7 Insanely Dangerous Reboots of Popular Sports
You know how sometimes you watch figure skating and you think, "This would be so much more entertaining if everyone involved was naked"? There are so many sports that just seem long overdue for some kind of modern modification or gritty reboot.
Fortunately, there are a few visionaries out there taking the same, boring old sports and changing them in ridiculous, insane and often life-threatening ways.
Hey, you know what would also improve virtually every sport? Setting the ball on fire.
You don't have to take our word for it. A little bit of lighter fluid and a complete lack of personal safety will give you a rousing game of Fireball.
While a tennis ball is pretty flammable right out of the box, other things like a soccer ball or a bowling ball need a bit of elbow grease to get going.
We should point out that most bowling lanes are made of wood.
But the payoff--and the payoff here being disfiguring burns and possible jail time--is surely worth it. Once you light those babies up, it's tough to appreciate any sport that doesn't involve flaming balls (we're talking about you, gymnastics).
Even if you get sent to the hospital after a game of Tennis Fireball or burn all your fingerprints off dribbling a firebasketball, you can take comfort in the fact that somewhere, Michael Bay is nodding in approval.
That is, if he wasn't too busy with an afternoon of...
Fishing is a sport that captures all the excitement of floating around on a stagnant body of water and holding a stick, which may explain why no one buys tickets to watch it. For the more criminally reckless outdoorsman, however, fishing can become a heroic display of technology and ingenuity triumphing over nature--a phrase which here means "blowing fish up with dynamite".
Utilizing traditional explosives and/or homemade bombs made from artificial fertilizer, blast fishermen locate schools of fish congregating at coral reefs and start lobbing down hellfire like Dresden. The resulting shockwaves either kill the fish outright or temporarily stun them, allowing the fishermen to literally scoop them out of the water by the bucketload.
"Boy, they're really biting today."
Although the practice is illegal the world over (but why?!), it's quite common in certain areas such as Southeast Asia and Africa, and on virtually every backwoods fishing trip where alcohol is involved.
Table tennis is one of the fastest and most intense sports in the world, provided it is being played by professionals instead of drunks or toddlers. The pros can send the ball back and forth at 100-miles an hour, knocking it back and forth 175 times in one minute. So how could this fast paced Olympic sport possibly get more extreme?
The answer, of course, is mind control.
Mindball is a Swedish invention that takes the idea of table tennis and updates it for the 21st century by adding the novel innovation of brain wave manipulation. Players don special headbands that monitor their brains' activity while sitting opposite each other at a table that resembles a classic table tennis slab but with totally futuristic art deco curves and stainless steel.
The object of the game is to use your brain waves to send the ball to your opponent's goal while preventing it from reaching yours by relaxing as hard as you can. Seriously.
See, like in Buddhism, whoever can maintain the highest level of focus and relaxation will push the ball into the goal of their less stoic opponent and score a point--thus, doing away with the net, paddle and anything resembling exercise.
Finally making lazy men the ultimate winners.
Mindball adds a whole lot of fixated staring, which is way more exciting. And honestly, what's more extreme than transcending your physical body to manipulate tiny white balls with your mind?
The Extreme 19th Hole
We're not saying golf is usually a lame sport. All we're saying is that it's the only sport where a miniature version exists solely to make it more exciting by adding multi-colored balls, frustrating windmills and giant plastic dinosaurs to the mix. Most miniature golf courses also have the 19th hole, where if you manage to score a hole in one, you win a free game. This system of ridiculous obstacles and rewards has been conspicuously absent from regular golf. Until now.
"Yes! A free game and a pizza party!"
At the Legend Golf and Safari Resort in South Africa, golfers finally get to play their own version of the 19th hole, except the prize for a hole in one here is a million freaking dollars, which according to our best estimates is equivalent to a shitload of free games. However, as you might have guessed, the hazards have been upgraded from run of the mill ponds and sand traps. Specifically, the tee is set on top of a mountain at the edge of a sheer cliff face, 1,400-feet above the ground.
The only way to access it is with a helicopter, and because the tee is only about 12-inches from the edge of the cliff, nerves of steel and/or adult-sized diapers are more or less mandatory (the diapers can be used as makeshift parachutes in case of emergency).
Shank a drive on this hole and you might as well be firing a handgun into the valley below, because we're thinking a golf ball rocketing towards the Earth at terminal velocity is going to blast the tits off of anything it touches.
If you're not familiar with rugby, basically the aim of the sport is to score points by advancing the ball into the opponent's endzone via a series of backward or lateral passes as the opposing team attempts to impede the ball carrier's progress by dog-stomping him into oblivion. Oh, and it's played without pads. If that sounds awesome, just imagine how much more awesome it would be if instead of a ball, they were playing with that boulder from the opening scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Now you're playing Pushball, bitches! Pushball can be played by any number of people, sometimes expanding into the hundreds, with a massive six-foot, 50-pound medicine ball that crushes anything in its path.
The object of the game is to push/roll the ball-slash-boulder into the opponent's endzone, but with the staggering number of players involved, most games eventually dissolve into a full scale riot.
Also, as if regular Pushball wasn't extreme enough, variants of the sport are played on horseback and even on ice, presumably because people in Europe were running out of exciting new ways to paralyze themselves.
"Why, I just heard Steadman's vertebrae crack! Jolly good!"
Hell, at that point, why not just put everybody in cars and push the thing around that way? We guess then you'd have...
If that picture looks like a bunch of cars playing soccer with a comically oversized ball, well, let's just assure you that it's not Photoshop.
The one reason soccer (yes, we're an American website) is the most popular sport in the world is because it's the one game anyone can afford to play. All you need is a ball. That means it's clearly time to modify the sport so that it can only be played by people who have a dozen cars they can destroy for each match.
Fortunately we have Car Soccer, which combines the thrill of competitive sport with the excitement of widespread vehicular manslaughter. Demonstrated famously on Top Gear and on the aptly named Carpocalypse TV show, matches in this sport follow the same basic rules of soccer in that players must move a ball up the field in an attempt to score a goal. Only everybody is in cars and smashing into one another.
But as ludicrous as that is, at least the players have the protection of the cars around them. Unlike...
Polo is widely renowned as the sport of kings, and for good reason: It features majestic steeds, graceful plays and a unique synergy between man and animal that is unmatched in any other sport.
Throughout most of history only wealthy noblemen could afford to participate, which pretty much guarantees everyone currently reading this article would've been banned from even watching the sport. Luckily, the modern world has found a way to make this contest more accessible and needlessly dangerous.
It's not new; it was back in the 1920s when they decided to replace the four-legged animal with a two-wheeled rumbler and call it Motorcycle Polo. The first such record of the sport being organized and played came from a motorcycle club in Camden, New Jersey where it became a popular attraction among flappers and wiseguys for at least a few years. Since then, Motopolo has caught on and is still being played in Europe and Africa alongside its cousin, Motoball, which is basically soccer for motorcycle gangs who don't like to run.
We could make fun of it, but we're too busy trying to find a sport that wouldn't be improved if played entirely on motorcycles. Imagine how much more exciting baseball would be if every player straddled a custom chopper and base runners did a controlled slide into home plate at 150-mph.
Do you have something funny to say about a random topic? You could be on the front page of Cracked.com tomorrow. Go here and find out how to create a Topic Page.
For more sports insanity, check out 6 Elaborate Forms of Suicide Passed Off as Extreme Sports and The 10 Most Insane "Sports" in the World.
And stop by our Top Picks (Updated 2.19.2010) to see our modified version of oil wrestling.