Wood's Word: Sports nerds, unite!

I recently had an interesting conversation with a friend I work with. We were discussing the various activities in which we are engaged while not at the workplace. I mentioned listening to music, watching the Utah Jazz play and reading the occasional book.

He mentioned Dungeons and Dragons.

To begin, I truly know nothing about Dungeons and Dragons. I had heard of the stereotypical late-night gathering of trolls, wizards and dwarves who display their magical abilities in their parents’ basements. I assumed they were bestowed with the task of saving the entire magical realm by putting the dragons into dungeons.

He assured me that he didn’t go to such extremes. He simply enjoyed a costume-less game every now and again with his friends. We laughed off my initial reaction of the thought of my friend dressing up like a small, bearded axe-wielder.

He then said: “What if I did dress up? Who cares? It’s just as weird as sports.”

How dare he compare such a not-cool thing as Dungeons and Dragons with the hip, funky-fresh world of sports?! I racked my brain to put together some logical explanation as to how sports could possibly be as weird or nerdy as that.

What could be cooler than idolizing famous people you have never met before? I had the opportunity to receive autographs from the entire 2008-09 Utah Jazz team before the season began. I was as giddy as a schoolgirl. By the time I arrived to the table of Andrei Kirilenko, I mustered up enough courage to ask him how he was doing. And Jerry Sloan called me “son.”

How about fantasy football?! This is the coolest thing since SlamBall — the wildly popular sporting activity that aired for two whole seasons on cable TV where a basketball meets a trampoline. Fantasy football involves a master team manager arranging his team’s roster (made up of real NFL athletes) in a manner that it may perform better than his opponents and finish with a higher amount of points. The manager gets to spend countless hours making sure he has the appropriate roster in place, and the actual professional players get to decide if they want to do a good job or not. I’ll have you know my fantasy football team is currently 3-0, and I have not room enough to receive the compliments that are filling my cup.

If there is anything more impressive and more awesome than someone who can recall the entire field-goal percentage of their favorite team, I will eat my shorts. Sport statistics give a man or a woman that extra edge of credibility over his or her friends when offering your entire soul to a team simply won’t do. Memorizing the numbers of your team shows true devotion and is in no way comparable to anything that was ever or has ever been lame or uncool.

Another perfect example of how cool one gets to be for liking sports is that when your team wins, you win! All of the accomplishments that your team has achieved are directly related to your actions. You may feel free to walk around campus, the grocery store, and the home football game of your former high school wearing the logo of your favorite sports team the day after their big win with a smile on your face, knowing that, somewhere, the team’s superstar is curled up in their Ferrari and thanking you by name for supporting them and watching the game.

Now I have many weapons with which to face my friend, dare he ever challenge the overall coolness of sports or attempt to compare them to something not so. I will even paint my face and put on my Utah Jazz underpants for good luck.