Football fans are geeks too. Admit it.

I believe most sports fans are, but it is football season, as every other post on Facebook indicates, so I will use football for this comparison. I am not a sports fan. I was a sports watcher when I was little and actually went to Seahawks games as a kid. In fact the only team I may notice now a days is the Seahawks due, I think, to the childhood memories. Beyond that, I could not care less about sports.

I few days ago I remembered a conversation I had with a football geek years ago that made the geek behavior of football fans stand out as very similar to my own geek behavior around sci-fi/fantasy.  This gentleman was going on and on about what team needed to lose to what team for his team to get into the playoff. I had not known, or cared, that there was a point system and that some people break it down to half and quarter points. Really? I thought, you can’t be serious. He was quite serious and for a brief moment I considered telling him to get a life until I remembered the conversation I had had with him previous to the football one. I had felt obliged to explain that the Vulcans in Star Trek were distant cousins to the Romulans. (He had not known, and I was shocked by that). So I explained the cultural philosophy that led to the separation of the people on the show. Sports fans are always surprised that I never know when the Superbowl is, as surprised as I always am over people who have never read the Lord of the Rings. Seriously, what is wrong with you people.

So I became more aware of the easy comparisons between football geeks and sci-fi fantasy geeks.

On the walls around my desk I have a “I want to Believe” poster of the UFO from the fifties that was in the X-Files T.V show, as well as wizard pictures. Football fans have team pennants, Jerseys, autograph balls, and even stickers on their cars comparable to “beam me up Scotty” or “Frodo Lives” stickers. Football fans have the Superbowl and will spend weeks if not months planning it, buying new televisions, stocking up on the appropriate snacks and food/beverages for the big day. For me it is when a long awaited book comes out. I had the last three volumes of the Harry Potter series pre-ordered and delivered to my house on the day they came out. I too had stocked up on food, three days worth, and everyone who knew me knew to not bother to call because I was busy. Books that size have to be read at least twice right away, as everyone knows. Long awaited movies and marathon DVD days are similar experiences for me that game day is for football geeks.

Yet most football geeks I know have no understanding of how reading an eight hundred plus page book all at once can be entertaining anymore than I understand how watching a bunch of big guys pummel each other and then slap each other on the ass is entertaining. Most football fans do not understand investing time and energy into caring about people that don’t exist anymore than I understand calling people who play a game warriors? Really, I don’t get that.

There are many more comparisons that could be made but these make my point. If you are a hard core football fan, you are a geek too. Live with it.

Thoughts?

Star Trek expanded the possibilities for Sci-Fi television.

To continue the Sci-Fi theme for this week; let’s talk about Star Trek shall we? I will be sticking to the original series for this post, although feel free to add you own bits on anything relating to Sci-Fi in the comment section. What do think of when you think of the original Star trek? Cheesy acting, stories, and special effects that can be done on a camera phone today? Yeah that is the usual response I get. But think about it for a moment. Those special effects were better than anything else out at the time. 40 years from now people will be scoffing at digital recordings and the current HD. It was the stories in the original series that keeps the Star Trek universe alive today. Those cheesy, moralistic, wonderful stories that proved it could be done. (The first two seasons anyway. I make no allowances for most of the third.) What was “it” that could be done? Real story telling in the Sci-fi genre is “it”.

Sci-Fi books had been doing “it” since the beginning. There is H.G. Wells and Mary Shelly to name just two for now. Even the movies of the day were more stylistic with the writing, but television was a whole other ball of wax. Twilight Zone and the Outer Limits were the big shows and they were fantastic, yet they had different characters and completely different stories every week. Episodic television, in the Sci-Fi genre, was pretty barren. The comparison I am going to use is the old Lost in Space, the show, not the movie.

That show had two things, what could charitably be called the monster of the week, and a kid who was annoying and cutesy. Nothing else was ever accepted by the networks until Star Trek came along and it took Gene Rodenberry, the creator of Star Trek, at trip to several networks and the promise he could do it on the cheap. Once he got it going however, and hired the right writers, he started something that will not end.

Star Trek never had a standard ‘monster of the week”. The monsters on Star Trek were different. In the episode, The Devil in the Dark, there is a monster killing miners. They eventually find out it is called a Horta, and the Horta is killing the miners because the miners are unknowingly killing the Horta’s children. Not a typical monster, you actually start rooting for the Horta by the end. Star Trek created think pieces. An action adventure story in space with moral conundrums buried in the episodes. Roddenberry managed to give the studio action, they did not notice he slipped in something more. Many of the 79 episodes were like this and that is what changed the television landscape forever. Tomorrow I will tell you my thoughts on how I think that happened.The-Magnificent-Seven-star-trek-the-original-series-

 

What do you think?

 

 

image from fanpop.com