Monday, December 15, 2008

Sports geeks vs. Sci-fi geeks

Ok, I've never been much of a sports fan. The most popular american team sports (baseball, baseketball, football) have always been extremely boring to me. I would watch the Superbowl, or the Kings in playoffs - because these are good party events to drink beer & chow down. I sometimes watch world sporting events, like the Olympics or Wimbledon (simply because they are international events). I'll occasionally go to a Rivercats came to enjoy the atmosphere with friends. I'll also check out peculiar ESPN2 sporting events like lumberjack competitions and hotdog eating contests. Otherwise, I'd sooner pick my nose than watch sports.

Watching sports is a stereotypical male pastime. I can't count how many times I've been chatting with dudes, when the conversation turns to sports & I want to poke my eyeballs out. I would much rather talk about politics, science, or basically anything else. By and large, sports fans are considered your normal red-blooded americans... your "Joe six-packs" to use a palinism. In fact, a Joe six-pack who browsed my blog might even label me a 'geek' upon finding numerous posts about astrophysics & batman. A 'geek' is anyone who obsesses over any topic too much - the weirdos & nerds first in line to see Star Wars and never getting laid. But, what do you call a sports fan who obsesses over his team, or plays fantasy football every day, or collects trading cards? They're just "geeky" as the trekkie with a millenium falcon scale-model replica.

There are all types of geeks: renaissance geeks, politics geeks, book geeks, music geeks. However, the sci-fi geek & sports geeks are two major archetypes. I think the sci-fi/comic type geeks are often intelligent, science-minded folks who enjoy imagining the remotely possible. They respect & admire individuals for their intellect and innovation (their heroes would be Einstein, Hawking, Gates, etc.). They tend to be individualistic, because they enjoy their own minds very much.

What draws sports fans in? Firstly, sports are easy to grasp. Anyone of any education level can sit at a barstool & debate the merits of players with their neighbor. Secondly, sports resonates with a base instinct of the human animal - to form coalitions. For most of primate and human evolution, we've lived in gangs and tribes... continually at battle with rival groups. Evolutionary psychology has undoubtedly shaped us to support this behavior. We've been wired to feel pride about our home team and respect (if not idolize) the player who is strongest and fastest. I think the competitive spirit & enjoyment of team activities seen in sports fans are manifestations of these primal instincts.

To each their own. I don't think there's anything superior about sports fans or sci-fi fans... but to anyone who thinks all normal guys like sports, I'd suggest you consider the perspectives above.

1 comment:

JT said...

Research has shown that in men their testosterone levels will rise when their favorite sports team wins.

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,996687-5,00.html

I know mine goes up when the Beavers win AND when the Cylons get smacked down by the Earthlings.