There's a fun little game I like to play occasionally where I start to type a question into the Google search bar and stop to see what their algorithm thinks the rest of the question is. Let's see what the game tells us about different athletes, then as a bonus I'll try to answer some of the questions!

This is the question: Why are ______ players so ______?

Google Autocomplete About Your Sport

Short or Tall

The short side is very, well, short. Only gymnasts and figure skaters had that trait suggested. For tall athletes, baseball players, basketball players, football players, handball players, hockey players, rugby players, swimmers, tennis players, volleyball players, and wrestlers all were guessed to be tall.

Why are volleyball players so tall? All the jumping these athletes do must stretch out their frame.


Weak or Strong

The poor soccer players get the double whammy with "why are soccer players so weak" and "so wimpy". While the strength sports had some creative ways of saying they are strong with gymnasts (so ripped), hockey players (so tough), rugby players (so jacked), swimmers (so muscular), and wrestlers (so strong and so jacked).

Why are gymnasts so ripped? Gymnastics requires every muscle to help stabilize their body through floor routines, bar spins, ring flips, and vaults. Being ripped keep them from falling during a two-and-a-half double spin pike, which is equal parts painful and embarrassing.


Thin or Thick

Volleyball players are quite the paradox. They are at the same time "so thick" and "so fit". Most other sports had the athletes appear on one side or the other. On the thin side, there are basketball players (so lean and so skinny), figure skaters (so skinny), runners (so skinny and legs so skinny), and tennis players (so skinny). On the thick side, there are baseball players (so fat), football players (so big and so fat), rugby players (so big), softball players (so thick and so fat), and water polo players (so big and so fat).

Why are water polo players so big? I don't know if you have watched many nature shows, but animals that spend extended time in the water need a layer or layers of fat to keep their core temperatures stable. The same natural adaptations apply to athletes.


Rich or Poor

There are only one of each. On strong financial ground are the golfers (paid so much), while the cheerleaders (paid so little) have very little to cheer about.

Why are golfers paid so much? It mostly has to do with difficulty. A basketball player is at most 30 feet away from their target. Football and soccer players are maybe triple that distance away. But golfers are trying to sink a ball into a tiny cup from hundreds of yards away. That's why they get the big bucks.


Hot or Not

We are talking about athletes here, so most people playing these sports are going to have bodies that are in good form. The surprising thing is the only sport to have a negative stigma did not show up in the thick categorization before. Nope, apparently, the looks of basketball players (so ugly) does not go over well with enough people to trigger this autocomplete suggestion. But the ending phrase "so hot" was the second most common (behind "so tall") among the sports I tried, appearing for cheerleaders, football players, lacrosse players, soccer players, tennis players, volleyball players, and water polo players.

Why are basketball players so ugly? Defense is hard in basketball and the players are looking for any edge they can get. A good, distractingly ugly face can reduce the opponents field goal conversion rate at least 3 to 5 percent.


More Interesting Questions

Why are hockey players so nice? They just want to see other people (with full sets of teeth) smile.

Why are tennis players so rude? Are you serious? What kind of jerk question is that anyway?

Why are rugby players so dumb? I tried to ask one of them, but they didn't understand the question.

Why are baseball players so cocky? Look, if you were good enough at a sport to be successful nearly three out of ten times, you would understand.

Why are gymnasts voices so high? They regularly ingest helium to help them be lighter on their feet and add more hang time for their aerial acrobatics.