I naturally then subscribe to a host of different things on social media, and some of them are Doctor Who related (I even tried lobbying BBC to make me the brown doctor to no avail). So last month I saw what I considered to be a nice and funny post listing similarities between a Doctor Who Convention and the Super Bowl (that’s American Football for our ex-US friends) and found it wonderful. These were the points, according to the post, listed that both types events provided:
- Lots of fans traveling from all over to gather together and celebrate something that they love watching on TV
- Sometimes they dress up as their favorite characters
- A good place to make friends and have fun
- Usually you come home with lots of merchandise and souvenirs
- If you’re lucky, you might even get to meet one of the stars and get an autograph
How great is that? Sports and traditional geekery coming together to recognize the similarities between everyone. And you know me kids, I like bringing people together. I’ve even written on the topic of how we’re all the same, like how fantasy football and World of Warcraft share a lot. So this post made me really happy.
And I’m going to be the one to say it - all this reverse judging? Not ok guys. "Ew, dumb jock" and "Ugh, stupid nerd" ended in high school. Fans of both express their fandom, and the stereotype that sports fans have the IQ of a walnut is just as over-generalized as the one about nerds living in a basement doing their thing with anime/sci-fi/computers 24/7. If you're a "nerd" judging others then you've become the very people who pestered you when you were/are young, if that’s your motivation here.
Both events and both "camps" have community as a big part of their fandom, and conversations on "who was the greatest running back/wide receiver" happen just as frequently as "who was the best doctor/companion."
Now I think I have a unique perspective here. I’m a big geek in the traditional sense. I’m wearing a Green Lantern t-shirt typing this right now. I have this Saturday’s Doctor Who episode set to record because I’m not going to be around. I spend my downtime gaming. I launched my Final Fantasy career with the original on the NES when I was 8. On the other hand, I love football, and I do my best to watch every Eagles game during the season, regardless of how they’re doing. I try to get out and play golf as often as I can when the weather’s nice. Back in high school I did quiz bowl and debate after my advanced programming classes, but still played Ultimate Frisbee after school and was friends with the guys on the football team. You can say I have a foot in both camps as it were, and I do understand both sides of the coin.
According to my social media feeds, yeah. And that’s sad. I can guarantee you that once football season starts and posts/tweets about the NFL start ramping up in a couple months, so will the tweets and posts from those who feel intellectually superior, making damn sure that you know they’re too intellectually superior to watch sports. You will also, however, find that the reverse is not true at all. How do I know? because I've seen it every season since I've been on Twitter.
So are there really fan-based geek outcasts anymore? The folks I play fantasy football with are the same people who I used to raid with. “Sports geeks” as I call some of my friends know every stat and every event, both major and minor, in their arena of sports interests. They’re also some of the sharpest minds I’ve met.
So back to what I was talking about before in regards to Simon Pegg’s geek redefinition:
“Being a geek is all about being honest about what you enjoy and not being afraid to demonstrate that affection. It means never having to play it cool about how much you like something. It’s basically a license to proudly emote on a somewhat childish level rather than behave like a supposed adult. Being a geek is extremely liberating.”
Is there anyone here that disagrees? He put into words how I’ve always felt. And there’s a place and room for a lot of different types of folks at my table.
To those who feel like the negative facebook commenters, did I betray you? Have I gone astray from your fierce Whovian fandom? Then in the words of the Doctor himself: