January 28th, 2002
Buzkashi-- Afghanistan's Lovable National Sport

The Taliban's insane devil gods won't allow anyone to compete in the Olympics, which puts much of the sports entertainment burden squarely on the shoulders of the spirit of competitive jump-roping in Afghanistan, the Skiperior Hot Dog Squad.

I'm the first American to admit that I don't know very much about Afghanistan. I've seen Rambo III a few times, but that only shows the completely awesome Rambo-filled parts of the country. What about the rest of it? I don't want to brag, but I don't really care. I come from a country where there are channels that only show movies about naked girls travelling through time to learn erotic lessons. An Afghani film festival is one eight minute movie of a bearded guy standing in front of a tent full of heroin encouraging viewers to please kill everybody, and after it's over everyone in the audience explodes themselves. The French make public access shows about milk pasteurization that are better than that. I'm honestly not compelled to learn about a country whose main exports are rugs, sweaters, and fucking madmen. To prove how true that is, name one Afghani team I've heard of that has ever even placed in the international competitive jump roaping games. (Answer above right)

There is one Afghani thing everyone should see before their country becomes a smoldering terrorist paste-filled crater, or at least a deeper terrorist paste-filled crater: their insane goat-slinging national sport, Buzkashi. Buzkashi was started in the time of Genghis Kahn, but unlike other sports started in the time of Genghis Kahn like Synchronized Impale the Villager, Horseback Crotch Kick, and Female Horseback Crotch Kick, Buzkashi survived relatively unchanged all the way to modern day, give or take a few million tons of anti-personnel explosives.

The first thing you need for Buzkashi, besides a warrior soul prepared for death, is the game ball or "boz." To prepare it, find a goat. Now chop off its head and most of its legs. This probably won't finish it off... Afghani goats are raised on soil composed of 80 percent land mine and require either intense persistence or voodoo to kill. So after the chopping, you need to submerge it in cold water for 24 hours. This helps toughen it up so the corpse doesn't fall apart during gameplay. And before you ask, yes, this is the exact same technique that Joseph Stalin and Hitler would have invented if they dictated the policy of sporting goods manufacturing and were goats.

Above: A piece of Buzkashi sports equipment enjoys its new sweater.
Here in America, a lot of our sports equipment is also made from things we tore off dead animals. Footballs, basketballs, and assless leather hockey chaps are all things that used to be wrapped around the organs of some farm animal while it was digesting its own feces. Of course, our animal-flesh goes through extensive treatment processes before we start throwing them around with our dads. This is advantageous for a number of reasons. First, during American sports, there is virtually no chance of a dead goat's intestines popping out all over you in the middle of a game and second, there are no eyeballs hanging off it that can curse us with their undead gaze. Third and maybe the most important-- the ball doesn't decompose into a rancid maggot circus after the game is over. That means that when American athletes want to get a game together, they can just take a ball out of their closet instead of having to chase down a pig with a chainsaw.

The advantages to a non-decomposing ball are clear, so why haven't Buzkashi leagues switched over to an artificial dead animal? Think about it. Right now, our government has the recipe for the everlasting Gobstopper right next to the car that runs entirely on your belief in fairies. But do you think the oil companies or the conspiratorial bastards that make Just Regular Gobstoppers will ever let them see the light of day? If so, then enjoy your graham crackers and leash because you're a retard. Their shareholders would lose billions. It's the same in Afghanistan, only instead of oil companies and Willy Wonka controlling everything, the government is in the pocket of the people in charge of chopping the heads off of goats. If the Buzkashi leagues were to go to a reusable not-just-an-animal-corpse official game ball, the country's goat chopping controlled economy would be annihilated. So until you can think of some other good reason to remove thousands of goat heads, dream your crappy little goat paradise dream, fruitball.

Above: The red arrow points to the hallal, or "Circle of Justice." Next to that is the "Hall of Justice," followed by its enemy, "Doctor Fright's Android Cyclops."
Once the buzkashi players have safely removed pieces of their corpse and prepared it for play, they drop it in a pit and draw a circle around it. This is called the "hallal" which translates very radly to "Circle of Justice." Then a massive hoarde of horseback riders crowd around it and grab for it. These swarming horsemen are called "chopendoz" which probably translates to "maniacs on horses, of justice." Whatever crazy chopendoz finally ends up with the dead goat has to hold on to it while he runs it around two poles throws it back in the hallal. It sounds simple, but remember-- this is Afghanistan. While you're running around the poles with your dead goat, the other hundred riders get to try to kill you. That's not a tough sports metaphor-- they really get to try to kill you. If you think a concussion might make another chopendoz drop the game goat, go ahead and can give him one. Riders end up with shattered noses, dislocated shoulders, broken legs, and our military satellites randomly vaporize one of them from space every twenty seconds. There's no reassuring coach to pull imbedded objects out of your chest and give you a ride to the hospital either. Of course, if you ever get admitted to an Afghani hospital, you'll be lucky to get out of there before they chop you into parts and sell you as sports equipment.

It used to be worse. In ancient times, a knife was standard Buzkashi equipment and it was totally normal for riders to just stab each other while they played. There's a reason this country was able to fight off Russian tanks with sticks and ponies for five years -- their national sport doesn't even have a rule outlawing stabbing murders. What I'm trying to say, mostly to the United States armed forces, is that if Afghanistan ever fucks with us again, just drop enough headless goats on them and these crazy bastards will probably finish themselves off.

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