June 18, 2010

Geeks vs. Sports Fans

Before I continue, let me just state that I am fully aware that geeks can also be sports fans.* I’m making very general statements. I am not judging.

Now that we have that disclaimer out of the way.

Last night, my neighborhood was alive with raucous screams and yawps. Apparently, the NBA finals were being played and the Lakers were involved. I appreciate enthusiasm, and I encourage it. I grew up in a house where the Cleveland Browns games were the highlight of the week. My mom even has a sports logo tattoo. I think that past has a lot to do with my apathy towards sports now. I was more or less forced to be a fan lest I be considered the “un-cool” child.

I knew that regardless of the outcome of the game, the streets downtown would be filled with the potential for a giant brouhaha. I predicted – correctly might I add – at least one car set on fire and the riot gear having to be pulled out of storage. Though in LA, I doubt that it ever stays in storage long enough to get dusty. I also heard gunshots in my neighborhood, and my roommate observed a thrown LIT firecracker whizzing across his car windshield on the freeway after the game. So even if I can understand the enthusiasm, I don’t get turning over vehicles or setting things on fire because of a game. As Jayne says, “Where’s that get fun?”

And no, I’m not comparing sports fans to reavers. Hmm, well…

The point I want to make is that even when the most geektacular of things occur, us nerds don’t take to the streets in rabid match-wielding hoardes. Do we have too much self restraint? A lot of things have happened in my lifetime that would warrant riots. Just think of these amazing moments:

- the first trailer for The Fellowship of the Ring
- the release date for every Harry Potter book
- the announcement of Firefly being made into a movie
- the iPod
-  the Star Wars prequels

I know I’m missing big things that happened in gaming too. I think these moments are right up there with a basketball team winning the finals.

So, I’m conflicted. I’m proud of us for not rioting, for not giving geeks a bad name everywhere. We have not burned the local Gamestop when the latest WoW release came out. No one has lightsabered a friend in pre-prequel in excitement. I think it makes us stand apart and shows that we are not the barbarians we emulate in RPGs.

But at the same time, I think we should make a little more of a statement. Though we may be quiet, geeks are not to be trifled with.

I’ll bring the flamethrower to SDCC.

*Look, it's a webcomic about sports guys.


  1. I think there's something about watching sports that increases testosterone and adrenaline. Plus, while at a game (or pre-game, or tailgate) alcohol is encouraged.

    While the midnight release of LotR movies (or Matrix II, or whatever) certainly can breed all the excitement of a championship, there's far less beer.

    And, all of the events you mentioned were awesome. But they weren't uncertain events where you poured all of your hopes into one side and after a single hour of intense investment, you either got bragging rights or had to walk home in shame. The closest I can think of is the HD v. Blu-ray format war. But even then, there wasn't a final climax, but a slow and steady progression.

    We geeks just don't have the same opportunities that sports lovers do to riot :)

  2. HAHAHAHA! Well spoken. I have to admit though...I aint all that quiet!


  3. I agree with much of what GeekInsight said...

    The other factor with sports fans is location. Geeks are distributed around the world (except for big events like cons) whereas any sports game is a uniting factor for a huge amount of people living in one area.

    Mind you, I could have overturned some cars after the Deathly Hallows epilogue. Brain bleach...

  4. You make a good point. It does seem somewhat twisted that we geeks are considered the "weirdos", while those hooligan sports fans are somehow "normal".

  5. I think what GeekInsight means is we should have more booze at geek events. I could not agree more.

  6. What happens when you cross a geek with a sports fan is someone who knows every random stat and team and player that you could possibly imagine. I'm speaking from personal experience.

    As a kid, my dad and I had a roadtrip game that involved his naming a city and my naming every pro sports team in that city.

    Also, I'm a bit fanatical about fantasy football.

    Speaking of geek/sports crossovers, has anyone seen the episode of Big Bang Theory where Sheldon and Leonard try to learn about football? It's pretty awesome!

  7. GeekInsight - you make valid points. A lot of emotion goes into rooting for one side.

    Hmmm, maybe one day there will be some sort of gladiator type match between say... Aragorn and Obi-Wan.

    More alcohol at geek events would definitely contribute to the possibility of riots.

  8. Well, I still don't think that the people rioting are even fans, they're just nitwits llokin to start trouble and using it as an excuse. They just give the real fans a bad rep.

  9. I'm a huge sports fan, but I gotta give it to you. Excellent post.

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