Sorry this took so long to write it started out as one thing but turned into something else.
Amen! My question is why does there even have to be this divide? It seems to me that we are planning to sacrifice all that is great and good in this sport to be taken “seriously.” That we are trying to appease those who mock us. I say let them because if you look deeper at each sport there is a level of whimsy that the serious athletes seem to ignore but sometimes that is what keeps people interested in the game. Here are some examples…
Soccer - Right now I am getting into sports that don’t have a lot of tomfoolery as a draw to play. Soccer is the largest sport in the world and the reason the Badassilisks have trouble finding permitted fields in NYC. People DIE over this sport. There is very little whimsy outside of an emphatic goal celebration now and again. On the other hand there is a lot of soap opera drama on field when players take dives pretending to be hurt. Fans complain about corrupt or incompetent refs. Oh and the occasional riot.
This is a picture of a soccer hooligan.
Hockey - Very little whimsy. I’d count people throwing hats or Cephalopods on the ice after a hat trick but that is a reaction to great play. Hockey is fast paced, violent oh and yes, actual fighting is allowed. Which if you understand the whys of all of this it adds tension and drama to the game. If you ever want an explanation ask me why hockey is organized crime on ice and I will go into detail but let me save that for another time.
No hockey fanatic can resist looking like one of the Hansen brothers.
Basketball - I mean this sport is pretty serious because people actually propose at games. This sport was MADE for showboats in fact some of basketballs most well known players aren’t revered for their overall consistant gameplay or their drive to be the best. They are known for the moments where they seem superhuman.
Michael Jordan is called Air because he seemed to defy gravity at points when he had the off chance to slam dunk.
Wilt Chamberlain one of the greatest. Scored 100 points in a game averaged 40-50 points a game in a season. Claims to have slept with 20,000 women.
Seriously people if it weren’t for the three point shot, alley oops and Slam Dunks this sport would be boring and they would have to do things like rely on a guy in a gorilla costume to get the fans hyped up. Oh wait…
Nicknames on their jerseys
Wacky Antics on court
By the way Wilt Chamberlain also played for the Globetrotters.
One more serious basketball player.
Football - I linked George Carlin’s Baseball vs. Football below in my description of baseball to point out the stark contrasts between the two games. Now I have to agree with George Carlin that football has warlike roots and in a small way that makes the game interesting for all armchair QB’s out there. Now like war it’s not the grind and the struggle that romanticizes it for people because you would lose your audience in a second. No one wants to watch as Al Pacino called it in “Any Given Sunday” a game of inches. What keeps people glued to their seats are the amazing acts of heroism on the (battle)field. Like Jerome Simpson’s flip over a defensive player into the endzone or all of Tebow mania when he was with the Broncos. Still not convinced two of ESPN’s biggest highlights for a week were two non-professional games where a coach or player just decided to throw the playbook out and just try something. A bunch of guys screwing around and one guy says. ”Let’s practice a behind the back throw for a touchdown.” Sound like a familiar story? I do believe that some amazing person said “Why don’t we try Quidditch?”
When you look at football fans we all think…Cheesehead.
Baseball - Everyone loves the national pastime but there is a reason they have an organist, a dancing mascot and people selling you everything from beer to pointy finger things during a live game. It’s boring to watch. It’s a bunch of mathematical underachievers sports wise playing percentages. Think about it. A hall of famer has a lifetime average of 30%. Who else gets to get paid millions for being a failing student? No one! Think I am crazy watch a game and hear the announcer tell the audience watching from home about “bobblehead night.” The first 1,000 fans to come to the game will get a bobblehead toy. This serious and I quote the author I am reblogging here “straight” sport has to use toys to lure you to come to a game early. In addition, they have to keep you interested with music, alcohol and distraction techniques that we use on children and animals to keep them occupied. While they wait for at the most a 30% chance of something to happen. By the way one of the best chasers in Quidditch is a baseball mascot. She didn’t need to do any of this to get people’s attention on the pitch she just plays the game.
I’m sure these people got there early on pointy finger night.
If you want I can go on…ESPN the worldwide leader in sports and their approach to advertising is plenty of evidence but I believe you get the point.
I have to mention that aside from soccer above all the sports above have “fantasy leagues”. While this may be serious business to it’s participants think about the ridiculousness of this for a second. You select players for your own fantasy team and their performance gives you a score for fantasy games. Sounds a lot like sports Dungeons and Dragons to me? At least in Quidditch fantasy teams actually play together.
I can understand why the “straight” kids want Quidditch to be taken seriously. We put as Vassar so eloquently puts it in their pregame warmup our blood, sweat and tears out on that pitch for glory. It’s understandable that no one wants what they love to be made fun of and you are trying to eliminate those things that seem “ridiculous” by sports standards but are they the problem? I don’t think so…
Capes are not the problem. In fact they aren’t required anymore. Our capes are purely decorative and that is a mixed bag for me because the Badassilisks capes are pretty dang awesome.
Funny numbers are not the problem. Well, maybe they are for refs who might not understand the significance of that number but on a whole they aren’t. I have a compromise that I think that everyone can get behind. Everyone who wants a wacky number can have it as long as they legally change their last name to the spanish translation of that number like this guy.
Think about it. Jared seis de nueve puntos (6.9)…At least I wouldn’t punk out and change it back.
Qu in front of words is not the problem. I’m not going to say anything. I’m just going to let ESPN the Worldwide Leader in Sports speak for me through this link.
Quidditch is making amazing strides in raising it’s competition level year after year. Recently with the rules council, referee certification and the snitch academy. These things are being done in order to give it’s players the respect the sport deserves. Here are my suggestions on how to help the sport get the respect and credit it deserves.
1. Read the rulebook and learn the rules. There wouldn’t be so much debate over the refereeing if teams knew the rules. Let’s even go a step farther and say that every team should test it’s players on the rules before letting them play. In addition if all players knew and played by the rules we could legitimately focus on increasing the skill of the players and snitches alike. Thus taking the game to the next level.
2. Preach respect and sportsmanship and have a no tolerance policy when a teammate steps out of line. People like Ndamukong Suh and Metta World Peace (changed from Ron Artest) are a black eye to their respective sports and we should be moving away from players like this in this sport.
3. Last but not least. If you are really interested in taking Quidditch to the next level. Concentrate on improving your own game. Teams will improve to compete with you. Tomorrow a number of us are stepping on pitch for the Northeast Regionals. My beloved Badassilisks have grown and improved so much in the two years since the team was started. This was a result of the growing level of competition in the IQA. We will continue to grow and my question is will you continue to grow with us or will you continue to blame things that don’t matter for the non advancement of the sport?
I leave you with a quote…
“Just because we are wearing makeup doesn’t mean we can’t kick your ass.”
- Vince Neil of Motley Crue
Everytime I go on Tumblr, I see something about how Quidditch needs to cut the crap and be a real sport: “No more fake numbers on the jerseys.” “No Capes!” “More competitive” “Less Quove,” which can generally be summed up as: “We need to move away from the Harry Freaking Potter” camp.
Interesting comparison of the quirks of quidditch vs. “real sports” by Michael “Cupcakes” Mason.