Flattland - "Behold: The Power Of Cheese!"

Seahawks.NET's Trav Flatt, the President and Founder of the Worldwide Establishment for Investigating Ridiculous Diversions (W.E.I.R.D.), discloses the intricacies of Cheese Rolling and Shin Kicking. We're starting to wonder about him...

We here at the Worldwide Establishment for Investigating Ridiculous Diversions (W.E.I.R.D.) take great delight in researching the various competitive and/or recreational activities in which human beings will engage in when given enough free time and sufficient quantities of beer. Ironically enough, one of these activities is “Looking up stupid sports”, but we are not going to get into that at this point.

Our Foreign Correspondent, “Dave”, despite not having a convincingly foreign name, was inspired by the recent column on the sensation sweeping the British Isles, “Ferret-Legging”, and the notion that it should definitely be a televised event. He has been kind enough to inform us that the sport “Mountain Bike Bog Snorkeling” actually IS a televised event. This fascinating fact inspired us to delve into the question, “Just what ELSE will those British Persons do?” Additionally, given that our cats have left the room, we can now stop referring to ourselves in the third person.

Over the course of confirming that Bog Snorkeling was a real live televised event, I discovered a group of other impressive sports. Now, the faint of heart might wish to turn away, considering that I am about to describe what is, in terms of injuries-per-participant, the Most Dangerous Sport in the Whole Wide World. Cue up some ominous music whilst we delve into the Violent Sport of…

Cheese Rolling

Yes. This event, held annually in Gloucestershire (Pronounced, I guess, “Gloucestershire”), involves basically a group of people chasing an eight pound Double Gloucester cheese down a hill and invariably damaging themselves in the process. There are various heats, some of which are (In a blatant violation of physics) UPHILL.

While I have to concede that the sporting endeavor known as Cheese Rolling is in way nearly as stupid as sticking a pair of angry ferrets down your trousers (Though this writer would still love to see televised Celebrity Ferret-Legging. Just imagine, “George Steinbrenner”.), a quick look at some of the injuries incurred during a Cheese Rolling heat tell me that this is just a mite too far to be going to obtain some cheese.

Apparently, even the spectators are at risk.

According to various Cheese Rolling websites (Yes.), the “tradition” of Cheese Rolling has been in effect since the early 1800s. At this point, you are probably asking the most obvious question this event inspires: Why?!

Cheese Rolling Historic Researchers (Yes.) agree so much that the following statement is included on multiple Cheese Rolling websites: “It could have evolved from ancient fertility rites, hopes of a successful harvest or to safeguard the 'Commoners' Rights' of the inhabitants of the Hill.”

In other words, judging by the ‘Could Have’, these Historic Researchers have no idea whatsoever and are merely making something up. In this writer’s opinion, it originated with the ancient fertility rite of drinking large tumblers full of gin.

To further support my historical hypothesis, one need look no further than another Gloucestershire Sport…

Shin Kicking

Shin Kicking is, apparently, a rather popular sport among English persons. In fact, there is a ‘Shin Kicking Association of Britain’. (http://www.truebrits.tv/skab/) Be certain to spend some time investigating the offshoot sport of “Nude Shin Kicking”, which sounds to me like the results of a date gone horribly wrong.

I encourage everyone to go and sign the petition to make Shin-Kicking a competitive Olympic Sport, as I fully agree with their assertion that the sport is far less stupid than “Competitive Walking”.

Random Other Crap

Diligent Editor “Doug” pointed something out to me today, and the concept pretty much makes fun of itself though it certainly merits mention here due to the expected word count of this column.

Yes, it’s the “Michael Irvin Broadcasting School”.

In light of this information, numerous other sports figures stepped forward to put together their own seminars, camps, and schools. For example:

“Moises Alou’s Personal Hygiene Seminar”

“Randy McMichael’s Family Values Camp”

“Leonard Little’s School of Driving (With Guest Entertainer Glen Campbell)”

I personally can NOT WAIT until the first session of "Brian Bosworth’s Acting School", nor do I lack ANY bit of excitement in my anticipation to attend Roosevelt Barnes’ "Diplomatic Negotiation Made Easy".

Inspired by Irvin’s entrepreneurial desire to profit on his professional strengths, I have decided to implement the "Trav Flatt School of Relevant and Lucid Reporting". All registration fees will be donated directly to the newly established ‘Journalists Without Beer’ charity fund.

Fire off your scintillating insights, inquiries, and registration forms to trav@spinn.net

Trav Flatt

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