Monday, March 5, 2012

What It Means To Be Athletic

So I found this article today. The Thirty Skinniest, Non-Athletic-Looking Wrestlers Of All Time

The first time I read it, I only managed to get to #10, which by coincidence just happened to be Chris Sabin. I later went back and read the whole thing out of sick morbid curiosity.

I truly don't understand what this author considers "athletic" to look like. Sometimes it seems that "athletic" just means "tall." So guys under six foot, like Jamie Noble, Evan Bourne and AJ Styles (AJ Styles isn't athletic, y'all)  by virtue of being, say, five foot eight, aren't athletic. Maybe in basketball athleticism equals height, but then again, consider Spud Webb at 5'7, or Muggsy Bogues at 5'3. A five foot three inch tall professional basketball player! That's barely taller than I am!

And yet Spud scored an average of 9.9 points per game. Muggsy had 11.2 Plus Muggsy was in Space Jam. Not that that has anything to do with athleticism... it's just awesome.

Anyhow, I digress. The point I'm trying to make here is that height and athleticism are not implicitly tied. Tall people aren't always athletic.

Of course, there were some people on the list who were quite scrawny. Colin Delaney, for example. Ginger luchador El Generico is another. El Generico regularly flips all over the ring, inside and out. But that's not athleticism? I'd like to see the guy who wrote this article pull off a split-legged moonsault or nail a 450* splash, I'm just saying.

Some entries on this list go right into "wtf" territory. Namely Chris Sabin, Alex Shelley and Chris Hero, not to mention Daniel Bryan and CM Punk. Perhaps you can lump Sabin, Shelley and Daniel Bryan into the "Short equals nonathletic" category, by virtue of being less than six feet tall.

Which leaves CM Punk, a comfortable 6'2, and Chris Hero, an even more comfortable 6'4.What puts them on this list? Skinny arms.

Or consider Jay Lethal, who is "only" 225 pounds. Only 225 pounds! My goodness! What a shrimp! What an absolute weakling!

Clearly the author values height and size as athleticism. So by that token, guys like Batista, Ezekiel Jackson, The Great Khali, Big Show, The Rock, John Cena, Triple H, and Mason Ryan are the most athletic guys in the business, or at least in the WWE roster's side of things.

According to this author (and probably Vince McMahon too, all things considered) athleticism is muscles. Huge giant probably ill-begotten (steroids!) musculature. Only that and nothing more. To be athletic you clearly have to have shoulders on your shoulders, a neck wider than your head, the inability to put your arms down (bulky snowsuits notwithstanding) and less than 3% bodyfat. Oh, and you have to weigh over 250 lbs and be taller than six foot, minimum. Six foot five and up is probably preferred.

So clearly things like agility and speed don't matter a fig where athleticism is concerned... at least to the author of that article. I hope he does the flip side and tells us who the thirty most athletic guys in the biz are. I'd love to see it.

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