Thursday, July 3, 2014

Jocks: The World's Biggest Nerds



So, there's this great old episode of the Simpsons (well... all of the GREAT episodes of the Simpsons are old) that Conan O'Brien wrote (of course) where Homer goes to college. Homer at one point opines that he is a jock and his natural enemies are nerds. Long story short, Homer the jock falls in with some nerds and tries to get them into wacky "Animal House" style hijinks and things don't go well but everyone learns a bunch of lessons.

Now, I think the traditional definitions of "Jock" (overly macho-aggressive dudebro who loves sports) and "nerd" (smarty smart pants with no social skills who loves computer programming and Star Trek) are both extremely limiting, and mostly false. Lots of nerds like sports. Lots of jocks like Star Trek.

But I do notice with some frequency that some people who probably think themselves jocks, much like Homer, like to make fun of nerds for different things. Well, I'm here to let you know that jocks- overly aggressive dude-bros who love sports- are actually the biggest nerds in the world, and if you self-identify as one, maybe you should think twice before mocking a nerd for doing something "nerdy."

How are jocks actually nerds? Let me count the ways.

1. Jocks love cosplay. So lots of nerds like to cosplay. Generally they cosplay as their favorite characters. Possible cosplays include: Harley Quinn (from Batman), Spiderman, the Super Mario Brothers, Captain Marvel, and Peyton Manning. Oh, what's that? You've never seen anyone cosplay as Peyton Manning? Okay, turn on a Denver Broncos game, and tell me how many people you see who've spent hundreds of dollars on an official Peyton Manning Jersey. Some people even cosplay as different versions of Peyton Manning! That guy is 2005 Indianapolis Colts Peyton Manning! That lady is Rule 63 Peyton Manning! That guy is some weird version of Peyton Manning with a Bronco mask! Sporting events are in many ways the biggest sporting events around. Hell, in your regular day-to-day life you'll see sports cosplayers just walking down the street in their costumes! That's how much they love cosplay.

2. Jocks love hating stuff on the internet. We know that nerds love going on the internet and complaining about stuff. How dare they kill Spiderman and put Doctor Octopus in his body! Ugh... the new 52 is TERRIBLE. This new Godzilla movie is just not as good as the OLD Godzilla movies. You know who else loves complaining about stuff on the internet? Jocks! Ugh, the Red Sox are terrible this year! Why can't the Bears EVER get a decent quarterback? I wish they'd never instituted the DH! Having a DH makes it not real baseball! Nerds may have built the internet but jocks have taken full advantage of it as a place to complain about sports continuity changes.

3. Jocks love RPGs. For decades, nerds have been made fun of for locking themselves up in their moms' basements and spending hours upon hours pretending to be elven archers, dwarven paladins, and other mainstays of fantasy RPGs. What a bunch of losers! Well, guess what jocks, fantasy football is basically just Dungeons and Dragons with football guys instead of dragons. You pick players based on their stats, you have a dungeon master (league commissioner), you come up with silly names for things (Prince Fielder of Dreams, for instance)... I mean, the list goes on. So the next time a friend asks you to play D+D don't say "I don't play nerd games" say "Okay, as long as I can play with my level 16 Ice Paladin, Jon Quick."

4. Tim Duncan.

5. Jocks are complicated people and we shouldn't judge them based on limited and outdated stereotypes. Jocks and nerds are human beings, just like nerds. Every single human being you meet is different. Just like the stereotype of the pocket-protector wearing, socially awkward nerd is dumb, and outdated, so is the stereotype of the big dumb jock. So, hey jocks (if you choose to self-identify as a jock), I know you're a complicated person with layers, like an onion, or an ogre. You and the nerds you might mock really aren't that different. So, let's all head down to the Quidditch pitch, and share some Romulan ales later on before our Fantasy Battlestar Galactica draft.

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