By now you’ve all seen (or will soon be seeing) last night’s football game.  As is now traditional, the referees made an impressively botched call and then doubled down multiple times on their failures.  Above you can see the video of the main failure of the game, but one of the delights was actually after when they forced the teams back on to kick a superfluous extra point:

And then, after all that, as several Seahawks players were taking their shoulder pads off in the locker room, they were told by coaches and managers that they had to go out and kick that league-mandated point after touchdown. Receiver Sidney Rice went out in his football pants, and undershirt, and no shoes. Guard John Moffit had to throw his pads back on before he even knew what was happening.

“It was required by league rule,” Luckett said of the PAT. “The point after touchdown is an extension of the game, so we have to finish the game. A touchdown on the last play, you have to do the extra point, in regulation.”

Nevermind all that though.  While last night might’ve been one of the most bizarre games in all of sport last night, it has nothing on Kabbadi, one of the most bizarre games in all of sport every night.

Kabbadi, primarily played on the South Asian subcontinent, is played by two teams trying to tackle each other (much like football).  The origin of the name of the sport, however, is not like football, in that it comes from the Tamil words for “holding hands.”

The two teams stand on opposite sides of a field, and each team takes turns sending a guy known as a “raider” over to the opposite side of the field.  The raider’s job is to tag as many players of the opposing team as he can, and if you get tagged you’re out.  Kind of like freeze tag.

“SO WHAT!” you scream unconscionably.  “Me and me mates invented freeze tag on the school yard 30 years ago!  It’s exactly the same game, but with a little red rover thrown in.  And that’s crap.”

But crap it is not.  The main challenge of kabbadi is that the raider is not allowed to breathe at all.  And how do you prove you’re not inhaling at all?  You exhale the whole time.

By shouting KABBADIKABBADIKABBADIKABBADI as you run across.

That’s it.

Wikipedia informs me that divisions are separated by age and weight.  A part of me really wants to see this played with old fat guys.


About Michael Ballaban

Editor, The Ball-Aban News

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