Tuesday, December 07, 2010

The Big Picture: "A Nerd By Any Other Name"

22 comments:

Lucas Neumann said...

I didn't know the sports fans and nerds were at some kind of conflict to be reconcile or come together. Was't this over in the 80's.

As the cosplay goes, please don't tell me you are seriously comparing wearing a jersey the same as dressing like Super Mario.

It's not like an uniform, it's a piece of clothing, with a brand that happens to be the person's favorite player. It's like wearing a nike t shirt. While cosplay is, as the dictionary tells, dressing up and pretending to be a fictional character. So no, it's not the same, and you will have to keep your Mario costume to the halloweens Bob, sorry man.

And look, comic books, Sci-fi were ALWAYS popular, they do get the nerd stigma, but everybody else read spider-man comics before the movies. The nerds like to think that's THEIR stuff, also with videogames, they think they were the only ones saving princess and writing the Megaman passwords.

That's bull. You can perfectly watch Star Trek and being able to talk to girls. Yeah, I pretty much hate this "geek culture" deal. Screw that, now I get a label because I like to read Iron Man? It's cool to be passionate about that, but if you are a pussy with no backbone to at least try social relations or keeping saing stuff in latin preteting to be Harry Potter, then my friend, I'm sorry, but you can only blame yourself, and not because other people don't get you because you are a nerd.

And to be fair, obnoxious Sports fans are looked down up by society as well. They are called douchebags.

Adam said...

This is my favorite one of these yet. Very good job.

But as to why sports nuts and comic/gamer/manga/whatever nerds are never compared in the same way even though they exhibit surprisingly similar behavior is pretty simple: in America the vast majority of people consider sports to be cool, and more deeply many consider competitive sports to be a perfect analog of real life: i.e. hard work, competition, winners, losers, etc.

Traditional nerd culture is not cool. It may be more accepted these days at it goes more mainstream, but D&D players will never be considered cool by the populus at large based soley on the fact that they play D&D.

A Tribe Called Helloween said...

I think its all about the fact that sports fans are overly violent and thus the rest of society fears them and doesn't want to criticize them. Well it's time for the nerds to show up to school decked in the Spider-Man gear and lock the entire sports team in the dumpster.

A Tribe Called Helloween said...

and just start beating up jocks in general. Weapons would be useful. It's not a school shooting if you're beating the hi holy crap out of everyone with a two-by-four is it? It's like your Hacksaw Jim Dugan, and the entire school is the royal rumble.

Smashmatt202 said...

I don't know, I don't care much for sports, and I'm a nerd. Also, to me at least, sports fan = jocks and jocks = bullies that beat up nerds and take their lunch money.

Sort of. What you say makes a lot of sense, but sports fans seems to be mostly what you call "douchebags". You know, the same guys you claim are the worse people imaginable, the kinds of people who genuinely like The Expendables and the Transformers movies and troll Xbox Live?

Jason said...

I've never really bought the argument about continuity being the reason why non-comics readers dont get into the medium. I've always felt that its the whole "nerd" stigma that keeps people from reading them. Admittedly, continuity is pretty daunting but if you genuinely want to get into medium you find a way. For the longest time I wasnt even aware Batman was a comic book superhero. I had grown up with the Burton movies and the animated series. It wasnt until Batman Begins that I decided to start reading comics. Sure, it was bothersome to find a place to start but once I did my research I just went for it.

KevinCV said...

Damn, Bob! That was the best one yet! I'm not a big sports fan -though I do give a good "Go Red Wings!" cheer now and again- but I never noticed the parallels between sports fans and geeks -I consider "geeks" and "nerds" to be 2 different kinds of people- before. It's brilliant how you broke it down to it's basic components like that. Also, you get extra brownie points for mentioning the TARDIS. So looking forward to that Doctor Who Christmas Special this year... XD

Moshi said...

As an autistic person myself I feel it's very important to point out that no, you can't blame your social ineptude on autism. If you're one of those sad fucks that walk around saying they're 'self-diagnosed' with asperger's just because you can't make any friends, fuck you.

Aaron said...

Yeah right. Yankee fans are not the sports equivalent of Twihars. However, I can honestly say that Red Sox fans are the sports equivalent of Sonic Fags.

By the way, where were you? I didn't see you guys at the playoffs this year...

Reverend Allan Ironside said...

That Yankees fan / Twihard bit had me in stitches--especially your chuckle. It just fit it so perfectly. Really like this new show, Bob. Keep up the good work.

Arman said...

Best episode of The Big Picture so far.

Dave Kraft said...

@Bob: This picture is the answer to your question. Behold, the marriage between sports and superhero fandom: http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/hs596.ash2/154839_471825887788_711007788_5516308_5251404_n.jpg

@Arman: I concur! :D Also, better usage of the faces this time. :)

Alphonso said...

I agree with the previous comments about the quality of this episode. Interestingly, this has come out the same day that the WotC website mentions Magic: the Gathering's having been on ESPN2.

@Lucas:
I think Bob was arguing that the difference between wearing a jersey and a costume lies entirely in the eye of society rather than anything tangible. What is a "brand" if not a socially accepted opinion about the piece of clothing? What is the difference between pretending to be a "fictional character" and pretending to be Tom Brady?

@Bob: I think that by arguing that extreme sports fans are nerds, you have answered your own question. The reason I can't just get along with them is precisely that--they're nerds! From my perspective, sports nerds are passionate about things I could not care less about. To me, someone who names a kid after Roy Koopa is cool; someone who names a kid after Roy Halladay is lame.

I think your discussion of nerdiness being a matter of execution rather than material was particularly sharp. However if you consider Bloom's taxonomy, analysis comes much later than basic knowledge. Hence, two people familiar with the same material are going to have more to talk about than two people who analyze different material in the same fashion. That's one of the reasons Internet memes and Seltzer and Friedberg movies can become so popular despite being so brainless.

Alcibiades said...

On the subject of sports and nerddom, you might find this espn commercial interesting:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TBusqMaCEM

I do follow quite a bit of sports in a geeky way (linear regression analysis of third down conversion probabilities *swoon*), and I know that some of us statheads are referred to as geeky by the rest of the community, though usually in an endearing manner.

akkuma420 said...

@Bob
The Patriots... yuck.

I find it funny that being a "nerd" is slowly but surely becoming cool.
How ironic.

Mark said...

Bob,

I think this is the first video of your new series where I think you really found your stride. Not that the previous ones weren't good, but I think you have found a good pacing and vibe. Now I'm super eager for what comes next.

A few points:
1) I think the world just saw what happens when the Pats meet the Jets...
2) The ironic thing about all this is the amount of gamers or "regular nerds" that really hate sports. Just look at the above posts. "douchebag". "jocks." When, in reality, we're all nerd. I am a nerd about games, movies, AND sports. I suspect people think they *should* hate on the "jocks" because jocks and sports in general are so mainstream. But seriously... you can't get more mainstream than Halo, can you?
The way I say it is, a nerd is just somebody with an everyday hobby to takes it too seriously. I am a music nerd. Oh, no, it's not like you think - I'm a fricken music theory teacher. But music is something that 99.9 % of the population enjoys. But that's the way it goes for most types of nerddom, I'd say - with the exception of some of the extreme stuff, perhaps. Anyways, you get the point.

tyra menendez said...

I've been calling them sports geeks, for years, now. I mean, what is it now? 4 24-hour sports channels, people that are proud to have some dead or long-retired player's stats, memorized (this is especially true in baseball), but the geekiest thing, to me, is that a lot of sports nuts are former jocks that have gone to pot and try to relive their glory days, vicariously, while getting into fist fights over rooting for a different team. This is especially true in the world of football (not to be confused with American rugby), where drunken Aussies, Irish, Scottish, English and Brazilians have been known to start whole-sale riots over games that weren't even the world cup.

white templar said...

I think Bob ignored the fact that Sports Nerds can beat the crap out of regular Nerds, and hence can define the genre as they please.
There's also the 'real people' vs 'fantasy people' argument. Brady is a real person. Magneto is...well Magneto.

vlademir1 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
vlademir1 said...

@Mark

Your second point has merit, but I see it more as the association fallacy for many of the geeks I know that reject the mainstream, they have deep psychological scars from bullying so reject anything to do with the type of people they were bullied by.

REPTILE 0009 said...

@MovieBob
How do you get off comparing Halo to Madden? Are you insane?

Jacob said...

There is a place where they are one and the same, Math Faculty at University of Waterloo. Seriously though, I had a friend who would lecture me for hours on how he measured spreads and made bets on almost every sport, NFL being his favorite. Later on, when playing Starcraft he would explain to me in extraordinary detail the limitations and exploitations of the different races. Not everyone there is like that though, but enough are. It was pretty awesome.