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In ardent defense of Segway polo

Segway polo may have made it onto CNET's hit list of "The top 10 worst technologies" of the second quarter of 2006, but some CNET News.com readers clearly don't think it belongs there.

The snippet about Segway polo--which is just what it sounds like: people playing polo while riding Segways--was pretty disparaging, and to highlight the game's position as "worst new sport," it linked to a video taken during the recent Maker Faire that accompanied my News.com stories about that event.

Since the video itself has my name on it, the CNET.com 10 worst piece made it seem like I too, have gripes about Segway polo. Truth is, at the time, I wrote glowingly, if briefly, about the fact that Apple Computer co-founder Steve Wozniak and his fellow Segway polo players had brought their sport to Maker Faire. And while not completely falling head over heels watching them play, I will admit that I did stand and stare for long minutes. Multiple times.

So you can imagine my astonishment when, this weekend, I began to get snide e-mails from Segway fans accusing me of being afraid of technology and of resisting others' rewards for their hard work.

It turned out, of course, that people were writing me because my name is on the Segway polo video. And it was assumed, therefore, that I had written passages such as, "If only there were a way to combine the dorkiness of riding a Segway with the snobbery of a polo match."

Well, with due respect to my dear colleagues' prose, I didn't. I am, myself, a geek, much like many of the people I write about, and I have love the silliness and the wonderfulness geeks can come up with. And Segway polo is right smack in the bull's-eye of that target. In fact, I am currently making plans to go out and play a match or two myself.