The Big Picture: A Nerd By Any Other Name

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I too, hope for this utopia that you speak of. For i am a rare-breed of nerd-jock, that is, someone with the hobbies of a nerd but enjoys and regularly partakes in sports and/or sporting events.

http://www.nerfnow.com/comic/425

Because I can't put it here as an image. Sorry.

Totally agree. When I mention my RPG habits to my roommates and they don't get it, I explain it in terms of fantasy football (which they've indulged in).

That was brilliant.

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 it has a little more to do with the "value" of sports to a school as opposed to classically nerdy things. If there were big, socially popular stages where nerds could show off their respective knowledge/talents and school built teams and competed, then your average nerd would probably get as much clout as any other sports fan. Then the nerdy team(s), especially if they're winning and bringing recognition(and maybe funding) to your school/city, would get the same "value" as jocks.

Basically, if those Starcraft competitions in Korea or the various FPS competitions you see here were expanded to have a team from almost every school in the country, and then you found a way to make competition out of the other nerdy pastimes you might get what Bob was talking about.

Also, once again I'm reminded of the flip flopping definition of nerd and geek, mainly since the last time I heard someone trying to define it used sports geek, which is basically who Bob was talking about here. I'm not sure how socially awkward sports nuts are since I don't know any, but then again I don't know how many people you have to be awkward around to count as socially awkward either.

I've seen this too. Its madness how sports people are not grouped in with the more accepted "nerd" group. When I was in high school, I did a broadcasting project about computers and everyone gave me funny looks. While at the same time, 9 other people did some overly detailed thing about the NBA and no one batted an eye. This double standard has to stop.

I'd say the major difference IS the level of social awkwardness.
If you get a group of people who are socially able, and one guy who's socially inept, it's obvious that he's going to get victimised.

Also worth nothing sports fans are decidedly more common then nerds.

Ok that was an awesome one.
Thanks Bob

Wow. That was probably the best episode of The Big Picture yet. I was not a big fan of this show before, but I am going to keep an eye on it now. It will be interesting to see if he can manage too keep up the quality of writing found in this episode in upcoming episodes.

You're description of the wonderful world exists! It's called Sweden (At least in my town) I go in the same class as the Handball team (the Jocks).We go from talking about how awesome that goal Messi scored, to how much ass Druidz kick in the HoN finale against Fnatic and from there we talk about how awesome the story is in Mass Effect!

HAAAAAHAHAAAAHAHAHAAAAHAAHAAHAHAHA!!!!
ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT!!!
Your best episode yet Bob. (of this new show at least) I just wish that the only people that watch this show weren't all the "video game nerd" type. I agree with everything that was said in this episode and it is something that I have never even considered. Truly an eye opening segment....you're absolutely right. I love it.

Kaytastrophe:
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.

I guess I've always thought of the difference between geeks and nerds as being the same as the difference between the sort of sports fan described in this video vs. someone that just likes to watch sports games and root for their favorite team. Like, geeks like sci-fi and fantasy and video games and comics and all that, but they aren't nerds about it.

Because jocks were/are assholes.

I find it hilarious that there have already been objections to the comparisons. Thank you, objectors, for proving his point.

That said, I think the chances of getting sports nerds to play nice with all-purpose nerds are about as likely as getting Star Trek fans to play nice with Star Wars fans, or getting Christians to play nicely with Muslims (just calling it as I see it, folks).

Like any two cultures on the planet, the mere fact that they are human probably means they have more similarities and even parallels than either realizes. Unfortunately, the "us vs. them" mindset is simply too easy to get caught up in.

haha im glad to have more bob in my week, i agree with the majority of things the come out of his mouth :)

Very interesting. I have wondered this myself for a while now.

It's interesting isn't it?

I'm a nerd, my brother isn't.

I read sites like the Escapist and repair machines for a living (computers), I have a weekly game of D&D at a local gaming club, I keep up on the latest information about games coming out, the latest about books, tv shows, and movies I like, the newest tech coming out (computers).

My brother reads sites like ESPN and repairs machines for a living (cars), he plays a weekly game of Fantasy Footy at a local bar, he keeps up on the latest information about his favourite sports, who is up and coming, who is retiring, who might be traded, the weather conditions, past performances (ugg he bugged me write him a spreadsheet for his stats), all the while keeping up on the latest tech coming out (cars).

So why am I considered a Nerd and he isn't? I'm use to it, I embraced being a nerd and stopped being angry about it 15 years ago, but if you called my brother a nerd he'd likely punch you in the face.

The points made in this video have crossed my mind of numberous occations. Great vid.

Sports + "nerd things" = Bloodbowl

Anyone game :P

That was very enlightening.

Here is a crucial difference between sports fans and nerds: nerds are far more insular and anti-social. Sure, they have gatherings and conventions and anime film nights amoung friends and stuff, but they don't tend to be quite as outgoing as sports fans. You'll see sports fans in their masses in bars and in the streets living it up, whilst nerds keep to their living rooms.

Yeah I'm generalising, but you know what I mean.

And to my knowledge, fantasy football is considered fairly nerdy if you are seriously into it and not a kid.

tkioz:
It's interesting isn't it?

I'm a nerd, my brother isn't.

I read sites like the Escapist and repair machines for a living (computers), I have a weekly game of D&D at a local gaming club, I keep up on the latest information about games coming out, the latest about books, tv shows, and movies I like, the newest tech coming out (computers).

My brother reads sites like ESPN and repairs machines for a living (cars), he plays a weekly game of Fantasy Footy at a local bar, he keeps up on the latest information about his favourite sports, who is up and coming, who is retiring, who might be traded, the weather conditions, past performances (ugg he bugged me write him a spreadsheet for his stats), all the while keeping up on the latest tech coming out (cars).

So why am I considered a Nerd and he isn't? I'm use to it, I embraced being a nerd and stopped being angry about it 15 years ago, but if you called my brother a nerd he'd likely punch you in the face.

I think you answered your own problem right there. Call him a nerd, have him punch you in the face, and then get him sent to jail for assault. You won't be a bigger loser than he is if he's made somebody's bitch in prison.

I think both types of lifestyles should be embraced, as both a top of the line computer and a fast car are required to preform a successful heist.

You make a lot of valid points, and of course your probably pissing someone off in the process

Oddly enough, the Pats did just happen to beat the Jets.

wearing a jersey is actually really different from wearing a costume. the reason why is if the a person were to wear an entire starfleet uniform they would get just as much crazy looks as a guy wearing and entire football uniform (shoulder pads, jersey, helmet, football pants, cleats).
the jersey is one component of the uniform so it doesnt seem so radical. the same would happen if a person were to wear just the top from a starfleet uniform, people prolly wouldnt notice.

That was fucking brilliant. I've never thought about the similarities between sportsfans and, hm, nerds.

Movie Bob: Why aren't hardcore sport nuts ever really called "sports nerds".

They are. All the time. You just don't engage in the circles that call them that.

You're essentially making the argument that someone who focused onthe vehicular Voltron deserves the same deference of someone focused on lion Voltron. The reason people don't care isn't because one is more silly. It's because one is more popular.

You made some awesome points. There's definitely a dichotomy that tends to go completely unexplained.

Twihards are Yankees fans!!! I love it!

There's a new "N word" and it's not race based XD
People are called Nerds no matter how they interact with their favorite medium - whenever they making games/graphic novels, or just fans of them. You could call a sport fanatic a nerd, but you would do that to an actual famous player.

Loved it Bob. Never thought about it that way at all until you talked about it. Although I would say it's more acceptable to be a nerd these days. I'm a pretty unapologetic nerd with a 15year comic book collection that might collapse my apartment floor any day now but I'm good socially and people like to shoot the shit about comic book heroes these days. It's great fun telling them all the potential stuff that could happen in Iron Man 3 for example.

I laughed so hard at the 'cosplay' bit I had to rewind the video to hear what you said afterwards.

And football nerds and fanboys can't come together for a very simple reason.

You ever tried to get a Star Trek TNG fan in a room with a Star Trek DS9 fan?

Nerds hate nerds of other nerdoms almost as much as they hate regular people who aren't in the nerdom at all, and the same is true of all boundaries of nerdom. If you are a sports nerd, you hate everyone who isn't into your particular nerdom.

Everyone who supports their team in a more casual way is just that.

Seriously, you said there were parallels and there are. Casual sports fans are like casual gamers are to hardcore gamers. Hardcore sports fans don't like people who are casual team fans. The amount of hatedom that gets spewed at people who only started supporting say Manchester United or Chelsea after they started winning consistently by real fans is just the same as hardcore Half-Life fans who spew hatred at Halo because it's popular. (British football, I don't know any American teams)

They are us, but WE ARE THEM!

Fantastic points and all true. However the reason's for the hatred between the two can vary. For example SFR said it's because sports fans think themselves more apart of the team than they really are. Personally, aside from jocks usually getting all of the attractive women (assholes) it's also that they seem to have a sense of superiority about them. Think about it, when was the last time you saw a humble jock? I'm willing to bet few and far between if at all. I know it's a generalization, but why do they exist in the first place? Because of the most part that's how they are.

Back to my point, they usually flaunt about and are just to arrogant. They think they're the hottest shit because they can list statistics or know all the players on a team. Aside from other people that feel the same way, anyone else can sit back and notice that they're almost insane. Of course what irks me the most is the stupid sports games they play. Congratulations, you just spent 50+ dollars on something you can go outside, and do for free. It seems like such a waste of time and money, especially when the free version can build their endurance, speed, and what-not they would need to potentially play for the team they root for. Some people claim that nerds can do the same thing outside with LARP (live action role playing), but here's the difference; you can throw a football like in the game, but you can't breath fire on a corrupted tree person like in the game.

All in all, there may come a day when the two culture can become one (which kinda has happened in Korea) but until the social differences are settle, it is a far ways away.

The reason why sport fans and sci-fi/comic/videogame fans aren't in the same category?

I'd have to say intellect. Though I personally have one foot in each group (going to a school of sports scienfe and also liking videogames, mangas etc), the difference is the good old brain vs brawn thing. We idolize athletes because they are the best that they can be in terms of physique, while what we love about our world-saving heroes is their bravery and intellect.

While I know it is far more nuanced than that, I think that is basically what divides the two groups.

Another way to look at it, is that sport fans praise actual people while the characters nerd looks up to are fictional. I suspect that is why some respect sports fans more than nerds.

There are a lot of non-hardcore sports-fans, so the extremes get cover from them. people don't want to point out they are weird, because they like to watch occasional the sports-match as well, and have some team they support or root for.

And while the same goes for stuff like comic-books, the non-obsessive fans are not as much out there. People don't all go to the pub together to watch the latest trailer for the new videogame, and turn it into a social occasion, where even those that aren't that interested in the subject participate for the social side of it.

I'm diagnosed with aspergers, and while my dad officially isn't, he either has it as well, or at least several qualities of it.
We both have the interest for memorizing data and debating trivia, but have different main points of interest; for him, it's sports, he works in the sports journalism, has impressive knowledge of it, and while he isn't social enough to cosplay as Maradona to matches, he collects sports-memorabilia.
For me, it's natural sciences, scifi, fantasy, anime and manga, and in general the nerd stuff, and I collect things related to that.

Best video of his I've seen yet on the Escapist. The parallels he made were quite good and the furry part made me laugh so hard.

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