Of course, if I had already concluded that football or sports in genral wasn't my thing, it would've been an awkward exchange. At the very least the subsequent public de-pantsing would have launched my candidacy to become president of the chess club.
This is probably what Hodgman is talking about; and it's hard for me to deny. Folks such as myself want to convert people who hate sports, because we love them so much and continue to seek out others who share our irrational hobby.
The teen years seems to be the period in one's life during which individuals conclude whether or not they are sports fans. The same goes for people who realize they're gay. They stay isolated for quite some time, spout some masculine epithets at the right moments, and when they feel comfortable, suddenly they shout from the heavens: "I am ... not a sports fan!"
Why not? Who knows. These nice people still immerse themselves either in books, film, video games, or some kind of hobby that glorifies irrational reality. What sometimes gets lost is that the vices of sci-fi and sports are two sides of the same 20-sided dice. The line between World of Warcraft raids and fantasy football drafts is coated in a thin layer of nacho cheese.
The main difference, I suppose, is that athletes will not only acknowledge fantasy sports, they will do commercials for them and even play them themselves. The athletes that admit loving role playing games are few and far between. Yes, it's probably more socially acceptable to play pretend sports than pretend fighting, although at this point in history it's a societal toss-up. However, it's WAY more acceptable to suit up in football pads than a wizard's cloak. I know why, and yet ... well, I don't know why.
Hundreds of years ago, the proponents of athletics sold their theory better than the timid yet passionate philosophers who sat around playing pente grammai. The Socratic method didn't have cool machismo like the Olympics did. Intellect simply wasn't as persuasive as a boisterous "DUDE, EVERYBODY'S GOING TO THE CHARIOT RACE." That could explain the hemlock.
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