Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

Official Sport of the Health Care Debacle

October 9th, 2009 · 2 Comments


When folks ask us about out take on the health care mess, we always bring up the tale of our pal “Lancer.” (Names have been Robotech-ed to protect the potentially moritified.) A few years back, poor Lancer was playing a little pickup basketball when his ACL decided that it no longer enjoyed being a complete entity. Alas, Lancer was temping at the time, and thus among the ranks of the uninsured. The ensuing surgery landed him in mammoth credit-card debt, which we believe he’s still trying to climb out of ’til this day.

As self-employed khans, we’ve wavered between being uninsured and terribly insured for the past nine years. (We’re currently in the latter category, thanks the Mrs. Microkhan’s small business.) As such, we’ve kept Lancer’s experience in mind and avoided physical activities that might lead to financial ruin. That means no pickup basketball, no BASE jumping, and no luge. (We did try our hand at a biathlon last winter, but we skied slowly.) Fortunately, while in Kenya we encountered a sport that seems perfectly designed for Americans who are one sports injury away from bankruptcy: tchoukball. It is a sport that was specifically designed to reduce the risk of bodily harm:

Dr Brandt noticed that many sports produced shocking injuries that stopped even the toughest of athletes from participating further. After discussing these concerns in the book ‘From Physical Education to Sport Through Biology’, Dr Brandt presented his now famous paper ‘A Scientific Criticism of Team Games’. This won him the coveted ‘Annual World Prize of the FIEP’ (International Physical Education Federation).

Within this paper, Dr Brandt explored ways in which to construct the perfect team game whilst paying heed to his key concern of reducing injury. The practical expression of his ideas, stemming from his critical study of existing games, is the game we have come to know as TCHOUKBALL.

How incredibly Swiss of Dr. Brandt. Also noteworthy is his hope that tchoukball would lead to world peace:

The objective of human physical activities is not to make champions, but make a contribution to building a harmonious society.

It’s probably a good thing that Dr. Brandt never crossed paths with Red Sanders.

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2 Comments so far ↓

  • MSK

    All very nice, but between the charter and the video, I have no idea what the actual object of the game is. Which is OK – that just reminds me of playing catch with friends, trying to be as acrobatic as possible.

    Ultimate Frisbee is also supposed to be no-contact, and have a “spirit of the game” that means no referees – fouls and violations are called by players, often on themselves. It often works, but also often doesn’t. And then it gets ugly.

  • Brendan I. Koerner

    @MSK: Yeah, it’s a head scratcher. I love how there’s a slo-mo highlight at the 1:44 mark in the video. To the untrained eye, it’s probably the least dramatic sports highlight in the history of mankind. Why the creator of this vid thought it deserved the slo-mo treatment is beyond me. But then again, I’m a tchoukball neophyte.

    I wonder if there’s a New York league where I could try it out. Though, of course, not before I try my hand at kabaddi.

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