Maybe I Need A Hobby
IS THIS THE FUTURE? ARE THESE THE THOMAS EDISONS OF TOMORROW?
I was flipping through the 237,812 channels on our TV the other day. There I found much to be ignored. I suppose that someone, somewhere, on some combination of medications might find some of these channels entertaining or informative. Me? I really have my doubts that “Ancient Aliens” built everything from the Pyramids of Giza up to and including the Astrodome.
But I did find one program that was both fascinating and appalling at the same time (Other than the Evening News). It was something called “Battlebots” or “Robot Wars,” or something like that.
On this show socially inept, but creative young adults, trot out mechanical robots armed with buzz-saws, flame throwers, and on more than one occasion, lipstick that then engage a similar robot (Or “Bot” in the jargon of the participants) in a Demolition Derby frenzy as an audience of family, friends, probably some care givers, and people with nothing better to do, cheer them on. The “Bots” are steered by their inventors using radio control little boxes with levers, switches, and buttons that unleash Hammers, Saw Blades, and Claws all designed to turn their opponent into scrap metal. These people are adult versions of the kids who used to be in the Audio-Visual Club in High School.
It’s like watching the remote cameras showing rush hour traffic on the Interstate with a three minute time limit.
The Producers of such shows present these Exercises in Robotic Mayhem as a Sport. Baseball is a Sport. Hockey is a Sport. Even Sumo Wrestling is a Sport. War between two Sheet Metal Versions of the guys at the controls is not a Sport. It is Nerd Puberty Rage.
There is a simple definition that should help define what is and is not, a Sport. If one can actively take part in the action while holding a drink – It is not a Sport, it is a GAME. If you have to put down your Bud Lite to take part – It is a SPORT. One cannot be on the Center Court at Wimbledon with a Brewskie in your hand
There you go. A simple, foolproof, never let you down definition. “Battlebots” could easily be done while sipping a Piña Colada.
The Producers are committed to presenting this stuff as a Sport. They have dressed it in the flummery of NFL Football and those Kick Boxing in a Cage things. The “Bots” battle in a cage-like arena. Lots of bright flashing lights to indicate excitement. Referees in striped shirts who have no real function. Judges who score the “Hits” and “Damage.” A Ring Announcer who introduces the combatants and a pair of Play-by-Play and “Color” announcers just like Monday Night Football.
The Play-by-Play fellow I see often on the MLB Channel hosting a Baseball Talk Show. On his MLB show he is clever, witty, and knowledgeable. On the Bot show he behaves like a 14 year old who has been chugging those Energy drinks, playing on his X-Box for 36 hours, and fantasizing about Katy Perry. His family must be so proud. His “Color Commentator” is a Mixed Martial Arts Champion. I suppose that makes him qualified.
I spent most of a Wednesday evening watching this stuff. Screaming crowds, hysterical announcers, and what looks like a bunch of “Roombas” on steroids tearing each other to bits.