This time of year signals the start of football season in America, as well as the popular television show, Dancing With the Stars. While some might wonder what professional sports and a TV ballroom dance show could have in common, those who are familiar with both know that they share much more in common than one might think.
Both programs are centered around intense competition in which opposing teams vie for a coveted prize, along with the honor of being crowned champion. Both require a tremendous amount of dedication, time, as well as mental and physical effort. Both also feature a number of high profile athletes, particularly legendary NFL players who tend to do well both on the football field as well as on the dance floor. The stats don’t lie: athletes won eight out of 22 seasons, took second place six times, and third place a staggering amount of times. Critics argue that athletes like Kristy Yamaguchi and Meryll Davis are more than gold medal winning Olympians, rather are in fact highly skilled acrobats who are actually over qualified by already mastering how to dance on ice for a living. For this reason, many analysts and viewers have argued that it just isn’t fair for an average, non-athletic person to have to compete and go toe to toe against a professional athlete of any kind.
If thes jocks were stars of their town’s recreation league that would be one thing. But the fact that they are stars from the big league of sports, at top of their field, just doesn’t seem fair to pit them against mere mortals, some with excess weight, bad knees and other ailments. Some stars like Wayne Newton and Bill Nye the Science Guy have no dance experience, while others like Jerry Springer say they haven’t been physically active in decades. Then there are others like Florence Henderson and Cloris Leechman who in their 80’s had to perform dance offs against elite athletes like Kurt Warner and Warren Sapp (who came in second place), and are not only decades their junior, but essentially ran circles around the elderly entertainers, as well as most of the cast for that matter! This has become the subject of many debates as of late, which is the fact that the competition really isn’t much of a competition at all for some.
What are your thoughts on the matter? Should professional athletes be allowed to compete along side with regular people who don’t share thesame level of athletic skill, strength, agility and stamina? Or perhaps they should have their own division, as some have suggested, where they can compete alongside others who are on the same playing field. Of the thirteen celebrities to make up the cast this year, which one do you think has all the right moves to go the distance?