Harmless Hobbies That Are Being Rocked By Controversy
Competitions like the Blackawton International Festival of Wormcharming or the Petaluma World's Ugliest Dog Contest might make local papers wet themselves with excitement at the prospect of interviewing a pack of genuine oddballs. But what happens when things go wrong? Just because something is fun and wacky on the surface doesn't mean it isn't filled with dark secrets. Look at how ...
Quidditch Is A Leading Cause Of Concussions In Women
Real life doesn't have CGI, so actual quidditch players run around with broomsticks tucked between their legs, and the "golden snitch" is some dude dressed in gold with a tennis ball stuffed down his pants.
But for all the talk of magic and broomsticks, quidditch is still a full-contact sport. Even in the fantastic wizarding world, Harry is injured so many times that he definitely has some kind of magical CTE. Muggle quidditch is no different, often leaving players with broken noses, black eyes, busted lips, cracked ribs, and concussions. One EMT assigned to a tournament claimed that "I've had eight concussions, two people taken to the hospital, bloody noses, scrapes, twisted ankles. I stopped counting injuries after 10." At the 2010 Quidditch World Cup alone, six players were hospitalized, and the sport's commissioner has said that he "lives in constant fear of someone getting killed." If nothing else, it would be such a goddamn stupid way to go.
Quidditch is a mix of dweebs who would never otherwise touch a sportsball and hardcore athletes who care way less about your stupid baby books than they do about having another excuse to pummel someone. Think of football, but the quarterback of one team is a 6'4" ex-Marine, and the other is a teenage girl in a Hufflepuff scarf. Throw in the fact that official quidditch rules dictate that teams cannot be single-gender, and you've got a 2017 study that found "a statistically significantly different rate of concussion ... with female athletes sustaining more concussion than males." Still less harmful than The Crimes Of Grindelwald, though.
An Anonymous Equestrian Whistleblower Turned Out To Be Somebody Very Surprising
In December 2016, the popular equestrian forum Chronicle of the Horse (yes, that is its name) collapsed in on itself when user stormy17 posted a list of serious accusations against well-known rider and horse trainer Ellen Doughty-Hume (yes, that is her name). The most damning accusation was that Doughty-Hume left one of stormy17's horses out during a flash flood, killing the horse
The post blew up, with dozens of pages of comments and spinoff threads, as others also alleged that Doughty-Hume mistreated or killed their horses. This is the juiciest horse gossip, from accusations that Doughty-Hume faked a horse's medical records and smuggled it across state lines to outrageous jump-lowering allegations. And that was before it was revealed that stormy17 was none other than adult entertainer and political figurehead Stormy Daniels. It turns out that when she's not at her day job, Daniels is an accomplished amateur horse rider who competes under her real name, Stephanie Crane. Listen, people contain multitudes.
It took two years for Doughty-Hume to respond to the allegations, which she did by suing Daniels. Claiming the whole thing was a dirty smear campaign, Doughty-Hume accused Daniels of calling her "autistic and mentally challenged," and her husband "a drunk." At that point, Michael Avenatti -- of "helping to sue Donald Trump and being indicted on multiple counts of tax evasion, extortion, fraud, and embezzlement" fame -- enters the story. Acting as Daniels' defense attorney, he said that the lawsuit was "complete nonsense and entirely bogus." Considering that a year later, he and Daniels would be facing off against each other in court, you've got to take his legal advice with a cube of sugar.
Curling Had A "Broomgate"
Curling has endured many controversies, just like any other Olympic sport. Its biggest scandal was (ugh) Broomgate, a debacle so fierce that it eventually necessitated the direct intervention of Canada's National Research Council. Basically, the brooms used to steer stones across ice were getting too good, to the point that human skill was becoming irrelevant. Some curlers believed modern science had created a foul Frankenbroom that could defy the laws of physics and God, guiding the stones as if by foul sorcery, while others thought these weirdos needed to get a life.
In response to the controversy, the World Curling Federation held a "Sweeping Summit" in 2016, and probably didn't even giggle about it. That's how serious this issue is. Scientists from the National Research Council and top curlers from around the world gathered to test 50 different brooms, in a sequence of events that demands a whimsically scored montage. They used lasers, GPS, and even actual robots.
Then they announced a series of sensible adjustments and recommendations for the sport that seem to have mostly satisfied the community. The recommendations themselves are a bit inside baseball, but summit attendee Nolan Thiessen dramatically remarked that "it was the only solution we could stomach" -- forcing us to assume that the alternatives involved cannibalism. Canadians are serious about their curling.
An Embroidery Competition Led To Mass Hate-Stitching
In 2018, embroidery floss company DMC launched a competition for members of the public to send in designs to be featured on their website. It doesn't get more wholesome outside of a best boy competition where all the dogs get trophies, right? The problem was that the grand prize for this competition was what some call "exposure," but what most freelancers call "nothing." To top it all off, every artist who submitted a design was required to waive their rights to republish that pattern anywhere else. The embroidery community, never selfish or greedy, sent in their designs anyway. Some were poetic: