A good sport should be two things: inexcusably dangerous and, ultimately, completely pointless.
American sports feature way too many pads and helmets and, you know, rules, so we've scoured the globe for the most awesome-and often terrifying-alternatives.
10The Cooper's Hill Cheese Rolling and Wake
Where: A small corner of the British Isles that time and genetics forgot.
What is it?
It involves up to 20 competitors chasing a block of cheese down a hill. No, really.
The competitors climb up to the top of the almost-impossibly steep Cooper's Hill and chase a large not-quite-round wheel of double Gloucester cheese down to the bottom. The winner is the first person over the line at the bottom of the slope, but theoretically, the winner is supposed to be the person who catches the cheese. The cheese, which is given a one-second head start, reaches speeds in excess of 70 miles an hour, so unless a competitor is the T-1000, or has managed to smuggle a motorcycle to the top of the hill, it's not gonna happen.
Terrible injuries, however, are common.
No one quite knows when the game started, but it is at least 200 years old, though some say it goes back further and was part of a pagan healing ritual. Apparently to pagans, healing rituals meant hurting yourself really badly.
After the final race, candy is thrown down the hill for a children' 'scramble.' This has been attacked by children' charities as being highly dangerous, but has been praised by almost everyone else as being very funny.
What is it?
An Irish sport which appears to be a hybrid of field hockey, soccer, football and unremitting, pants-wetting terror.
The game is played with axe-like sticks called hurleys or "camáns" and a small, hard ball. Two teams, each with 15 Irishmen of questionable mental stability attempt to score goals by smacking the ball as hard as possible, at head height and at terrifying speeds.
Hurling' origins are based on some kind of energetic outdoor activity participated in by ancient Gaels that most people refer to as 'warfare.' When the Irish began to migrate overseas, they attempted to set up hurling leagues in their adopted countries, but everyone else was too frightened and/or mentally stable to play.
Although a well-hit ball can travel at speeds of almost 100 miles per hour, hurling players wear no protective gear. Players can choose to wear a helmet, but many choose not to, figuring if God had wanted men to wear helmets, he wouldn't have given them those ball-deflecting skulls.