18). Chess—50
•Physical (of the body, or in other words, do have the physique of the Hulk or the body of Alf?):
1). Football—1,000 points 2). Rugby—850 3). Power lifting—650 4). Gymnastics—550 5). Basketball—500 6). Boxing—450 7). Hockey—400 8). Swimming—350 9). Tennis—300 10). Cycling—250 11). Soccer—200 12). Rock climbing—250 13). Skiing—100 14). Baseball—90 15). Auto racing—80 16). Golf—70 17). Fishing—60 18). Chess—50
•Hand and eye co-ordination (to function together efficiently and to work and act together effectively, or in other words, how are those reflexes of yours?):
1). Boxing—1,000 points 2). Baseball—850 3). Football—650 4). Basketball—550 5). Hockey—500 6). Rugby—450 7). Tennis—400 8). Soccer—350 9). Gymnastics—300 10). Golf—250 11). Cycling—200 12). Skiing—150 13). Swimming—100 14). Rock climbing—90 15). Fishing—80 16). Auto racing—70 17). Power lifting—60 18). Chess—50
•Spectator friendly (a person reaping enjoyment from watching, or in other words, is it worth your time?):
1). Football—1,000 points 2). Hockey—850 3). Rugby—650 4). Basketball—550 5). Boxing—500 6). Tennis—450 7). Swimming—400 8) Gymnastics—350 9). Skiing—300 10). Soccer—250 11). Cycling—200 12). Rock climbing—150 13). Auto racing—100 14). Power lifting—90 15). Golf—80 16). Baseball—70 17). Fishing—60 18). Chess—50
And now it’s time for the “Master List.” With the help of my Optimus Prime Transformers calculator, all the scores have been added, and it is with great pleasure that I present to you the best all-around sports in the business.
Drum roll, please . . .
1). Football—4,050 total points
2). Rugby—3,890
3). Boxing—3,350
4). Tennis—2,950
5). Basketball—2,900
6). Hockey—2,830
7). Gymnastics—2,050
8). Soccer—1,970
9). Auto racing—1,680
10). Cycling—1,650
10). Skiing—1,650
12). Golf—1,400
13). Baseball—1,310
14). Swimming—1,250
15). Rock climbing—1,240
16). Power lifting—1,140
17). Chess—900
18). Fishing—390
So there it is, the “Master List.” So cut this out of the newspaper, laminate it, and put it in your wallet or purse.
Then, if you ever find yourself in a discussion with someone at your office or at your bar (for journalism, it’s one and the same), simply pull out the “Master List,” give it a gander, and all will be settled.
And if you don’t agree, I suggest you write a letter.
Comments? Suggestions? Gas coupons? E-mail me at emoutsatsos@fortfrances.com

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