The sport of shin kicking not what it used to be

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Two shin kicking contestants in action/BBC

By Ray Hamill

This year has been one to forget for the poor old shin kickers of the world. They’re hoping 2018 will be better.

This, of course, begs numerous questions, most notably what the hell is shin kicking?

Well, let me explain.

The sport of shin kicking – and we use the term “sport” loosely here – is pretty much just as it sounds, where two competitors literally try to kick the living daylights out of each other’s shins until one of them falls to the ground in submission, presumably in some degree of agony.

In the past, the competitors used steel tip boots and built up their stamina at their weekly practice sessions by hitting their own shins with a hammer.

Sounds like fun.

It’s also a competition that has been celebrated annually in England for more than 400 years, with thousands of fans gathering each summer to watch all the wannabe idiots in action.

At least until this year.

Unfortunately, however, the tournament had to be canceled in 2017, according to the organizing committee, due to dwindling number of attendees and lack of funding.

Imagine that. They actually had problems finding enough people willing to get their shins pummeled. I guess real men ain’t what they used to be.

What’s noteworthy here is not that they had a dwindling number of competitors this year, but rather that they haven’t had a lack of numbers for the previous 400 years.

Even more surprisingly, they apparently had trouble attracting sponsors for such a family-friendly event.

What gives Nike? Don’t you know what you’re missing out on Gatorade?

I can see it now, a whole new advertising campaign based around the slogan, “Chicks dig the broken fibula.”

As for what all the poor shin kickers of the world will do now instead, one can only speculate. Perhaps some of them will take up eye poking or head butting, or maybe they can initiate a whole new testicle slapping championships.

In the meantime, organizers are hoping the shin kicking tournament will return in 2018.

I guess you can’t argue with 400 years of breeding.

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