Yesterday began the same as any other day. I got up, I washed an clothed myself and made my way to the computer to begin my travels on the fair internet. When I got onto the inter-webs, I noticed a loud commotion. It being the internet, this was nothing new but I went in search of what caused this unease among the townsfolk, specifically the Canadian townsfolk. Turns out it was this:
Fan Expo Canada officially announced that in addition to its usual 4 Day sci-fi/comics/horror/anime/etc. convention taking place in late August, a sports expo would be added to the proceedings. Naturally, the reaction from the Canadian con-goers was something like this:
It was as if Fandom picked up it’s collective clubs and sticks and launched a full scale citizens’ attack on Fan Expo. I saw many fans say that this was a travesty. Others talked about boycotting the show, saying that the convention would be overrun by jock-types. Many more would say that a sports expo had no place among the fans of the many genres that would be celebrating that weekend. Needless to say, some people got VERY loud about their displeasure to the announcement. To this reaction, I have only one thing to say: Calm down. There’s no need for all this anger.
I remember a year ago, I was watching an interview with Stan Lee on his World of Heroes Youtube Channel where he spoke about the popularity of the San Diego Comic-Con and addressed the belief that while the show was very big right now, interest would start to drop off in a few years and it would return to the size and scope it had in the early 2000s. Lee disagreed with this assessment and said that he thought the opposite was more likely. That Comic-Con had moved from just being a convention that celebrated comics and science fiction and had become a pop culture convention. He also believed that in a few years, the scope of the show would extend to things like…….ready for this……SPORTS heroes and memorabilia! So, the Man himself saw something like this coming to the world of fandom. And did he speak in disgust when he mentioned this? No. In fact, he looked jovial as ever when gave this revelation.
The fact of the matter is that Fan Expo is not the first convention to venture into the worlds of sports collectors. Other conventions have added this element over the years and to the best of my knowledge, this has not resulted in a corruption of the shows in any way. Sports, whether we want to admit it or not, is just another form of entertainment. People watch it to root for heroes and rage against villains. The only difference is that the heroes and villains change depending on what city you’re in. And the big kicker is that most of the fans that might take an interest in the sports expo are not too different from those of us already attending. Some of them may even be “us”.
When some of us fans of all things nerd hear the word “Sports”, a number of images flood our brain of the jocks that made fun of us in high school. If you took a moment and thought about it, these are not the usual types that attend conventions, even sports conventions. Remember that kid who collected hockey cards and could tell you every stat on Mario Lemieux? That’s more the type of guy you’ll see attending this event. A sports nerd for lack of a better name. Guys who’re just as passionate about sports and collecting as we are about our comics and sci-fi and horror and whatnot. The only difference is he memorizes statistics and famous plays while we memorize issue and episode numbers. And to fully pull the curtain back, there may already be some of these fans among us! That’s right, some of us nerds may actually enjoy sports! Shocking isn’t it. Fans of all the stuff we fanboy out about may actually enjoy watching hockey and football and baseball. I may even host a radio show with one of those fans.
All I am saying is that in the end, the Fan Expo’s Ultimate Sports Celebrity Experience will most likely have little effect on Fan Expo as a whole. So why don’t we just take a deep breath and get back to doing what we do best…..bitching about the next movie/comic/television series that’s just around the bend.
If you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!