Sports fans are a lot like baby ducks: once imprinted, they’ll follow anything. Put the right jerseys on a team of monkeys, and the sports fan will pay a week’s salary to watch them pick lice off each other – two weeks salary if they do it on steroids. This, of course, means that as models of leadership and maturity they fall somewhat below Adam Sandler. (The sports fans, I mean: the monkeys rate slightly higher.)
Unfortunately, sports fans are pretty much in charge of the world, a situation that can make life difficult for anyone with an active intelligence — or “nerds” as they’re called by the half-naked, painted guys sitting in the stadiums watching the Broncos play the Bills in the middle of December.
So for those with the wit to tell the difference between a Firefly-class freighter and an Alliance cruiser, here are three steps to providing yourself some much-needed camouflage as a sports fan.
1. Choosing your sport
Don’t try passing yourself off as an all-round sports fan entranced by anything with sticks, balls, or other homoerotic symbols. Specialisation is acceptable and can even be seen as displaying a kind of sports purity.
But be careful which sport you choose.
It is imperative to pick a sport in which there are relatively few spectator deaths. Whenever thousands of susceptible and emotionally immature fans gather, the threat of violence is always present. In step three, I’ll show you how to maintain your reputation as a sports fan without having to attend sporting games, but the techniques aren’t foolproof. There is always a possibility you’ll find yourself in a stadium some day with a huge cup of beer-flavoured water in one hand, a hotdog in the other, and a horde of screaming primitives with painted faces surrounding you. The last thing you need is a riot
So, soccer is obviously out.
Baseball is the most logical choice. The games involve almost no action, and because fans always emulate the players to whom they have become imprinted, the action in the stands is only a little less passive than that on the field (it takes years of training to maintain the extended inactivity displayed by the professional baseball player).
Another advantage of baseball is that it is a game of statistics, or so its fans often claim. In reality it’s a game of hitting a ball with a bat, but for some reason baseball fans have become obsessed with numbers. This gives the nerd a tremendous advantage.
2. Learning the lingo
A good fan uses sports analogies for almost every occasion, and if you want to pass, you’re going to have to learn how to do the same. Remember, when facing almost insurmountable problems and the deadline is looming for a project, it’s “the bottom of the ninth and the bases are loaded” – it’s not “the Rebel forces last stand against the Death Star.”
Sports analogies fall into three groups: team work, strategy, and annihilating the opposition. Think of it as Stalinist communism in which conformity to your own group is paramount while plotting the overthrow of everyone else.
3. Avoiding games
The last thing you want is to spend the day at an actual sporting event when you could be home having a marathon Firefly session. Aside from any physical danger, there is the psychological discomfort of having to spend hours in the company of thousands and thousands of rabid sports fans. Here are some valid and well-accepted reasons to give for preferring to watching games at home:
- Dude, I got my own beer and don’t have to pay, like, a zillion dollars for it.
- I get together with my buds and we don’t have to worry about some rent-a-cop bouncing us out for getting a bit rambunctious.
- On TV they show close-ups of the cheerleaders and really hot broads in the audience.
- I can get shit-faced and not have to drive home afterwards.
Follow these steps closely, and before you know it, your supervisor will actually be listening to what you have to say about the much-needed upgrades required in IT – providing, of course, you’ve framed them in the necessary sports analogies. To seal the deal, wear a team jacket. Pick lice off him if it’s really important.