With the lingering NHL strike, TV networks are looking for replacement sports. One of my PhD students (who claims he doesn’t spend too much time playing around on the internet but keeps coming up with these gems) sent me information about one sport that’s not coming to a network near you.

Yes, it’s ferret legging. That doesn’t really seem like a sport to me…more like a fetish or something someone might do when they’re really (really!) drunk. Yet, it apparently exists, evolving from its origins amongst Yorkshire coal miners to a not-much-broader audience.

The rules are pretty simple:

  • Tie your pant legs securely around your ankles
  • Let someone toss two ferrets down your pants.
  • Secure your belt.
  • Stand there until you can’t take it any more.

"Clean the abrasions thoroughly and hope they don’t get infected" is the step no one describes. Wounds are, not surprisingly, common, and some people, like world record holder Reg Mellor, wear white pants to show off the blood strains. Mr. Mellor’s world record? 5 hours and 26 minutes.

Interest in ferret legging is dwindling, which is probably a good thing for both ferrets and competitors. There’s no mention about whether there are any ferret legging family dynasties, but I suspect that regularly shoving sharp-toothed ferrets down your pants severely limits one’s chances of reproducing. That’s also good for ferrets and humans alike.

An attempt to be inclusive and create a women’s competition involving sticking ferrets up a blouse apparently failed – likely due to relative differences in common sense amongst the genders.