Now There’s a sport I never thought of…

There are four players on the rather small court, two teams of two. They are on bicycles that have been specially modified for the event. Riders may not touch the floor, and they may not kick the ball. Instead, they propel the ball with quick flicks of the front wheel while all their weight is on the back. These guys can hit it hard. Like hockey, you are allowed to catch the ball, but you must immediately drop it straight down.

The game requires remarkable amounts of skill. Players move forward, backward, and they stand on either wheel. They hop the bikes, spin and twirl, and generally put on X-game performances, but without the arbitrary judging. It is an actual sport, by my stringent definition. (No judges, scoring is significant, scoring is constantly a possibility.)

Apparently, the sport has been around a long time. Right now at the Little Café Near Home a documentary is playing, honoring a team who started back in the black and white era (also known as the communist era, but for different reasons), and today, beer bellies and all, they’re still mighty damn good. They have trophies, medals, and awards out the wazoo. Shelves and shelves of them.

OK, the documentary just showed them getting the gold in Sydney. I think it did, anyway. If that’s the case, it is yet one more beef I have against American olympic coverage. There are olympic sports that look cool that I didn’t even know about? I look forward to the day when each channel bids to show a particular event, rather than the olympics as a whole. By not locking up the entire games with a single provider, obscure channels would have a chance to carve a niche for themselves showing events the big boys could never afford to show. NBC can pay a billion dollars for figure skating, while the outdoor network picks up biathalon cheap and NBC learns the hard way that figure skating is not a sport. That, my friends, is the free market, and under that system you would be able to watch the events you like. Somewhere.

5 thoughts on “Now There’s a sport I never thought of…

  1. I wish that sports events could be covered by multiple networks. That way no one would have to watch NBC sports coverage and NBC would learn the hard way that their sports coverage stinks.

  2. I read your commentary elsewhere about NBC’s ability to show the Kentucky Derby without wasting time on the horses.

    Have I told you guys about the time I was there? The time I hit the exacta with Funicide, and missed my chance at a Sugar Momma (she owned another horse in the big race) simply because I wasn’t prepared? And how I was drinking with one of Empire Maker’s owners, but didn’t know it?

    All that has to be in this blog somewhere…

  3. On a more serious note, I would like to see joe minicam broadcast a ballgame and when prosecuted defend it as free speech. Should that get upheld, suddenly all those cities that paid for stadiums can get their money back leasing the camera platforms to the highest bidder.

    The fact Joe had to buy a ticket is likely what keeps the game out of the public domain, but I honestly don’t think Major League Baseball has a copyright on my description of a game, standard disclaimer notwithstanding.

  4. Speaking of interesting new sports that ought to be considered for the Olympics, have you heard of Watercooler Ball? It’s sweeping the beaches of San Diego (we invented it last week). It’s better than Over The Line because 1) it has peggies (throw the ball at runners for outs), 2) your coworkers can play it even if they’re unathletic engineers, and 3) you can take your beer with you out onto the field. (, password “watercooler”)

  5. Damn, I played the bicycle soccer many years ago when the ball fell out the bag while riding down Hwy 60. I could have gone pro!
    We did take it on the field but the skinny tires of ten speeds just did not go well in the mud.

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