Why Cross-Country Is Not a Sport

Throughout my young life, I have been confused while reading the sports sections of many newspapers and periodicals. I get confused a lot, but in this case, it’s different. Cross-country is not a sport and should no longer be recognized as one in the news. It is just plain running.

Running should only be used in three cases: (1) when you are being punished, (2) when you are being chased, and (3) to get in shape. The second can often be avoided with some cunning darts into alleyways. Being that the third is inconsequential to my argument, it will be ignored.

Some people argue that it’s the competition that makes cross-country fun. Running does not become a sport just because you are good at it; it is still a punishment, and might I say, a stupid one. If we gave championships to the best circus, circus would not become a sport; it would still be terrifying and traumatic. If cross-country runners think they deserve commendation when they win a race, perhaps they should be awarded Best Masochists for punishing themselves for fun.

To get a little more technical with my support, Webster’s New World Dictionary says that sport is “any recreational activity; specif., a game, competition, etc. requiring bodily exertion.”

At first glance, it seems that Webster, the authority on the English vocabulary, opposes my argument. There is no mention of fun or skill, but when we delve into the true meaning of these words, we will look up the definition of the word I have so helpfully typed in bold. “Recreation” is defined as “any play, amusement, etc. used to relax or refresh the body or mind.” One does not play cross-country; one runs cross-country. That fact alone proves my argument, but Webster goes on and uses the word “amusement.” Here is where it gets confusing.

I concede that cross-country is amusing. It is amusing that people will run for no reason at all. I laugh just thinking about it. However, because I have run, I know that it is not fun for the participant. Because I have watched people run, I know it is even worse for the viewers.

If physical exertion is the stance that my opposition takes, I suppose they would say that sex is a sport (if only this were true). Sex is similar to cross-country in many ways. Having never participated in either, I am judging based on hearsay and hours and hours of videotape. This convenient list will clarify the similarities between sex and running:

  1. They both require practice to become perfect
  2. The more you do either one, the longer you last
  3. You should always stretch before partaking in either one
  4. There is usually very little covering the crotch
  5. Men usually have faster times than women
  6. When you’re done you usually talk about it in the locker room, and someone says, “Congratulations,” while patting you on the ass.
    So, cross-country is clearly not a sport, but in fact a form of lurid, disgusting, masochistic pornography. So it doesn’t sound so bad anymore, but that still doesn’t make it a sport.

Sure, to be successful, running takes practice, but that is true in everything. A chess player, a lawyer, a teacher, and a cock-smoking, cum-guzzling, poop-shoot-taking porn star all need to practice. But cross-country isn’t about being successful; it is about being capable. Just about anyone could finish a race with a little willpower. Those same people could just as easily, and a lot more happily, have sex with three or four people at one time. But could they hit a curve ball as easily they could hit a curved dick? I think not.