Really, I Am an Athlete

By Tony Lee, Staff Writer

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 8:45 AM PST

What is 5’9”, 148 pounds, Asian and writes a sports column on the Coast Report?

I’ll give you a hint. I resemble someone that’s stereotypically aggressive, works out five times a week, and a manly man that avoids being “soft” at every cost.

A collegiate athlete masqueraded as a metro-sexual nerd of course! Don’t let the necktie and faux-hawk fool you.

I am an athlete. Even two of my best sports are featured on ESPN.

Well unless you’re one of the skeptics that believe golf and poker are not sports.

Nonetheless, I’m here to break the mold of the stereotypical athlete and sport’s definitions that may have been occupying your brain prior to this column.

So what makes me an athlete?

Well I can crossover people on the basketball court back to next week, throw a submarine-style pitch off the mound and run a 20 yard post pattern for a touchdown.

But sadly, I’ll still be the last one picked on the playground.

In fact, the day I’ll be considered as an athlete by my physical characteristics alone is the day pigs fly and that other place freezes over.

An athlete, by definition, is a person trained to compete in sports. It says nothing about physical characteristics, ethnicity, or occupation.

On the other hand, it’s enjoyable to watch the people that didn’t pick me to be unpleasantly surprised.

But what makes golf a sport, which is defined as an active diversion requiring physical exertion and competition?

Skeptics claim there’s nothing active about golf and it requires the “physical exertion” of a grandma’s knitting class but I have to disagree.

I challenge the skeptics to hit the miniscule golf ball that’s chilling on the grass with the distance and accuracy of a sniper riffle like good golfers can.

The ball isn’t moving and it’s quiet enough to hear the grass grow but it’s not as easy as it looks.

After that, you need to putt the ball into a tiny gopher hole approximately two times bigger than the golf ball.

Oh did I mention that you’re walking 18 holes with a 20 lbs bag on your shoulders, which is equivalent to walking four miles up and down a hill with a heavy backpack?

Golf is unique because it requires a delicate balance of finesse and power, incredible mental sharpness, amazing stamina, and rewards players for a lower score than a high one.

Unless the definitions change anytime soon, I am an athlete, a jock, a columnist, nerd, and a student.

So everyone that bowls, fishes, throws javelins, or does anything that may appear on ESPN the ocho, I’m here to state that you guys are also athletes and be proud of your sport.

And if anyone disagrees, tell them an OCC collegiate golfer, metro-sexual nerd, and sports columnist said otherwise.