THE STAR WARS REPORT: LINE ‘EM UP

“I USED TO BULLSEYE WOMP RATS IN MY T-16 BACK HOME…”

What makes sports so different? I mean, it isn’t as if there are that many physical differences in the two fan demographics. I realize that athletes are in much better shape than the rest of humanity…it kind of goes without saying. But every dorky fat guy munching on Cheetos and downing Mountain Dew while playing “Knights of the Old Republic” for the umpteenth time has an undiscovered soulmate – a Leia to his Luke (or, for sports fans, a Ronde to his Tiki) – at a sports bar eating buffalo wings and drinking beer by the pitcher. Hell, swap their souvenir t-shirts and you probably couldn’t tell them apart.

So why does someone who follows sports with the rabid intensity of a true “Star Wars” geek get away with being called a “fan” or an “enthusiast?” Is their freakish obsession, which can result in torso painting or lapsing into depression if their team loses on Sunday, somehow justified because it’s directed at sports? Sports are just games, much like “Rebel Commando” or “Dark Forces,” right?

Sports are also entertainment, just like the “Star Wars” movies (which at least used to be entertaining), but lots of professional sports are losing fans. Witness the fact that they have to pad Super Bowl coverage out to 8 hours just to hype the commercials. The NHL chucked an entire season into the toilet, NBA ratings and attendance are down, and athletes in all sports are ridiculed for their bloated salaries at the same time team owners are lambasted for skyrocketing ticket and concession prices. Meanwhile, the “Star Wars” movies continue to make huge box office, while thousands descend upon sci-fi conventions or play the video games. ESPN already covers poker, for crying out loud, how long before we get “Star Wars” CCG coverage? And how long before the diminishing numbers of sports “enthusiasts” finally start coming out of the closet (or over to the Dark Side) so to speak, and accepting themselves for what they are?

I don’t mean to pile on sports, necessarily, but the people who hoot the most about “geeks” and “nerds” always seem to be the kind of guys prone to watching “Sportscenter” for three straight hours and engaging in endless debates about whether MJ was better than Wilt. Maybe, just maybe, it’s time you guys finally admitted you were one of us.

One of us.

Read the next installment in THE STAR WARS REPORT: MAY THE SALES FORCE BE WITH YOU>>>




Posted on April 4, 2005 in Features by
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