Is spelling a sport?

About this time every year I wake up and switch the television channel to ESPN to get updates on the National Hockey League and National Basketball Association playoffs.

What I find is a bunch of kids spelling words.

Yes it is the annual Scripps National Spelling Bee, which for some reason is on the biggest sports network in the world.

I can’t watch Australian Rules Football on ESPN, but I can watch a kid try to spell a five-syllable word. How does this make any sense?

I’m sorry, but spelling is not a sport and should not be shown on ESPN.

Yes, I do realize there are some similarities between spelling bees and basketball, but just because participants in both sweat does not mean both are sports.

I was in a spelling bee once and when it was my turn to go to the microphone to spell my word I was nervous. My palms were sweaty and I felt the pressure to deliver.

I have a feeling it was a similar situation to what a batter feels like when the bases are loaded and his team is down three runs with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning of game seven of the World Series.

It still doesn’t make spelling athletic.

I have gone to bed and dreamed about participating in athletic events. Many people dream about playing sports — few dream of spelling bees and the ones that do are probably having nightmares.

Spelling bees are unnatural while sports have uses in the real world.

How often have adults had to stand in front of a large group of people and try to spell a word correctly?

In most sports you have to run. That is a skill that comes in handy when you need to get away from somebody quickly.

The bottom line is that the spelling bee is not a sport and by definition should not be televised by a sports network.

Seriously, The Learning Channel would be a much better fit.

Just because it is C-O-M-P-E-T-I-T-I-V-E does not mean you have to T-E-L-E-V-I-S-E it E-S-P-N.

Although it is entertaining to watch a kid stress out while trying to spell foreign words such as zeitgeber.

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