With March Madness coming to a predictable close, and the boys of summer primed to retake baseball fields across the country, it's due time to sit back and reflect on how lame and un-dangerous our favorite sports are, especially when compared to what goes on in other countries (and Florida, which is basically another country).
From flaming soccer balls, to dragging a dead headless goat from your donkey, athleticism is what you make it, and humans across the globe have made it very weird, wild, and incredibly masculine—if you consider risking your neck in the name of eternal glory masculine, which I certainly do.
Here are 20 manly sports you've likely never heard of that will instantaneously put hair on your puny, badminton-playin' chest.
Every six years, hundreds of Japanese men try to pile onto a 200-year-old pine tree, and toboggan that sh*t down a mountain. For honor, beauty, and a whole bunch of other noble principles that everyone immediately forgets as they see their friends dying beside them in a cloud of dirt and discarded headbands.
2. Pacu Jawi (Mud Cow Racing)
Competitors in this primarily Malaysian sport stand on a plank behind their cows, holding onto their tails as they race through the mud. Think of it as hillbilly waterskiing.
Three words: trampolines, balls, slamming.
4. Scandinavian wife-carrying
In this sport, deeply seeded in regional tradition, men carry their wives over 250 meters, through multiple obstacles. If your wife weighs less than than 108lbs, she has to carry a sack that will bring her up to that magic number, to even the playing field. If she weighs more than the required weight, you better just keep your mouth shut, dude.
5. Calcio Storico
Charles the 5th described the sport as "Too cruel to be a game, too small to be a war." I'm not sure who Charles the 5th is, but I do know this game consists of people not really paying attention to the ball, and focusing mainly on f*cking each other up.
6. Bo-Taoshi ("Pole Bring Down")
In this sport, the players try to knock over their competitor's poles, and beating the living hell out of each other is readily encouraged. It's just so unlike the country of Japan to do something weird for no particular reason....
7. Ferret legging
This sport centrally revolves around sticking an agitated ferret inside your pants. So, you could say this is the only manly sport on this list that can result in you losing your manhood. You could.
8. Prison rodeo
Though it sounds like a set-up for the next underwhelming Adam Sandler movie, Prison rodeos are definitely a thing. Some good does come out of it, as profits generally go towards inmate education. I wonder if the horses know they are playing by prison rules?
9. Fire coconut soccer
If you aren't playing soccer barefoot with a flaming coconut, you just aren't doing it right. Sorry, Messi.
Think of Buzkashi as Afghani football. Except instead of a football, it's a headless goat. And instead of using legs, you use horses. Oh, and instead of tackling, other players whip you, and also tackle you, for good measure.
11. Volcano boarding
As evidenced by the video above, Volcano boarding is super-dangerous even when sitting down. Though this is pretty badass, I would like to see someone try to board inside the volcano. Liquid hot magma, anyone?
12. Camel Jumping
With the only true professionals in this ancient sport hailing from the Zaraniq tribe of Yemen, it's fair to say this desert Evel Knievel act is a little niche. Still, with the average camel being at least seven-feet-tall at the hump, and with some of these guys leaping six at a time, this requires some Jodan-esque hops.
13. Alligator wrestling
If we've learned anything from Joe Dirt (besides how to love again), it's that wrestling alligators is an extremely dangerous profession for any man, Florida or otherwise. Alligator wrestling competitions are especially rough, considering you aren't just competing against other 'rasslers, but with Mother Nature herself.
14. Caber toss
One of the numerous manly sports the Scots indulge in, the Paul Bunyon-esque Caber toss consists of hurling a 20-foot-tall, 200-lb tree trunk in a circle. And afterwards, they probably have to eat haggis, which can be just as painful.
15. Shin kicking
This English sport is exactly what it sounds like. And even with a pant leg full of straw, being kicked in the shins hurt very badly. This is what being a true man is all about.
16. Chess boxing
For those possessing brains and brawn, chess boxing is a perfect test of mental and physical aptitude. By alternating rounds of brawling and chessin', this unique sport truly runs its competitors through the gamut. Moving your Queen to R-5? No problem. Moving your Queen to R-5 with a severe concussion? No probasdasscm....
17. Fight football
The aptly-named fight football combines two things people love, and smashes them together like a jacked-up Italian beating the crap out of a jacked-up Polish guy. See examples above.
18. Limbo skating
This little dude doesn't look like a man, but he is definitely acting like a total boss, splitting his legs and roller skating under a car. Just looking at this picture makes me squirm in claustrophobic fits.
Out of all the games on this list, Kabaddi might be soaked in the most tradition. A staple of ancient India, Kabaddi is played on a large scale in India and throughout South Asia, with rules encompassing everything from wrestling, to tag, to holding your breath for extended periods of time.
20. Bike bog snorkling
If you can't tell by the name, and accompanying picture, bike bog snorkling is...well, it's this.
21. Taser football
Normally, one would have to assault a security guard to be tasered this hard, this often.
22. Extreme ironing
Anything with its own Wiki page has to be legit—right? Extreme ironers have smoothed out their wrinkles on water skis, while skydiving, under a frozen lake, and repelling from cliff sides. So you think ironing isn't manly? Welcome to the 21st century, bro.