Links roundup for 10 February 2012

Here’s a roundup of stories on sports fandom that might be of interest to fans:

  • In the post Competitive Fandom in the Social Media Age blogger Carles notes how fannish values have changed to prioritize online networking. “Attending a live sporting event forces consumers to analyze a monetary and emotional break-even point. Is it really worth it for mass-market suburbanite families to make the trip all the way to the stadium in order to watch some meaningless, a la carte regular-season game from the upper level? After the team jogs through the motions, a bad basketball game can turn into an almost dehumanizing consumer experience.” He observes that it is also an experience few people can have. “[W]hen you get older, you start to witness the typically inverse relationship between the proximity of your seat to the court versus the level of genuine rooting interest…Somehow we all turn into post-reverse-classists who assume that basically no one should be allowed to watch live sports from nice seats. We are the other 99 percent of sports fans.”
  • The Daily News Egypt also looks at sports in a larger political-economic context in “Football fans as revolution.” “The Ultras’ unconditional support to their teams, whether they win or lose, reflects unrestricted faith in an idea and working relentlessly to support and improve it. Their motivation and organizational capacities in achieving that goal, using team work in an unmatched creativity, induces hope and inspiration. The dynamics of the process brings (positive) patriotism and freedom to the forefront, two critical values that have been subdued and suppressed by the ailing regime but are experiencing rebirth.”
  • From national politics to fandom politics, a Chicago sports blogger took it upon himself to lecture fellow fans on how fandom should be performed. “I’m a Cubs fan and root for them harder than anyone. I also understand that the Cubs play a game, and I respect myself too much to ask another grown man who plays a game for a living to write his name on something while I’m wearing a shirt with that man’s name on it. And I know you make fun of Trekkies and the weirdos who go to adult entertainment conventions and buy the rubber genitalia replicas of their favorite porn stars. But guess what? You’re no different.” As one respondent points out, given the sorts of depths that sports fandom can sink to it’s a bit much to declare conventions to be an over-the-line form of fannish expression. “I’ve never been to an adult entertainment convention or a Star Trek convention – or a Cubs convention for that matter. But I don’t mock anyone who does because it’s their hobby and their money and it in no way, shape or form concerns me how other folks entertain themselves as long as it does no harm to me.”

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