Sports, among other things

Two levels of tracks
Two levels of tracks

I took this picture from the parking lot of a restaurant/bar on the north side of Lafayette.


I mentioned in an earlier post that around a week ago, I was going in for a checkup with my ophthalmologist. As I hoped, things were fine. The AMD was stable in my left eye, and my right eye had improved slightly. So it was a good day for me.

While I was sitting in the dimly lit area, waiting for my eyes to dilate, I overheard a college age man talking to a person who appeared to be his father. The younger person said that he was going to a concert in Nashville, Tennessee. It was going to be held at the Ryman Auditorium. He had never heard of it, but a friend told him it had something to do with Country Music. For those who live outside of the U.S., and for those few who know nothing about Country Music, the Ryman is the original home of the Grand Ole Opry. When I visited the Ryman’s website ( I found out that it had been around long before the Opry came to town.

I stopped listening for a bit while I played Sudoku on my phone, waiting for the screen to blur from the eye dilation. When it did blur, I picked up on their conversation again. This time the young man was talking about a friend in school. He was saying that his friend was devoting his time to honing his skills so that he could become a professional ultimate Frisbee player. It was then that I realized that in the States, anything can be turned into a professional sport.

Frisbee, of course, but also hot dog eating. Who could imagine devising a professional sport where people stuff food into their mouth and keep a bucket for vomiting by their side? The sport has evolved from hot dogs to also having competitions for chicken wings and other foods.

On the other side of that equation is the professional cooking competitions. There are all kinds. You can find ribs, cakes, pies, steaks, and the list goes on. Some competitions are for individuals, and some are for teams. Our parents, often our mothers, used to cook to please their families. Now they can do it for money and to say that they are a better cook than their neighbors.

And then there is competitive fishing. My dad used to get real pleasure in going out on a lake in a rowboat (in later years he added a small motor) and leisurely tossing his line out and wait for the bobber to indicate when a fish had taken the bait. He enjoyed sitting out there, often with a friend or my sister, perhaps drinking a beer or two, and catching something that we could eat. Now people have their fancy boats with fancy gear in order to catch, and release, as many fish as they can in an allotted amount of time. They don’t even eat the fish, or give them to hungry people, for gosh sake! And this is considered sport.

What’s next? Professional bird watching? I dunno.