Jocks and geeks. The In-crowd and the nerds. Our entire lives our social culture has tried to force us into set divisions of cool and uncool.
These divisions, however, are not watertight. Supposedly, nerds that read a lot of books by dead people (or about dead people) aren’t supposed to like sports, but I defy that on a daily basis. I probably know an equal amount (if not a greater amount) of songs in Italian and German than the number of songs popular with the kids this week; yet, I have a pretty decent bracket and I am a devoted sports fan.
I am here to proclaim loudly from the rooftops (or from my Macbook) that the nerd/jock distinction is completely bogus. Of course, not many people will hear my proclamation because I’m not standing on top of a roof waving a machete.
It is completely possible, even probable to be a bit geeky and enjoy sports – especially when it comes to baseball.
Baseball is my favorite sport in the world, and I think that is partially because of how accommodating it is to people from all walks of life. What do drunken crazy people in Boston, loud-mouthed deli owners in New York, rap stars, movie stars, and a history/theology/music/coffee nerd have in common? A love for baseball. Baseball truly is America’s Pastime, and I hope that the news of the impending NFL lockout will drive many Americans back to the best American sport.
The Chicago Cubs are my favorite team, as I’m sure you well know. I follow several Cubs blogs. One that I have been especially enjoying recently is the Boys of Spring blog (regarding their Spring Training). I mention this for two purposes: 1) to show how nerdy I am that I read multiple Cubs blogs and 2) to give a shoutout to Boys of Spring.
So, why all this talk about geekiness and baseball? Because I have stepped up my intermarriage of sports fandom and geekdom to a new level. I have joined a second fantasy baseball league.
I have to say that this second league is intimidating to me. I am a baseball fan, and I can still quote to you statistics from guys that were my favorite players when I was a kid, but I am a still quite a distance from a true baseball geek. I mean, I know what WHIP means, but I don’t know anything about sabermetrics.
In my first fantasy baseball league, I know all the guys and I’m confident that only one pays as much attention to the MLB as I do. In this new league, I only know one guy (and he has his doctorate). All he has told me about the other 9 guys is that they are “East Coast physicists.” Color me intimidated.
I’m sure these guys know all about sabermetrics, and they have calculated advanced logarithms for the automatic draft that takes place at 5:00am EST tomorrow morning, while I have structured my list based on my faulty memory and my hatred of the Yankees. I fear no matter how I structure my automatic draft list, their formulas will be better and I will fare no better than the Pittsburgh Pirates have for the past 18 years.
So, go ahead and shun me for my geeky ways, but I will continue to enjoy being a sports fan and a nerd. That’s all I have for today. I will post my draft results for you tomorrow and we will see if my fears were legitimate.
Until later friends…