When Melinda and I had to return early from Dragon*Con, it was very disappointing. We had a pretty good geek-out fix, but it would have been nice to have seen it all the way through.
The first Saturday after we got back happened to be a home UT football game and we had tickets. Now this was quite a culture shock. Going from geek mecca to jock mecca in less than 7 days. However, as I sat there and watched people and the game, I began to notice that the two fandoms were not that different.
Now before I get too far into this, what is fandom? Basically fandom is just being a fan of something. Sports fan, Sci-Fi fan, gaming fan, all are fandoms and they have all the sub-levels down to teams, movies, games, players, actors, characters, etc. All simply fans of something. Problem is geek fans and sport fans have never really gotten along. Even in Atlanta with Dragon*Con fans outnumbering the sport fans nearly 20 to 1, there was hostility between the two. Sport fans refusing to acknowledge the fascination of Dragon*Con and dismissing it as just a bunch of nerds. However, I will try to now prove, the two fandoms are not that different at all, and both sides should just admit it and end the hostilities.
Both fandoms enjoy gatherings in large groups. These gatherings have various activities. What the D*C groups would call gaming and cosplay, the sport groups call corn hole and showing support. D*C groups will gather and debate various movies, comics, games, etc. while the sport groups will debate stats, records, recruitment, etc. See, same stuff, just different names. Here, let me show you some pictures from the two gatherings.
UT Football Game
Crowds of people in brightly colored crazy clothes trying to get from point A to point B. Only difference? This group is more outdoor based. Wow. Huge difference isn’t it?
Yes, geek gatherings have a lot to do with costuming. We create elaborate costumes to show off our support for our fandom and to get attention.
At the UT Game
Fewer pictures because these guys can be hard to catch, but they’re there.
For heavens sake, both sides even have furries.
Sports fandom just call their furries “mascots”.
So, really, are we that different. We all like to get together with our friends, hang out, and talk about the fandom. Both sides are very aggressive about their support for their fandoms. Try telling a UT fan Alabama is the better team or try telling a Trekkie that Star Wars is better. Either could result in at least a verbal beat down.
Try thinking about that next time before you throw out the work “jock” at someone, or yell out “Get me to somewhere with sports and away from these nerds” (actual quote overheard at Dragon*Con). We’re not all that different from each other.