Current Affairs

A Magazine of Politics and Culture

The “Quarantine Sports” Roundtable

In which our editors consider exciting new coronavirus-era sports, such as cat wrassling, potato-related strength competitions, and writing absurdist movies.

NICK SLATER (NEWSLETTER EDITOR): At the risk of sounding unserious, everything is so fucking heavy right now and personally I am desperate for some levity. Proposing the following topic: What New Sports/Dumbass Diversions Would You Like To See Become A Thing?

For me, if zoos started holding otter slip-n-slide races I would shit myself with joy. All narrated by that sportscaster who’s filming his dogs.

LYTA GOLD (AMUSEMENTS AND MANAGING EDITOR): Hell yeah, let’s invent some sports! I would love to see professional cat wrassling. It comes in two varieties: 1) cats wrassling other cats, a.k.a. the lost art of catboxing 2) humans attempting to wrassle cats.

SLATER: Absolutely would watch the hell out of this. One human versus 10 cats: whomst emerges victorious?

GOLD: cats

SLATER: obviously

GOLD: Actually if we were to replace all goalkeepers with small athletic cats I would become a soccer fanatic. I’m also extremely high on competitive marble racing right now, which, let’s be real, could also use some cats.

SPARKY ABRAHAM (FINANCE EDITOR): Remember the lumberjack competitions they used to show on like ESPN41? We need more of that kind of thing. Also more of those strength competitions where they had to like pick up a Volkswagen and carry it across a sandbox or whatever.

NATHAN J. ROBINSON (EDITOR-IN-CHIEF): I do not want this to become the kind of society where achievement is measured by whether you can carry a Volkswagen across a sandbox.

CATE ROOT (ADMINISTRATIVE MAVEN): Nathan, this is what you’ve been training for! What are the sacks of potatoes FOR except feats of strength?

ROBINSON: lol I am NEVER going to make it through the full five sets of the Nick Slater workout.

(Editors’ note: the Nick Slater Workout Routine is included at the bottom of this roundtable, please lift responsibly.)

ELI MASSEY (CONTRIBUTING EDITOR): How about a society where achievement is measured by how many kittens you can rescue from a burning building and/or how quickly you can get your toboggan of whale blubber to the nearby village?

ROBINSON: I would prefer the challenges involve things like “how many absurdist movie plots can you write in an afternoon.”

GOLD: I don’t think that would make very exciting TV. “How many absurdist movie pilots can you film in an afternoon?”—now that’s a show. Also my husband suggests Professional Beer Pong, which 10/10 would watch.

ALLEGRA SILCOX (BUSINESS MANAGER): Amateur wine shuffleboard.

SLATER: “Pin the cravat on the flustered Nathan who is late for his hair-tousling appointment.”

ROBINSON: All my hair-tousling appointments have been canceled until further notice. I will just have to concentrate on the Nick Slater workout routine, all five sets of it. I am just not in shape. I will get there; have to be buff by the end of seclusion. When I come out of quarantine all the ladies and gents will go “who is that burly magazine editor strutting down the boulevard?”

GOLD: I’m only able to complete one set so far, lol. Maybe I’ll work on my panda rolling skills.

The Nick Slater Workout Routine for the Making of Impressively Burly Magazine Editors (But Only If They Feel Like Exercising Right Now, Which Is Super Not Required)

Nick’s Note: Takes around 1 hour and 10 minutes if you’re maniacal, or 1 hour and 30 minutes if you’re a leisurely gentleperson.

  • 5 sets each of:
    • 25 pushups
    • 25 squats (with resistance band, if desired)
    • 25 tricep dips (using hard-bottom chair or sturdy table)
    • 25 leg extensions (basically, you’re on all fours and then extend leg as far/high as possible, using resistance band if desired)
    • 25 bicep curls (with resistance band or sack of potatoes or other medium-ish weight)
    • 35 calf raises (basically just lifting yourself onto your tip-toes, can use resistance band if desired)
    • 15 side shoulder raises (with resistance band or sacks of clementines or other light-ish weights)
  • In between these sets, I usually do a couple minutes of stretching in order to catch my breath:
    • Twists
    • “Splits”—not actual splits obviously, just spreading legs as far apart as possible
    • Windmill yoga pose (looks like this)
    • Hamstring stretch (I usually put one leg on a table and grab my toes)
    • “Thread the needle” shoulder stretch (looks like this)
  • Enjoy!

Cover image via Wikimedia by Wknight94. Lumberjack Andy Colle in the standing block chop event at the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show in Ketchikan, Alaska.

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