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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Our First Look at Big Break: Disney

Did you watch the premiere of Golf Channel's Big Break: Disney last night? The new show has a variety of "stars" on it: Susan Lucci's son, Rudy Guiliani's son, the Finau brothers, etc.

The first player to be eliminated was Edwin Moses, the former Olympic swimmer.

This caught my attention because of golf's addition to the Olympics, as well as the arguments about whether golf is a sport. Moses seemed pretty sure that his athleticism would allow him to overcome his opponents... and now he's the first one eliminated.

Ironic, if you ask me. But it begs the question once again: Is golf truly a sport, if an athlete like Edwin Moses can be beat so early in the series?

Is ping pong a sport? It is, after all, in the Olympics. If you define a sport purely in terms of brute strength, speed, or endurance, then the answer is no. But it requires good eye-hand coordination, rapid reflexes, and the ability to instantly change the amount of force applied to a moving object while your opponent changes his/her position and your choice of target at the same time; if you think these are athletic actions, then the answer is yes.

Golf presents physical challenges that can range from brute strength (in the rough) to delicate control (on the greens). The real beauty is that it doesn't require these qualities in an extreme form - that is, you don't have to be THE strongest or the fastest - but you need to COMBINE all of these qualities in a measure that most people are capable of attaining. Lopsided skills don't cut it in our sport; balance is what's important.

I think the new show is going to be interesting... because it looks like the Magic Kingdom is about to get a reality check.

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