Rex Sinquefield: A Hall of Fame Athlete (WTF?)

Categories: Politics, Sports
rex sinquefield athlete.jpg
Cue the "Rocky" theme song. It's time to celebrate another fictional athlete.
Rex Sinquefield is making his mark in Missouri in more than just politics these days. The gazillionaire best known for shoveling millions of dollars into political campaigns is also one of our state's greatest athletes. Yep, it's true.

The Missouri Sports Hall of Fame announced this week that Sinquefield is one of 17 inductees to its 2012 class. Other athletes sharing that honor include former Cardinals' outfielder Jim Edmonds, Kansas City Chiefs' great Emmitt Thomas and Mizzou basketball legend Jon Sunvold.

The HOF says that Sinquefield is worthy of induction for his role in founding (and bankrolling) the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis and the nearby World Chess Hall of Fame. Both are fine institutions. We won't argue that. But 'cmon, can you really call chess a sport?

Yes, says the Springfield-based Hall of Fame. It claims it's just following the protocols of the International Olympic Committee, which has recognized the game as a sport.

Er, okay. But you'll note that the "sport" won't be played at London's 2012 Olympics, nor is it scheduled to be played at any of the following two Olympic games scheduled for 2014 and 2016. Apparently recognizing a game as a sport and giving a rat's ass about it are two very different things for the IOC.

Here in Missouri, though? Hey, we got to fill that Hall of Fame with something. 

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Jimbohorton
Jimbohorton

What expertise does T-Rex have as a chess player or has he just bankrolled the effort. My guess is Rex made a significant donation to the Mo. Sports of Hall of Fame in order to get included - either that or given money at some point to some one.

Jack Wilson
Jack Wilson

CHESS IS A SPORT. It requires conditioning and hardwork just like everything else. I haven't broken the  barrier to pro yet, but there have been many times that I've considered going into boxing instead. You just don't realize the difficulty in pushing yourself mentally vs physically until you're up late at trying to comprehend something that you just don't get; pushing yourself mentally is far more difficult than pushing yourself physically. You wanna call someone a fake athlete  how about you call every pro wrestler ever a fake athlete. That would be more accurate than trying to say chess isn't a sport. Chess is a mental sport. To put it frankly many people that criticize chess as a sport aren't mentally fit enough to play a 5 minute game let alone a 6 hour one. 

Chris W
Chris W

Anyone who has ever played in a chess tournament will understand that chess is indeed a very physical activity. 

If you have not done so, let me describe a little bit of what happens. 

First, you are battling your own nerves for as long as six hours in a sitting.  If you watch chess players at work you will see people who are actually shaking because they are fighting to calm their nerves.  It's not an easy task to subject yourself to being mentally broken by another human being.

Look at someone who's game has just ended.  Often you will notice that they look punchdrunk. There are a lot of people who will be physically sweating from the mental exertion that playing a serious game takes.

In a tight game you experience serious muscle tension.  You feel almost like you are cramping up from battling so hard for so long.

And you do this several times a day. 

I would ask that the people who are solidly in the "chess is not a sport" camp go to the chess club next year during the US Championships and watch a game.  You will see what it really looks like and stop thinking it's a bunch of people just sitting around playing some board game that requires little skill and less effort.

Denny
Denny

Whether chess is termed a sport or not isn't really the point. The point is, Chess is a very worthwhile activity that stimulates the brain and very much ought to be offered and encouraged to youth. Chess is better than a sport!

Liborio Castro
Liborio Castro

What is sport? ¿Compete? Competence as? Chess is a sport then as can be poker, backammon, or play marbles. But that's not the point. For me, chess is more than a sport, is a super tool in eduación and promote what is important. Intellectual Capacity and Developing Emotional Intelligence.¿Que es deporte? ¿competir? ¿Competencia? Entonces el Ajedrez es deporte como tambien lo puede ser el poker, backammon, o jugar canicas. Pero esa no es la cuestión. Para mi el Ajedrez es mas que un deporte, es una super herramienta en la eduación y promoverlo es lo importante. Desarrollando la Capacidad Intelectual y la Inteligencia Emocional.

Kitty
Kitty

Does Rex actually play chess, or did he just donate a ton of money for the centers?  If he's a champion chess player, it's legit. If not, why don't we induct Bill Dewitt into the Hall of Fame for owning the World Champion Cardinals??

Liz
Liz

I applaud Rex for bringing chess to St. Louis children. Chess is extremely useful in developing a child's life skills, math abilities, and confidence. Not to mention what the Chess Club brings to St. Louis culturally. 

Once again, winning reporting from the RFT!

RBH
RBH

If golf can be classified as a sport then why should notchess?  Both give about the same amountof physical activity.  Rex is justgetting recognition where it is due. With Saint Louis losing so many corporate headquarters in the past yearswe are so fortunate to have a leader like Rex to bring his passion here andhelp turn the tide.

Lobbysaurus Rex
Lobbysaurus Rex

How many of you did Rex call or email and tell you to comment on this post?  "So fortunate to have a leader like Rex to bring his passion"  I think I just gagged a little!

If Rex's passion includes his opposition to tax incentives and the abolitionment of income taxes in favor of sales taxes (that would wreck the state and its economy btw) we'd be happy to see him go!

Liz
Liz

In the last ten years, Missouri has been 48th in real GDP growth. That being with the income tax you favor. However, states that do not have an income tax, such as Texas (9th), Tennessee (36th), and Washington (27th) state have significantly better standing in this economic GDP growth. Also, Rex supports repealing the income tax, which would mean a 6% permanent, immediate, pay increase. That sounds like a significant "tax incentive" to me. 

MunkieJoel
MunkieJoel

Chess, Poker ect... = Intellectual sport. (that should satiate all the meat heads out there by not taking away that they can differentiate, most of the time, between 2 different colored jerseys) And to all the "real sports" players, feel free to use Google to better understand anything I've said here...

Davidawoodruff
Davidawoodruff

If Chess is a sport, Poker is a sport.  I look forward to seeing who they recruit from River City Casino for next years list.  

OscarsWild
OscarsWild

No kidding!  By that reasoning so is checkers...so is backgammon...monopoly...and let's not forget my personal favorite chutes and ladders!

There are sports and there are games.  Chess is a game, not a sport.

Anonymous
Anonymous

There's no goddamn strategy to Chutes and Ladders, it's all just luck!

Uhvbnjonathaned
Uhvbnjonathaned

Hogwash!  My goddamn strategy for winning Chutes and Ladders is unbeatable!

Luck = preparation + opportunity

Seanpaultrani
Seanpaultrani

Poker, checkers backgammon players do not play under a time control system like chess. Battling a clock requires speed, timing and mental focus like all sports. 

KC
KC

Chess is most definitely a competitive sport.  You must be mentally strong to play such a game.  Kudos to Rex for being an inductee and bringing chess to the children of St. Louis.  He's the type of man that steps up to the plate and makes St. Louis and Missouri better for everyone!

Jack
Jack

Anyone who has played a 2 hour+ game of chess knows it should be a sport. Glad Rex is being recognized for promoting chess as a sport. Thanks Rex, STL needs more like you. 

Ben Muehleisen
Ben Muehleisen

Chess is most certainly a sport, it takes way more effort that a lot of other sports, just not physical effort.

And I, for one, am very happy that someone with the means and the desire is doing what he can to make Missouri better for everyone. If only some of the other well-to-do people cared enough to get involved and make St. Louis and Missouri great again!

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