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Thread: My year of sports fandom!

  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ultralight View Post
    Okay, how would you suggest one step into the tradition of baseball fandom, for instance?
    Ideally, it begins with the right choice of grandfather and the lifetime accretion of various attitudes and associations.

    Otherwise, it's something you stumble into on a where-have-you-been-all-my-life basis.

  2. #82
    Simpleton Alan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ultralight View Post
    Thoughts?
    I think you're not being truthful in your description of this experiment. It seems to me that it's not sports fandom that you aspire to, but rather an evaluation of sports fans. I can see how that would put them off as it becomes apparent in your interactions with them.
    "Things should be made as simple as possible, but not one bit simpler." ~ Albert Einstein

  3. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ultralight View Post
    I have noticed over the past week or so a certain irritation from my sports spiritual guides. When I am talking about sports with them – perhaps a specific game that was recently played or some historical event that happened at a game or a record set by a player, they might get annoyed
    .
    My knowledge of sports is rapidly building and the long dormant sports knowledge I had picked up here and there from my childhood is moving to the fore. Together with my ability to quickly understand and put into my own usage the jargon of sports I sound quite like an old sports fan.


    Combine that with the general aesthetics of sports fandom – a cap on my head, some magnets in my cubicle, and a bumper sticker, and what you have is an indistinguishable sports fan. Indistinguishable from whom? Well, virtually any fan, of course.


    This indistinguishability unnerves and annoys "true" fans because it reveals what an artifice their fandom is.


    If any Joe Schmoe can arbitrarily pick a baseball team, buy a few pieces of merch, learn about the game, its history, and about the team’s players and suddenly be indistinguishable from lifelong fans then "true" fans are thrust into an existential crisis. What is the meaning of their fandom? Is it valid? Is it even real?
    Sure, a “true” fan could say: “But UL is not a real fan. He is just a Johnny-come-lately!” Or they could say: “He is only doing this for one year. His fandom is fake; it is contrived!”


    This may assuage their existential malaise but it can only do so on a service level. What my sports spiritual guides have seen in me becoming a fan cannot be unseen. The thoughts and feelings they had as a result of my fandom cannot be un-thought or unfelt. The best they can hope for is that I become a fan – a “true” fan – by the end of the year. This would sublimate and adequately rationalize their lifelong fandom. This would make their emotional and temporal and financial investments seem worthwhile. All in all, the only thing that can make them feel justified would be my continued fandom beyond Spring of 2019.

    Thoughts?
    Perhaps it's simply the initiate 's resentment of the dilettante.

    A Rachel Dalziel sort of thing.

  4. #84
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ultralight View Post
    Thoughts?
    My thought is that you're exposing your true goal in becoming a sports fan for a year. It's not about watching perfectly-executed double plays or a wing faking out a goaltender one-on-one or finding a new hobby or even reliving the days when you played these sports. Even your posts here don't discuss a great play you saw or an insight into how the game is played; it's about the experience of being a fan and the trappings of the environment. It's about fandom itself. And I think your fan friends are picking that up.
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

  5. #85
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    You’re a fake convert to a religion you don’t believe in. That’s why they’re annoyed.

  6. #86
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    Well you do seem to go at it with more judgement than if you took up say swing dancing for a year and had never swing danced a minute in your life before (I don't know to see how good you could get, or just for something to do, to meet the ladies would be an ulterior motive but common). Is swing dancing irrational? Eh I suppose but dancing is pretty ancient in human activities. Is it a religion? Not generally.

    Being a baseball fan well for many modern attention deficit sports fans baseball is slow so yea you learn it from your father etc.. What is faster? Well football is losing popularity now due to the violence and head injuries etc.. Ice hockey, basketball.
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

  7. #87
    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ApatheticNoMore View Post
    Well you do seem to go at it with more judgement than if you took up say swing dancing for a year and had never swing danced a minute in your life before (I don't know to see how good you could get, or just for something to do, to meet the ladies would be an ulterior motive but common). Is swing dancing irrational? Eh I suppose but dancing is pretty ancient in human activities. Is it a religion? Not generally.

    Being a baseball fan well for many modern attention deficit sports fans baseball is slow so yea you learn it from your father etc.. What is faster? Well football is losing popularity now due to the violence and head injuries etc.. Ice hockey, basketball.
    I am, by my very nature, a judgmental person. I did a learn to dance challenge back in 2015. I learned a whole bunch of fun party dances (The Steve Martin, The Freaky Deeky, Happy Feet, etc.). It was fun and I can still do a fair number of the moves!

    Baseball is an interesting sport, the statistical likelihoods intrigue me. Like, how likely is a given batter to swing on the first pitch?

    The CTE problem in football and, to a lesser extent, hockey is rather distasteful. Though I will deal with that cognitive dissonance when the time comes.
    “I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand." -- Rodney Dangerfield

  8. #88
    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tammy View Post
    You’re a fake convert to a religion you don’t believe in. That’s why they’re annoyed.
    No need to mince words, Tammy. What are you really getting at here?
    “I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand." -- Rodney Dangerfield

  9. #89
    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LDAHL View Post
    Perhaps it's simply the initiate 's resentment of the dilettante.
    Haha! Could be you are right.

    Or could be I was right.

    You seem to be particularly bothered by my year of sports fandom...

    Quote Originally Posted by LDAHL View Post
    A Rachel Dalziel sort of thing.
    You know, I don't hide that I am doing this experiment. I talk about it openly with friends and acquaintances. I thought about being stealthy, but that is not really my style.
    “I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand." -- Rodney Dangerfield

  10. #90
    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    Maybe my brain works differently than you all's but suppose some person said to me: "UL, I want to be an atheist for a year. Now, I have always been Christian and I will certainly still think some Christian thoughts and make some Christian judgments but I want to live as an atheist for a year -- talk about atheism, do atheist activities, read atheist books, and so on. Will you help me? Will you be my guide?"

    I would be like: "Heck yeah!" I would gladly help this person and encourage them. If they said something judgmental I will talk it over with them. I'd encourage them to talk to more atheists, attend a convention, watch The Ledge, and so on.

    If someone said to me: "I have never fished. But I want to do an experiment where I become an outdoorsy fisherman for a year."

    I would again be like: "Heck yeah!"

    Even if they said, "I think catching fish -- even for food -- is brutal and gutting fish is disgusting!" I would still be happy to show them the ropes, encourage them, and see what happens. Why?

    Because you never know what might happen.

    The Christian could become an atheist. Or at least learn that most atheists are really darned good folks.

    Because that squeamish anti-fishing person could, over the course of the year, learn to love it. Or they could simply understand anglers better.

    Who knows!?
    “I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand." -- Rodney Dangerfield

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