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« Scientists Hard at Work | Main | 6/28/2006 »


Peter David:

So Kathleen happened to have the radio on this morning, tuned to a sports radio talk show. And it seemed that the volume and intensity of the discussion was inversely proportional to the degree of importance-in-the-grand-scheme-of-things that the subject matter had.

And all I could think of was how grotesquely unfair it is that science fiction and comics fans are tagged as nerds and dweebs and treated in a condescending manner when sports fans are just as "bad" if not "worse." I mean, where the hell does the media get off being snotty about fans who are dressed as Klingons when you can go to any Yankees game and see 1800 guys wearing jerseys that say "Jeter" on the back. The Klingon language may be incomprehensible, but no less so than watching two sports fanatics tossing around stats, names and abbreviations ("When he wasn't able to DH he was HBP and wound up on the DL when his ERA was 0.73, or else he would have been MVP.") How is it 1500 people, mostly sober, spending a weekend enjoying a mutual interest at a hotel and talking about space exploration, how to avoid global warming, and whether the Hulk can beat Superman...how is that automatically inferior to 43,000, mostly drunkly drunk, spending a day enjoying a mutual interest at a stadium and talking about playoffs, how to avoid the line at the bathroom, and whether the 1953 Dodgers could beat the 1962 Yankees?

Plus science fiction fans have only the Sci-Fi Channel. Sports fans have ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN Classic. Golf. There's a golf channel. A whole channel dedicated to Golf, for God's sake. That's like having a whole channel devoted to "Voyager." And how are fantasy baseball leagues any weirder than local chapters of Starfleet? And where do people get off being snotty about Renfaires when there are those fantasy baseball camps that some organizations offer, where you pay big bucks to dress up like a baseball player for a week? At least Renfaire's don't set you back a few thousand bucks.

So what makes us nerdy and them "mainstream? Because it's "big business?" Maybe the only way science fiction and comic book conventions will gain genuine respectability is if they become designed, not for socialization or debate, but about being as aggressive as possible about separating fans from their money. You know: LIke pro sports.


By fnord12 | June 27, 2006, 4:52 PM | Comics



damn. wayne beat me to it.

You know what I beat you for...? Manglue!

On one hand, you forgot about SportsNet New York, The Speed Channel, The YES network, The MSG network, FSN (Fox Sports News) NY, The Fox Soccer Channel, NBA TV, and Fox Sports en Espa´┐Żol.

On the other hand, you also forgot G4TV which has the original Star Trek, and plays it often and is going to have coverage of Comic-Con 2006.

OK, so its still lop-sided. But I've more to say.

On a side note, having seen some of the stuff that they put on the Sci-Fi channel (Boa vs Python, anyone?), and what they decided to take off the Sci-Fi channel, I don't know if I could ever endorse it to people who are fans of Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror.

But if you look at the bigger picture you realize that while Sports rules the small screen, SciFi/Fantasy/Horror movies completely dominate Sports on the big screen. You've got 3 X-Men movies, 6 original Star Trek movies, some number of ST:TNG movies (I stopped caring when someone dragged me to the theater to watch mini-Picard fight Picard for his organs), 6 Star Wars movies, along with Spiderman, Batman, Ghost Rider, Daredevil (I never said they were good movies), and every major horror movie franchise out there (Jason, Freddy, Chucky, Damien, etc.).

And what does sports have? Field of Dreams with Kevin Costner? Drumline? That other movie with Tom Cruise about Nascar whose title I forgot and don't care to look up right now?

Besides, SciFi and sports can co-exist. ECW is on SciFi. OK, so thats not really a sport. Sci-Fi's not a really good channel (anymore). I think they work well together.

There's tons more sports movies than you've named. Off the top of my head: The Natural, The Program, Remember the Titans, Fridayin trouble! Night Lights, the Major League movies, the Bad News Bears, the Mighty Ducks movies, Miracle come to mind, and I'm by no means a sports fan (I've only seen....3...4 of those maybe). I'd say sports and sci fi/fantasy are equally represented on the big screen.

In any event, the question wasn't really how well represented SciFi/Fantasy is in entertainment, it's the treatment of the fans of SciFi/Fantasy, as opposed to sports fans, when both groups exhibit similar (NERDY) tendencies.

p.s. Wayne's trying to beat me for manglue, despite my repeated insistence that I just like him as a friend. This is sexual harassment!


ooh a new acronym. personally, i think sci/fi nerds prefer to be marginalized. and the cons appeal to that "us vs. the world mentality". it may not be big business, but the industry has come up with more than a few ways to take your hard-earned cash. like repackaging old comics on dvd. ahem.

do not tell her about the rip 'em up project!