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Why dog sled racing is a better sport than golf

Posted on Wednesday, March 17, 2010 in humor, Uncategorized

golfThis morning I had to listen to stories about Tiger Woods’ return to golf and the Masters’ Tournament. It was on the morning news. Then I got out of bed, turned on my computer, went to the home page of the Anchorage Daily News and learned that Lance Mackey again won the Iditarod. It got me thinking.

Why is dog sled racing is a better sport than golf even though it receives so much less attention from the press?

white-dogsFirst off is the strongest argument, I think. I know nothing about Lance Machey’s sex life and could I bet I can find out more details about his dog breeding than about his own. That is as it should be. A search on Google for “Tiger Woods sex” and “Lance Mackey sex” return 16,100,000 and 37,800 results respectively. The first page listed for the Mackey search is a sports news page that mentions Tiger. The second one is about his dogs. So I was right. Dog breeding is news worthy since it affects the strength of upcoming teams; human breeding attempts are not news.

Women compete directly with men. There’s no separate league for women. Alaska’s motto used to be “Where men are men and women win the Iditarod.” The sport always has several top female competitors from Libby Riddles, to Susan Butcher, Dee Dee Jonrowe, Jessie Royer, and so many others. There are even husbands and wives who compete in the same race.

Dogs are infinitely more interesting than golf clubs. I don’t think any golfer has ever had anyone ask permission to pet his or her clubs. Nor are there many fans out there taking photos of clubs. They are famous in their own right. Dogs even get their own awards. For the Iditarod they can win the Golden Harness Award, for example. Clubs don’t bark and jump around and show their own excitement for the sport. Now I will admit that no golfer has had to walk miles to track down a loose club nor has to scoop up gallons of golf club excrement every week.

DeeDeeLocations are more interesting. Mushers, even in local races, travel trails not often seen by others. Augusta, Georgia or the Yukon River, which is more fascinating and has a richer history? Do any golf tournaments commemorate anything historic, let alone something like the 1925 serum run to Nome?

Competitors wear better clothing. Many will argue with me over this one. But I think parkas patched with duck tape are more fun to look at than plaid pants. I prefer the Taco Bell logo plastered over Dee Dee’s butt to the Nike swish on a cap.

The action is more exciting. Watching excited dogs and exhausted mushers or watching people follow a ball around, which would you choose any day of the week?

dressThe fans are more fascinating. Does anyone wear eccentric clothing to golf tournaments? I mean fun and eccentric clothing. Mushing fans stand around for hours waiting in the freezing cold and have been known to be served donuts cooked in bear fat (at the Beargrease). They serve as volunteers and suffer with freezing temperatures, long drives, boredom, smelly dog booties, hungry mushers, and tired vets. Golf fans might only stand in the rain, drinking espresso.

The competitors have better stories. I mean this year there was a Jamaican, Newton Marshall, racing the Iditarod. And you can’t just enter that race without finishing other races to qualify. He may have trained in Jamaica on a wheeled sled pulled by stray dogs from a local shelter, but he managed to finish the Yukon Quest. Remember when Colonel Norman Vaughn was racing in his 80s? How about mushing families with multiple generations of competitors and winners? Dick, Rick, and Lance Mackey have all been winners. Martin Buser named his son Rohn after an Iditarod checkpoint and the son is also a musher. And who can resist someone like Herbie Nayokpuk, “The Shishmaref Cannonball.”

An seven course meal cooked by a famous chef on a cook stove is a lot more tantalizing than another silver cup. And the winner hasn’t even had to finish the race yet. In fact, the winner might not be the ultimate winner of the race. Now that keeps things interesting. There are also almost always awards for sportsmanship and for dog care.

I rest my case. But I’d love to hear your opinions.


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  2. I propose a simpler explanation: dog sled racing is better because stuff happens. Also, it’s dangerous and unpredictable. Golf is like playing a sport in your living room.

  3. I agree with all your points plus Alex’s. There is absolutely NOTHING interesting about golf. Sled racing has DOGS. And danger. And fun. And surprises.

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