Photograph:EPA/Mast Irham
The Irish Times


If I told you I had memorized the names of all the characters from LORD OF THE RINGS, you’d think I’m a nerd.

If I told you I liked the movie, WATCHMEN, although, it wasn’t as good as the graphic novel series, you’d think I’m a nerd.

If I told you I named my dog, Jabba or Lando, you might think I’m a STAR WARS nerd; not, necessarily, however, if my dogs’ name was Yoda because Yoda is too mainstream to be considered nerdish.

On the other hand, if I told you I know the names of all the players and their stats on the Detroit Lions, you’d think I’m a FAN.

If I expounded on my opinion on what changes I feel the coaching staff should make on the Orlando Magic roster, you’d consider me a FAN.

Do you see where I’m going with this?  Society gives you a pass when it comes to rabid sports fandom.  You can know and spout stats, history, records, players shoe sizes, their favorite foods and the names of their nieces and nephews.  You can dress head to toe in “officially licensed” everything.  You can paint your body with team colors and go full-goose bozo this weekend at the game, or even at home watching the game. You are a Fan, maybe even a DIEHARD FAN.  It will never reach NERD status when it comes to sports.

Try the above with books, video games, movies, comic books, virtually anything else, and you passed the line into nerd territory.

There’s even bars and restaurants explicitly designed for YOU, dear fan!  Places where you can nerd-out, no wait, I mean “cheer” on in 70 inches, HDR, big-screened wonder.

Is there something broken inside of me?  Perhaps, I’m missing a particular gene in my DNA?  I have no interest in how well someone else does at kicking a ball.  If you love sports, I’d like to better understand.  Do you visualize yourself in their place as if you’ve had a “Freaky Friday” moment?  Do you fantasize it being you or you being friends with the players?  Maybe it’s a basic instinct-type thing of wanting to be part of the tribe that all roots together that offers the feeling of camaraderie.

Clearly, for commerce reasons,  the NFL, NHL, FIFA, and all the other sporting associations want and need to keep the word “nerd” from sports culture.  Generally, the words “nerd” and “geek” have negative connotations, implying a lack of social skills, while exhibiting an obsessive abundance of knowledge about a subject; oh wait, that sounds like a DIEHARD SPORTS FAN!

I originally wrote a manuscript around 2006 called “THE GUIDE FOR MEN WHO HATE SPORTS”.   I wrote from the angle of a guy trying to make sense of the intense passion other men have for sports.  I sent a query off to a publisher in Los Angeles (keep in mind, this was pre-easy-internet-self-publishing days).  A few months went by, and I received a response letter saying they thought the book was funny, even though it wasn’t something they felt they could publish.  I left it on the backburner, eventually uploading it to CreateSpace and then forgot about it again.
Recently, Amazon stated that all content would be transferred from CreateSpace, directly to Amazon and asked if I wanted to move this particular book.  I decided it was time to publish it on Kindle.  I changed the name to I HAVE A PENIS, AND I HATE SPORTS.
I welcome all comments.
Thanks for reading,
Tony Hollowell
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