Sunday, April 09, 2006

I gotta get a life

Passing the hours away at work this afternoon, I found myself surfing through the dregs of pop culture.

I stumbled across this Wikipedia entry for the XFL, the shortlived sports league that aimed to combine pro-wrestling with American football:

The concept of the league was first announced on February 3, 2000. The XFL was originally conceived to build on the success of the NFL and professional wrestling. It was hyped as "real" football without penalties for roughness and with fewer rules in general. The loud games featured players and coaches with microphones and cameras in the huddle and in the locker rooms. Stadiums featured trash-talking public address announcers and very scantily-clad cheerleaders. Instead of a pre-game coin toss, XFL officials put the ball on the ground and let a player from each team scramble for it to determine who received the kickoff option, which unsurprisingly led to the first XFL injury. This type of "coin-toss" has since been referred to as the "injury zone".


It folded after one year. Which makes it about the world's only example ever of an idea failing because it underestimated people's intelligence.

Then there was this website, for IFOCE - The International Federation of Competitive Eating. Here's a snippet from their 'About' section:

The International Federation of Competitive Eating, Inc. supervises and regulates eating contests in their various forms throughout the world. The IFOCE helps to ensure that the sport remains safe, while also seeking to achieve objectives consistent with the public interest -- namely, creating an environment in which fans may enjoy the display of competitive eating skill.


...and amongst it's objectives (sorry, mandate):

• to compile, categorize and make available to fans of the sport a complete history of competitive eating along with an archive of photos and other historic material;


Sport. I shit you not.

For a while I was leaning toward satire, although on balance I suspect this is genuine. Sadly.

Check out the remarkably slender folks who have scored themselves an 'Eater Profile'. Perhaps it's a weight-for-age event.

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