Super Bowl XLIX has come and gone; man battled man to prove their mettle, punches were thrown, catches were intercepted, there were cheers and tears, Katy Perry rode some kind of Power Ranger Tiger Robot and sharks danced to the beat of their own drums. Meanwhile, in the lairs of bitter nerds everywhere, snide comments were made all over the internet along the lines of, “YAY, SOME TEAM DID SOME THING THAT I DON’T CARE ABOUT!” or “Whatever, bunch of stupid neanderthals throwing a ball around.” I’m not slamming some straw men here, I saw quite a few just last night and it happens every year and with every big sports event. The World Series, The Super Bowl, Stanley Cup, Championships, etc. Somehow, The World Cup dodges a lot of this, probably due to its international nature. It never fails to happen and every time, it’s disappointing.
I’m not a big fan of football, except maybe Mutant League Football on the Sega Genesis. Sports in general don’t really appeal to me, most likely because I’m completely uncoordinated and couldn’t catch a ball if it had a laser powered tracking system that guided it straight into my ogre hands. Like a lot of Americans, when the Super Bowl pops up, I’m usually there for the nachos. I enjoy the camaraderie and rivalry that plays out for big sports events and I really like junk food. Now I’m not making an issue about people who just either don’t understand the game or have really no interest. That’s normal, some people like things, some people don’t like things. It’s how people work. I’m talking about this, for some reason, socially accepted idea from those heavily involved in geek culture that it’s totally kosher to slam people for being interested in something you happen to think is pointless and/or silly. And I really don’t understand how the irony is missed. For those old enough to remember before geek culture became so widely accepted in the mainstream, how did you feel when someone made fun of you for liking Star Trek? Or Dungeons and Dragons? Or comic books? Or ANYTHING? Just to clarify, once again, I’m not talking about the people who just have no interest. Good on you, go about your day. I’m talking about people who find it necessary to take a dump all over people who do enjoy something and try to make them feel stupid for it. Those are called bullies.
I don’t think it’s that hard. All that you really have to do is have a little empathy. Remember that? If you have to, remember ST:TNG and act like Counselor Deanna Troi. If it’s still too difficult and you can’t let go of whatever residual anger you’re holding onto that might be related to high school football or other sports and feeling left out, try to a) remember that high school is over and you’re an adult and b) that you’re making fun of other geeks. There really is something called a sports geek. Being otaku about something isn’t confined to science fiction or fantasy or anything else. It’s obsession over what interests you. These people are your sisters and brothers. Not in a kumbaya way (well, kind of), but in a “you’re not so different from me, Star Bellied Sneech” way. It would really serve you, because when it really boils down to it, acting superior to people for being different from you just proves how inferior we really can be.