Jackson 5: Five strangely absurd sports across the globe

By Aaron Jackson,

With more places to watch sports than ever networks and websites are streaming more and more content. Sports like Cornhole are now even on ESPN at different times of the year. With that in mind, I’m all about trying to find the next big thing. Here are five actual sports that might strike your fancy.

  1. Toddler Bike Riding: This is the sport that inspired this post. This morning I read an article about how this has become one of the most cut throat sports out there. It’s insane. Toddlers are thrown on bikes with no brakes or pedals, lined up at a start ramp, and the kids kick the bikes through a maze and around sharp corners. There are four major races known as the Strider Cup that take place around the country, and we all know how popular the Little League World Series is. This could be the next big youth sport on TV.

2. Underwater Ice Hockey: This sport is popular overseas, and even has a world cup with teams competing from countries like Austria, Slovakia, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland and Slovenia. It’s played underneath a 19 foot wide by 26 foot wide sheet of ice, typically located on a pond, though there are now also pools that allow the sport to be played.  You have to be upside down of course in order to use the ice under water, and there needs to be plenty of holes to escape as well as 4 trained scuba divers on staff, so safety is taken care of. Filming could be a challenge.

3. Wife Carrying: I’m mildly positive I’ve actually seen this on TV already, but not sure about that. It is a North American sport that was actually founded right here in Maine, at Sunday River to be exact. Legends base the origins and history of the sport with 19th century vikings who would go to villages and steal all the food and women. There is now a North American championship featuring teams from the US and Canada, with the winners moving on to the World Championships. The competition is exactly what you’d think..although teammates do not have to be legally married, which is strange given the name.

4. Cheese Rolling: Another sport that has some competitors in Maine, though the big event is in the UK. Again, pretty much the title says it all. A wheel of cheese is rolled down a steep hill, with competitors running after it. Some competitions, such as the one held in Belfast, Maine, give the wheel of cheese to whoever can catch it first, while others just require the racers to be the first one down the hill in order to win. Think of it like the Kentucky Derby for cheese enthusiasts.

5. Toe Wrestling: You’ve probably heard of thumb wrestling and arm wrestling, but how about toe wrestling? This one is a bit awkward for people not named Rex Ryan I think, but it was invented in the United Kingdom in 1974 because “the UK couldn’t produce any world champions”. At first they tried ear wrestling, but that was found to be not successful, so Toe Wrestling it was. To play you simply take off your opponents shoes and socks (common courtesy in the sport I’m told) and then link toes. They then attempt to pin the others foot, with a best 2 out of 3 deciding the winner. Feet played with are alternated.

Aaron Jackson is a co-host on The Drive, weekdays 4pm to 6pm on 92.9fm The Ticket and streaming live at DriveShowMaine.com. Follow us on Twitter, @DriveShowMaine and “Like Us” on Facebook, Drive Show Maine.