The Big Picture: A Nerd By Any Other Name

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A Nerd By Any Other Name

This week, Bob examines parallel nerds.

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Bob, I love you in a totally non-gay way right now.

good point bob

If Yankees fans are Twi-hards(and they SOOOO are), then what are Red Sox fans?
hmmmmm...

Hehe, it's funny because I have Aspergers syndrome...

I tried getting along with a sports fan of equal caliber one time. The next thing I knew, I'd been stuffed into a locker and my bum was sore.

I tried running a fantasy football team this year, but I couldn't run it and a D&D campaign at the same time. One tabletop RPG at a time, please.

Kind of like how I get pissed off at the Leaf's for not training their forwards what to do in their own end, wander over to my computer and fire up one of my GoG titles? I am the nexus!

I just wanted to say, Bob, that this was easily the best of this column's editorials so far.
Your thesis was sound and interesting, your essay was on-topic, and your conclusion was appropriately inspiring.

Well done.

HankMan:
If Yankees fans are Twi-hards(and they SOOOO are), then what are Red Sox fans?
hmmmmm...

They're the Harry Potter fans. ;)

In other news, this was really good. Great points were brought up, and that bit at the end was hilarious.

Bahahaha, I never noticed this. I don't get sports people.

You did make a ton of great points. Though, I think why "nerds" and "jocks" will never eat at the same table is because before the Wii, video games, reading comics, and watching movies were far more sedentary than playing sports.

The last line made me double over for a good few minutes.... That would be a wonderful world wouldn't it?

I have a friend that was heavily into basketball in the ways you mentiond, not dressing up, but analyzing stats and stuff and we got him to accept that he was a nerd. Granted he also read Spiderman comics but in many ways he was less nerdy about that (he would buy a trade every once and a while) than he was about his interest in sports (spending large amounts of time each day looking over the stats in the sports section).

Japanotards are not nerds.

By the way, the _ONLY_ thing separating, in this context (however limited it might be), sport fandom and nerd fandom, is time.

Sport nerds have been aroundf for 5000 years. Nerds for 50.

That was incredibly insightful, very strong comparison I hadn't dawned on before. Nice one Bob, I'm enjoying this series.

bob makes a good mario
(BTW was there a screen shot for a ghostbuster cartoon in there, you know the one with th gril and the spilt chemicals)

Interesting article, but it brings about a larger issue my friends and I have discussed before. The difference between the nerd and the geek:

I think one of the problems is the connection between nerd and geek. To me nerds are the guys who spend their free time doing math equations and science experiments and such. Geeks are on the other hand more of what bob is talking about, the guy who for a lack of a better word obsesses about more pop culture kind of stuff (like movies, video games, comic books, and even sportfans). So for example I am a history student at university, I do spend some of my free time reading history and such. That would make me a history nerd, at the same time though I really enjoy video games and board games which would be more of my geek side. So in short I see nerds more as someone who spends time working in areas that move humanity forward where as the geek is more of an individual who is very passionate about their hobbies which tend to have less of an impact on humanity as a whole. Neither is better than the other but I do feel as though these two terms carry different context.

Well. A root of the difference may be that sports trivia is based on real life historical events. Science fiction-fantasy-etc trivia is based on, well, fiction events. There IS a difference, the epic story of a football match that was won by the unknown underdogs is more easy to feel related to that the story that happend far far away both in space and time, and more specifically on the writer's mind.

So the big picture is that we all need to stop being fan-boys (or girls) and start having more sex? Ya know, I kinda like this idea!

Actually this is probably one of the best things I have seen in a while. Great points and comparisons.

MovieBob:
Browncoats: Raiders fans

oh HELL no, the Browncoats are clearly Cleveland fans, the Raiders fans are simply mocking the "Dawg Pound".

As a side note, my Brownies won last weekend.

Palademon:
Hehe, it's funny because I have Aspergers syndrome...

Me too.

The funny thing is, I always describe myself as a sports nerd (among other "nerdoms" I belong to). Now, of coarse I'm a fan of Olympic sports, which is a much more cult following that, say, NHL hockey or even NCAA Softball (how many people here follow Biathlon? 'cause I do...), but oddly enough I derive much the same kind of entertainment from debating Olympics bidding that I get from debating about video games.

If it's any consolation, you're not the only person ever to have noticed this, Bob. My art lecturer's general philosphy on the matter is, "Everyone's a geek about something."
Example? My mum's not what would be called the nerdy type - she's far from being socially awkward and has only marginal knowledge of typical nerd culture iconography (she did at least enjoy Iron Man enough to make references to it days afterwards, though, and got kicks out of a couple of movies by a certain "one-man-studio"), but what does she do in her spare time? Catalogue, collect and organize the hell out of old-timey music for her freelance DJ business in which she encourages audience participation with costumes, some of which are of her own creation. And it works.
Everyone loves collecting things physical and intellectual, everyone loves costumes: Everyone's a geek about something, indeed. And there's no shame in that.

Dude, I totally never thought of it that way.

Seriously, I love this man.

I guess it's that everlasting social stigma of nerds that applies.

See, sportsfans are more physically fit, so when "steretypical" nerds call them out as equals, they shove them into the lockers, thus the stronger disproves the weaker and so it has remained.

Now, as both a nerd in the "classical" view, and a sportsnerd, I totally get the approach Bob's making in the video, and I've given it some thought myself in the past. There really is no difference, whatsoever.

So to break this news to the jocks, all nerds must hit the gym A.S.A.P., get strong and kick those nonbelievers into their own lockers!

Excellent video Bob, probably the best Big Picture episode yet.

I think the only reason that I don't personally get along with sports fans as well as other nerds is because they think that it's perfectly normal and acceptable to do all of the nerdish stuff in regards to their sport and popular culture totally supports that supposition. Now, there's nothing wrong with that at all, but secretly I kind of resent them for it. It just feels unfair that they can talk about the strategic benefits of offensive line formations at a party but if I tried to discuss the same thing in regards to Starcraft I get weird looks.

To be fair though, this isn't just something sports fans do. Nerds pretty often condescend to other nerds in pretty much the same way. People who play FPSes do it to RPG fans, people who read Marvel or DC do it to each other, people who play TF2 do it to people who play WoW, people who like anime do it to fans of western animation, etc.

I realize I'm part of the problem since I do admit to resenting sports fans, but I wish we could all get along.

HankMan:
If Yankees fans are Twi-hards(and they SOOOO are), then what are Red Sox fans?
hmmmmm...

We are people still waiting for Robert Jordan to finish his series.

(okay, so he is dead and his series is being finished... but the joke still stands)

Never saw it that way...

Oh...And you make a great Mario.

Haha `Twihards, Yankees´, thank you bob i´m gonna use that against my friends.

Mr.Squishy:
Bob, I love you in a totally non-gay way right now.

Ditto.
He's a Pats fan.
Sports nerd
"Regular" nerd

OT: This is very true. It was always funny watching guys in my dorm go all fangirl crazy with certain college games but criticize others when they got excited about "nerd" stuff.

I think the point you made in the first half was undermined by the point you made in the second half. If you consider sports fans, its clear that the content of the interest does matter.

You can find people with that level of devotion in all fields, yet most people wouldn't refer to them as nerds. I know more about music than I do about comics, I have hundreds of CDs and I read music reviews or articles on an almost daily basis. On the other hand, I have read perhaps 10 graphic novels and 10 sci-fi novels (ie. more than most people, but hardly a large amount), and most people consider that way nerdier than anything music related.

I'm also not sure if it has anything to do with ease of entry. Science fiction isn't difficult to get into. Most of the classics are standalone (ie. require no background knowledge) and the prose style is generally no harder than in any other genre.

There's one simple reason this won't happen and that's a non-trivial fundamental difference between nerds and "sports nerds." Nerds/geeks tend to be in the higher intellectual brackets than the average man... not even close to true for "sports nerds."

Wouldn't Spider-Man be more analogous to the Mets rather than the Cubs?

Leximodicon:
You did make a ton of great points. Though, I think why "nerds" and "jocks" will never eat at the same table is because before the Wii, video games, reading comics, and watching movies were far more sedentary than playing sports.

I think he's more referring to the sport fans that only watch the sports and don't really play them... You know, the actual fun part of sports. In any case, the epitome of both sides are bat shit fucking crazy.

I have always hated it when a sports fan refers to the team they're supporting as "we". You don't play in the God damn team. You have no influence on the team. They don't even know you. I'm a Valve fan, but when they release a game, I don't say "We just released a game!" Why? Because if I did, I'd sound like a fucking idiot. Guess what you sound like when doing that with sport teams?!*

*The answer is "fucking idiots."

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