This weekend, I was able to attend a rather unusual meet-up (well, unusual for me). I was surrounded by excited, costumed fans of all ages. People were decked out in everything from simple t-shirts to full body paint and wigs. It was a bit intimidating.
|Bitter rivals UVA and VT prepare to throw down.|
Of course, I've been attending football games since I was a kid, so I was prepared for this sort of thing. Since I started cheering exclusively for the SEC-based LSU, I haven't been to many games. I'd forgotten how much we geeks might have in common with the jocks who haunted our past.
One question has been bothering me since I wrote the article on geeks vs. nerds:
What does a geek do that a sports fan doesn't?
At first, I tried to argue that a geek has a harder time finding people who enjoy his particular niche passions. With the internet, that argument is moot. If you're on the correct side of the digital divide, you can find people who like what you like.
I was still reluctant to include sports fans into our fold. "But, but, they hate geeks!" I thought (of course, not all sports fans hate geeks, but I was reaching for any differentiating qualities). Then, I remembered the first time I drew a line in the sand and decided that I was a Star WARS fan, not a Trekkie. Geek in-fighting breeds some of the nastiest flame wars I've ever seen.
So, barring a more exclusive definition, I caved. I think sports fans can be geeks, or even nerds if they're the stats-loving type. After all, I'd felt the surge of jock-like elitism when I realized I was one of only three geeks at a Superbowl party who knew "how to score victory points." I grew up on UVA football games at Scott Stadium.
Which brings me to my Saturday adventure. I got to fit twenty years of rebellion into a three-hour football game. I've known since I was old enough to yell that the proper response to "Let's go" is "Wahoos." I can't sing a bar of Auld Lang Syne, but I know all the words to The Good Ole Song. I am so solidly a legacy that I had to get in to UVA just to prove to my friends and family that I was choosing not to attend of my own free will.
|By the end of the shutout, precious|
few UVA fans remained.
This Saturday, in the heart of Charlottesville, I threw on a maroon jersey, walked through a few hisses and jeers, to root for UVA's main rival: Virginia Tech. The football gods saw this defection and smiled upon it, granting VT a crushing shut out of 38-0.
I wonder if we could whip up a geeks guide to sporting events. For example, when invited to a game, try to fly casual and blend in. Being in the midst of slightly inebriated, rabid fans is not the time to fly your hipster flag and loudly proclaim that sports are merely society's way of mitigating and legalizing aggression (or severely inebriated fans, as may be the case if you find yourself in Wahoo territory on senior fifth day). Another tip: Pick a team and stick with it, hell or high water, until the end of the game.
Post your opinions in the comments. Are sports fans geeky? Any other tips for geeks trying to survive a football-heavy holiday with a non-geek family? The UVA/VT rivalry is a bit Virginia-centric, but what are some good games to catch in the District? And are there any other LSU fans this far northeast?