Sports Surfing and Other Underrated Sports Professional Essay

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Sports

SURFING and OTHER UNDERRATED SPORTS

Professional sports evolved tremendously in the United States during the 20th century. At the turn of the century, only Major League Baseball (MLB) existed even remotely in the same format into which it has developed a century later. Since then, American football, basketball, and ice hockey leagues assumed national prominence, together with other national sports like NASCAR, which actually originated during the Great Depression when illegal "rum runners" in the Southern states began modifying their cars to outrun the law enforcement authorities. Nevertheless, many other sports do not enjoy the same level of appreciation in the U.S. despite the fact that they are no less difficult and require comparable talent and dedication to pursue at a high level.

Discussion:

Surfing is typical of bona fide sports that are underappreciated in the U.S., along with soccer, wrestling, gymnastics, and lacrosse. Surfing requires swimming proficiency just to participate before even considering the tremendous skill and kinesthetic balance required just to successfully get up onto a surfboard, let alone to compete at a high level.

Soccer is the most popular team sport in the world but has not succeeded as a spectator sport in the U.S. despite several attempts at creating professional leagues. Wrestling and gymnastics are both commonly part of American high school curricula, but within the last two decades, dozens of colleges and universities, including some of the NCAA Division I schools that had previously featured national championship-level teams have cancelled their programs for budgetary reasons. Similarly, lacrosse is typically offered only at the high school and college level, but there is absolutely no opportunity for a professional career in the sport, even for the sport's top players, beyond the collegiate level.… [END OF PREVIEW]

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