Here's why spelling is indeed a sport   

Updated: May 30, 2008, 1:10 PM ET

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Do you think the Scripps National Spelling Bee couldn't possibly get any sportier than it already is?

Well, you are mistaken, my friend.

I watched the coverage of Thursday's opening rounds and noticed many of the words were accompanied by sample sentences with sports references.

Check it out.

Anqi Dong

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Is this speller concentrating intensely … or just thinking about Danica Patrick?

Guernsey
n. Rich, creamy milk produced by a breed of dairy cattle from Guernsey in Ireland.

The casual racing fan was disappointed to see that Danica Patrick was not covered in Guernsey at the conclusion of the Indianapolis 500, so he instead imagined what it would look like.

cacoethes
n. An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable.

As the exotic dancer neared, Pacman Jones tightly gripped his wad of singles, hopelessly fighting his cacoethes.

cygnet
n. A young swan.

Much to their chagrin, the Falcons discovered that Matt Ryan finances a cygnet-fighting ring.

sinecure
n. A position requiring little or no work but giving the holder status or financial benefit.

With the designated hitter and a $200 million roster no longer at his disposal, Joe Torre found himself missing his sinecure with the Yankees.

SportsNation Spelling Bee

Think your spelling ability is up to snuff? See how well you fare in ESPN.com's sixth annual SportsNation Spelling Bee.

beignet
n. A square of fried dough eaten hot and sprinkled with confectioners' sugar.

C.C. Sabathia was forced to miss a start after burning his hand on a beignet.

portmanteau
n. A large trunk or suitcase, typically made of stiff leather and opening into two equal parts.

After blowing another save, Eric Gagne decided he'd better pack his portmanteau.

wassail
n. Spiced ale or mulled wine drunk during celebrations for Twelfth Night and Christmas Eve.

The pictures of young women doing wassail bongs at Matt Leinart's Christmas party hit the Internet.

oniomania
n. An obsessive or uncontrollable urge to buy things.

It was free-agency season, so Daniel Snyder was fraught with oniomania.

nonce
adj. For or used on one particular occasion.

It was beginning to look like "Rocktober" would become a nonce term.

Shiva Kangeyan

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

We believe these contestants when they say they did it without steroids.

indolent
adj. Wanting to avoid activity or exertion; lazy.

Bill Parcells briefly stopped eating the chili dog to make the point that he did not care for indolent players.

slumgullion
n. Cheap or insubstantial stew.

Despite their winning ways, all the Marlins were provided for their postgame spread was a bit of slumgullion.

calumniate
v. Make false or defamatory statements about.

Roger Clemens wonders why everyone he once knew likes to calumniate so much.

lambent
adj. Glowing, gleaming or flickering with a soft radiance.

The reporter couldn't help but be drawn in by Tom Brady's lambent face.

agrostologist
n. Someone who studies the branch of botany concerned with grass.

David Stern was disappointed to discover that many of his players employ agrostologists.

palaver
n. Prolonged and idle discussion.

The sports radio show was nothing but palaver.

nutria
n. A large, semiaquatic beaver-like rodent native to South America.

A rat the size of a nutria scurried out of the Yankee Stadium bathroom.

nidicolous
adj. Hatched or born in an undeveloped state and requiring care and feeding by the parents.

The Bulls did not want to draft a nidicolous prospect.

indumentum
n. A covering of hairs on an animal or plant.

The offensive lineman had a very thick indumentum.

sabot
n. A box from which cards are dealt at casinos in gambling games.

Charles Barkley decided to keep doubling his bet until the sabot was empty.

quaternion
n. A set of four people or things.

Kendrick Perkins asked the big three if they were interested in starting up a quaternion.

demitasse
n. A small cup of coffee.

The marginal prospect got to the majors only for a demitasse.

Barmecidal
adj. Offering benefits that are illusory or disappointing.

It wasn't long before the player discovered that Scott Boras was a Barmecidal agent.

virago
n. A domineering, violent or bad-tempered woman.

The virago at home kept Kobe Bryant at the gym, working on his game.

polonaise
n. A woman's dress with a tight bodice and a skirt open from the waist downward, looped up to show a decorative underskirt.

The groupie pranced through the players' hotel in her finest polonaise.

wainwright
n. A wagon builder.

The Celtics had to hire several wainwrights to accommodate all of the people wanting to jump on the team's bandwagon.


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