||Hi there. Firstly welcome back to Uncyc and you once reviewed one of my articles I believe so HEY I'm reviewing yours. Now first off this is a good article, definitely. The only thing it is lacking in, sadly, is real humour. I read the article twice through and chuckled a couple of times, sure, but I wasn't entirely sure why it wasn't rip roaring funny. Your concept is good, so there's probably only a few reasons I didn't find it funny. I think possibly it is down to your style - the imagined world of potato sack racing is so beautifully and realistically described, I felt as though I was about to start reading a dramatic story set in an alternate universe, not a witty, tongue in cheek article. This may of course just be me, tired and idiotic. Still, just in case, I'll go through the sections with comments/ideas for improvements.
- Intro - Good. Not hilarious but still good. I liked "A minor slip could prove fatal...and potentially also end their career." By way of an example of my overall impression of the article, this sentence: "Just like any other sport, it requires tremendous and excruciating practice by each of the athletes, and requires powerful leg muscles along with proper balance" seemed wholly truthful to me! Perhaps I am being an idiot, but I found myself agreeing. You've exaggerated yes, but I didn't laugh, I thought "Probably fair enough". In my writing I often start to go too realistic and not funny, and you might have done that here. To improve: Perhaps throw in a bogus statistic from the, uh, World Institute for Working Out How Dangerous Sports Is, based in TX, to show that potato sack racing is so dangerous. Also, perhaps "it requires tremendous...., powerful leg muscles along with proper balance..." you could also mention, as an aside, it also requires a potato sack. Unless, of course, one is doing the non-IOC recognised sister sport of potato sack racing without a sack. Also known as running.
- History - Again, okay, well written, but not laugh out loud. It's not necessarily your fault, could just be me. Improvements: Billy Bob Berryplucker seemed a bit dry especially, could we have something funny about him? Ulterior motives for opening up a training facility for small boys to get in the sack? I think you know where I'm going, but that is a bit poor, you might have something better. Something else: "Today it is practiced by all age groups, ranging from five to eighty-five"...but not eighty-six year olds. They don't want to look stupid? There might be a joke somewhere in there.
- Practice Methods - Funnier the second time I read it. In fact this is a really good section. For more laughs, really emphasise the brutality. Maybe: "Two of potato sack racing's brightest young stars were recently killed after a particularly violent crash in 2006, causing controversy over safety. It was later deemed that the Niagara Falls was considered "too strong a current" to race across." The last sentence seemed a bit weak, but I am stuck for improvements.
- Equipment - Another good section. I liked the idea of professionals having to buy regular sacks, and think this could go further? Missing an Olympic games due to ripping their favourite sack and then having a really long queue at the supermarket for potatoes? Again, I think the funny stuff is all there, but it just seems to be hiding if you read it in the wrong frame of mind... Okay that made no sense, but sometimes I feel your believability, or the recognition of all the stuff professional sport is about, works against you.
- Professional Level - Yeah it's also quite funny, but not laugh out loud hilarious, you know? I liked the line about potato sack girls. The line "Often times, the Derby has twists and turns that the racers don't expect." is another one that I found elicited a potentially true, why am I not laughing? kind of reaction. But maybe my writing style would lead me to write "Often times, the Derby has twists and turns that the racers don't expect. The one into a busy motorway was particularly unexpected, and quite bloody".
After reading the whole thing again, it's grown on me funnily enough. I don't know why, but maybe I was in a bad mood when I read it first. Still I hope some of that helps.
||Good images, but maybe put a different one first? It looked dull when you first load the page, perhaps because the logo is you know, fairly small and blue, and there is quite a bunch of text. I personally would have a picture of sack racing first, just for first impressions when you load the article, and the logo (which is very smart looking by the way, I commend whoever made it) could go lower down. I would also recommend one more picture: maybe have one just of a sack to put in the "origins" section. You could even label it "origins: a sack". Or alternatively, some eighty-five year olds doing it. (Not doing it, obviously, you know what I mean. In the sack. No wait. RACING.) That could be quite a fun extra image.