on Sports
Take the X Out


Silliman on Sports
By Stan Silliman

    There’s “X” games. There was an XFL. I’ve been bombarded by ads for “EXtreme Boxing with Tonya Harding, boosted as the “infamous Tonya Harding,” with her stable of EXTREME boxers. It’s just too much.
    Sports have become too “eXey.”
    What happened to skateboarders skating and breaking their cute little skateboard skulls without it having to be EXtreme Skateboarding. If someone does a 360, chips a couple of teeth and then his elbow flies off into the crowd, that’s not extreme, that’s just skateboarding. It’s not like his elbow sprouted wings when it knocked the drink out of Granny’s hands and started cracking wise with the crowd “Did you hear about the knee that got bent out of shape?  They broke into his pad.” It’s just a wacky, talking elbow. There’s nothing extreme about it. “Did I tell you about the ceiling? I’m sorry but I guess it’s over your head.” That’s just a crazy, flippant elbow. Don’t tell me it’s eXtreme.

    The Winter “X” Games – snowboarding, big air, skiers who can do flips and wear baggy pants – that’s a watchable sport, but it doesn’t have to be extreme. Just call them the Winter Fancy Games… or the Baggy Pants and Sunglasses Games… or Hippy Hoppy on the Snow Games… or the Sacroiliac Games… or Salutary Retching Games… or the Retarded Regressive Games. I don’t know what but something other than “X.”
Take the X Out
    There’s an Extreme Sports Channel, an EXPN on 24 hours a day with nothing but extreme sports. Type in the words “extreme sports” on the internet and you’ll find 5.8 million sites. A lot of them from Britain and Australia selling their “extreme drinks” and their “extreme gear” and their Adrenalin Magazine and their Rock Boarding.Com and here is what sent me over the edge: Extreme Ironing. Oh, gee, I had to check it out and it’s real. Their flyer says it “Combines the danger and excitement of an extreme sport with the satisfaction of a well pressed shirt.” My eyes were saying “please stop it” but my mind was saying “you’ve got to read on.”

    Yes, there is Extreme Ironing – outdoor activities with the act of ironing. With participants going by codenames of Frinkle Wee, Jeremy Irons, Soulplate Sista, and De-Pressed (I’m getting there) and news upon news about ironing while hunting from the back of a pick-up truck, putting a snow board under an ironing board so you can swipe while you shush. And then there are loads of pictures showing fifteen Australian scuba divers descending to 30 meters to try to break the record for most people ironing under water at the same time.

    Where do they find these underwater irons? Did some inventor think there’d be a big market? In case of a flood, at least you’ll have freshly pressed clothes. I can’t wait  for a hurricane to hit so I can try out my new underwater iron.

    Another picture shows a German Extreme Ironist (an ironist – pardon the retching) taking his ironing to new heights, pressing his clothes whilst flying a Luftahrzeug microlight airplane. We understand, at higher altitudes, clothes press quicker.  An Extreme ironer named Fabulon ran a 14k race carrying her iron and board. Frinkle Fee irons while riding his bike. They are seriously trying to get Extreme Ironing into the Olympics. It’s just too much.

    Go ahead and try to get ironing as an accepted game. But drop the Extreme. Drop the “X.” Better yet, send all those games to Texas. Then someone might write a song about them.    

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