I Have a Dream… of the Sports Geek

So here’s something I’ve been wondering about:

You can be a geek about pretty much anything – games, cooking, retro renovation, comics, building things, wilderness, knitting.  Seriously, just about anything.

Except sports.

It’s common to use the phrase “sports nut,” but you never hear “sports geek.”  And while, for all intents and purposes, they’re pretty much equivalent – intense involvement in the fan base, extensive knowledge of trivia, crazy costumes (like body painting), events to congregate around, collectible cards – there’s always been a loose connotation where “geek” means “loser,” and “sports nut” does not.

This might be less the case nowadays, as both the boundaries of “geek” and “sports” are blurring.  It’s pretty easy to be, say, a poker geek, and those skater kids from ten years ago might well be on ESPN today in some extreme sport.

But in your basic Big American Sports (baseball, football, basketball) and your certain demographics (say 50+) the Sports Nut and the Comic Geek are two completely separate beasts, and waves from this are felt down through the generations.

I say:  Down with that crap!  I got all wrapped up in the NBA Finals this year, from the Conference Championships on, and it was just as much fun as watching the WSOP.

Just as the Sports Nut can play Wii Sports with their kid, and thus further blur the next generation, so too should we geeks introduce little kids to the occasional activity involving strength or agility – bowling is a good place to start.  And, most importantly, we can stop meeting sports, or Sports Nuts, with suspicion or condescension.

More and more people seem to be catching on – seems like sf is more popular than ever in the movies, and who knows how many Twilight fans will be introduced to something even better through that series.  Minds are opening everywhere; surely we can do our part.

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