August 11, 2008 - 2:07 pm
Some events in the Olympics are not sports, obviously. That’s why it’s called the Olympic Games. We can argue all day long about the merits of water polo. But I have invented a one-point test to save us all some time, at least, figuring out which events are sports and which are games:
If you can smoke while you’re doing it, it’s a game — not a sport.
You should not smoke because it’s very bad for you. But for the purpose of clarity, let us ponder which Olympic Games you can smoke through:
THESE ARE GAMES, NOT SPORTS
 Badminton: Smoke away, smoky!
 Trampoline: Really? Trampoline?
 Baseball: It’s feasible that even the pitcher and catcher could smoke during the heat of action. Maybe this is why it’s been announced baseball will go away after this Olympics.
 Softball: Who couldn’t smoke during a softball game?
 Shooting: This is the no-duh non-sport. Holding a gun and aiming? What’s next? Playing “Call of Duty 4” on Xbox 360 in the Olympics?
 Table Tennis: You could smoke a whole pack.
 Volleyball: Smoke, serve, volley, smoke.
 Beach Volleyball: Come on. Be serious.
 Fencing: This one’s tricky. You could smoke while swinging swords, except you have to wear a mask while fencing. So it’s a game with mask interference.
 Handball: Remember when John Candy smoked while playing racquetball in “Splash”? Right.
 Sailing: Are you serious? Some of those guys are actually pudgy.
 Equestrian: Riding a horse while smoking? Very do-able.
 Archery: You can totally smoke while using a bow and arrow.
 Diving: Yeah, your cigarette would go out when you hit the water. But you could have a cigarette hanging out of your mouth all the way down to the water.
 Synchronized Swimming: If you could somehow buy a cigarette that wouldn’t go out when wet, you could call this synchronized smoking.
 Water Polo: This is another game trying to look like a sport by making it too wet to smoke.
 Weightlifting: Yeah, you could smoke and lift weights. So it’s a game. But it’s not even a game. Isn’t lifting weights the thing you do before you do another game or sport? Mostly it seems like preparation.
 Wrestling: It’s a close call whether you could smoke, but you could probably light one up, then stab your rival with the fire end of the butt.
THESE ARE SPORTS, NOT JUST GAMES
 Swimming: One puff on a cigarette would kill your lungs while swimming, even if you could keep a butt lit.
 Cycling: You would die while smoking.
 Boxing: You’d be too worn out to smoke.
 Track and Field: No way could you smoke.
 Triathlon: You wouldn’t make it a mile smoking.
 Soccer: No smoking possible, except maybe by the goalie.
 Judo: You might think you could smoke and punch, but you can’t. You’d get your butt kicked.
 Modern Pentathlon: Some of the parts of pentathlon are obviously smoking-possible games, like shooting a gun, but other parts are athletic, like swimming and running. It’s a game-sport.
 Tennis: Hmm, you could almost smoke while playing professional tennis. But not quite.
 Gymnastics: You could not do a triple summersault while puffing.
 Rowing: Rowing is elitist, but it’ll wear you out.
 Canoe/Kayak: It seems as if you could smoke and row a canoe, but rowing really does take it out of you.
 Field Hockey: No smoking. Field hockey is pretty strenuous on a constant basis.
 Taekwondo: No, no, no smoking. Only chopping with your hands and stuff.
 Rhythmic Gymnastics: Rhythmic gymnastics may look stupid, but you wouldn’t be able to keep your breath while twirling.