About a decade or so ago, there was massive interest in figure skating. It seemed like a lot of TV time was devoted to showing one competition after another. These figure skating competitions left me cold, like any competition where the scoring depends on aesthetic criteria rather than objective measurements. It seemed like harmless fun but could not hold my attention for more than a couple of minutes. I used to joke that for it to really catch on, they should make it into a contact sport where all the contestants would take the ice simultaneously and were allowed to body check each other and the last skater who managed to stay upright would be declared the winner.
So I was startled to find that a similar idea has been adopted for the equally gentle pastime of juggling. There is now something called ‘combat juggling’ where jugglers are allowed to disrupt each other. According to Wikipedia, “In its most typical form, a number of players juggle three clubs each, attempting to interfere with other players’ juggling, with the winner being the last to remain juggling three clubs — not necessarily those they started with. It has been adapted to be both individual and team contests, with the latter involving some pretty aggressive moves.
I learned of this new sport through Stephen Colbert, who also discusses the latest baseball doing scandal.
(This clip aired on August 5, 2013. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report outside the US, please see this earlier post.)