The List:

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 27, 2008

Sports … or maybe not so much

By George L. Jones

The Selma Times-Journal

Why does the world love horse racing?

I mean, really. What&8217;s the draw? Even though I&8217;ve never gambled in my life, I can see following the sport if you&8217;re going to put some money down once in a while. Otherwise, why care about horses bouncing off each other going around a muddy track?

First of all, horses are not athletes. Owners will tell you otherwise. They pretty much have to. It&8217;s the only way to justify spending millions of dollars and speaking so fondly of a creature whose natural instinct is to kick you in the head.

Big Brown. Secretariat. Seattle Slew. Affirmed. Seabiscuit. Great horses. Nice to look at. Really, I admire their grace and beauty. None of them athletes.

I&8217;d kind of like to reserve that title for species that walk upright and know how to use a remote control.

So then I got to thinking &8230;

There&8217;s at least a handful of sports we should all be watching but don&8217;t.

Today on &8220;The List,&8221; we&8217;ll look at those who are overlooked and underappreciated in sports.

4. WNBA &8212; They&8217;re young, hip and they can&8217;t dunk. Well, most of them, anyway. Is that really the biggest issue with the WNBA&8217;s suffering popularity?

Are we as sports fans really incapable of watching a basketball game unless the athletes are playing above the rim? Let&8217;s ask Average Joe. Average Joe, what do you think about the WNBA?

Joe: What&8217;s the WNBA?

Next &8230;

3. Hockey &8212; Yes, I am once again being a cheerleader for the sport no one south of Illinois, north of Florida or east of Texas cares about. And I&8217;m not sure why because I&8217;m sure most people skipped on to the next item right around, &8220;Yes I am &8230;&8221;

2. Baseball &8212; See, you think you&8217;re a fan, but you&8217;re not really a FAN. That doesn&8217;t come until you&8217;ve appreciated the pain of feeling your team, the team you thought couldn&8217;t be beaten, get crushed right before your very eyes. And then, of course, you have to endure watching to Orioles play in person.

1. Water polo &8212; If you need an explanation for this one, you&8217;re beyond my help. Wait, maybe I shouldn&8217;t be so harsh &8230; Nah.

George L. Jones is the Times-Journal managing editor and may be reached at 334-410-1744 or