Friday, February 27, 2009

Guest blog: NFL vs Trek

Football Fans Are Crazier Than Star Trek Fans!

By Saul Garnell

My good friend John called me up a while back and asked if I wanted to go to a football game. I said no, because I was going that weekend to the Star Trek con up in Vegas. He retorted with a mocking laugh, "Oh, I see you're one of those Star Trek fanatics huh?"

That comment got me a bit riled up. You see, I had been to a football game recently (the first one in my life actually), and I was shocked to witness; face painting, screaming, unsafe barbecuing, out of control boozing, and just plain old stupidity.

I tried in vain to explain to John that Football fans were way, "WAY", crazier than Star Trek fans, and that his comment about us being fanatics was uncalled for. He did not believe me.

I therefore came up with a way to prove my point. I decided to explain the life of a Star Trek fan in a world where Star Trek was as popular as the NFL. In this hypothetical world, my daily routine would be quite different, and would go something like this;

• First thing in the morning, get woken up by my Andorian alarm clock. The one that has two blue antenna smacking against the big center alarm bell.

• Grab breakfast, where I eat my Wheaties cereal featuring the face of Captain Kirk on the box. They rotate the face of each captain from time to time, but I stock up on Kirk because he's my favorite.

• While eating I turn on the TV and watch CNN. Of the 30 minute news update, 20 minutes is devoted to Star Trek news, where I can catch up on the highlights from last night's TV show. Great show last night, the Klingons were intercepted in the neutral zone! What a show!

• I shower and shave quickly. Naturally I use Brut after shave, because after seeing ads of women attracted to Bill Shatner like Orion slave girls, I'm a believer. If it works for Bill, it's gotta work for me.

• I jump in the car, and while sitting in traffic for an hour, I turn on the radio. I don't mind the traffic because it gives me a chance to listen to all the Star Trek commentary. Today's discussion is about salary caps for leading actors verses their supporting cast. Very interesting.

• Arrive at work, and go right to the coffee machine. All my work buddies are there talking about last night's show. "Wasn't that great! The Klingons were intercepted in the neutral zone during the last half. Great show!". Oops, it's now 9:30am, so I guess we overdid the Star Trek talk this morning. It's fine because my boss was there chatting it up too.

• Keeping a Star Trek news web page on my computer desktop, I work apathetically until 10am. Back to the coffee machine to continue the Star Trek chat. The conversation centers around the average number of photon torpedoes fired during the first quarter. Statistically speaking, most captains fire off 2.548439 more torpedoes against Klingon adversaries compared to Cardassians. Fascinating!

• 10:23 and I'm back at work. Sort of. That running banner on the Star Trek commentary web page keeps catching my eye. This week's Trekker convention is already sold out! Good thing I already have my tickets. I don't wanna be one of those losers buying overpriced tickets from a scalper.

• Lunch time with my colleagues. We decide to go out to the Star Trekooters bar down the street. Watching the big breasted Orion Slave Girl waitresses is always a nice distraction while riveted to the large screen TVs showing replays of last night's show. The Andorian ale and greasy food is an added plus.

• Back at work until 5pm. I then jump into my car and listen to more Stark Trek news. On the way I stop at the local 7-11 to pick up some snacks. One bag of potato chips and a case of beer. I see that they have a coupon on the chips bag for $1 off the price of entry to this weekend's convention. Big deal, I already have my tickets. Oh but look at that, Budweiser has Star Trek collector cans this month. If I buy two cases, I have a better chance of getting all the cans that feature supporting cast members. That would be way cool! I could finish my collection.

• After parking my car, I notice that I forgot to pick up this mornings paper laying in the driveway. The front page has my tire tracks on it,...but who cares about the front page? The center Trek section makes up most of the paper anyway.

• There's not much to eat. So I open the chips and keep a six pack next to me while I watch TV news; Commentary and upcoming highlights of this weeks Sunday Star Trek convention. Ahhhhh!

Now what would you say about this hypothetical person? Most people would say lock him up and throw away the key. He's a nut job. If he didn't spend that much time pre-occupied with Star Trek, he could really do something with his life. Why, without Star Trek he could become the Dalai Lama, or write a novel...or something right?!


So if it's Star Trek, you're a nut. But if it's the NFL, Baseball, or the NBA, it's perfectly OK. Well, I wonder about that.

Saul Garnell is a member of a science fiction group on


  1. That was great! And so true too. I'm sending this link to all my SF and football fantatical friends. Ha Ha Ha Ha

  2. Saul:

    Great post, but you forgot to highlight and describe how differently the world would be run under the Prime Directive and I.D.I.C.

    Also, as you noted, behavior of fen at trekcons is perhaps more eccentric but not as belligerant or confrontational as football fans. They may actually be the same people, but they just behave differently among themselves.

    The "Universe of Discourse" is different at trekcons -- and SF cons too.

    Football fans don't argue for reasons. They just argue.

    Jacqueline Lichtenberg

  3. You just made me laugh so hard I snorted diet rassberry snapple out my nose.

    This post was SPOT ON PERFECT!

    You just described my co-workers and what ever sport is in season, but you forgot to add the weekly betting pool.

  4. Love the post Saul. Thanks for putting it up for us Rowena.

  5. Hello Everyone,

    Many thanks for all the kind comments. I am happy to see that this short piece touches such a resounding chord with everyone.

    @Jacqueline - You correctly note the identical passion of Trek and sports fans. I also appreciate you point about unnecessary belligerence of football fans. It's something I didn't try to directly address, but obviously a problem for any fan that goes over the line. Regarding the prime directive, I will try to add something in for later versions. Its a great idea :)

    If anyone is interested in my other work in progress, please feel to drop by my SF blog at or you can catch me at LinkedIn.


  6. Anonymous11:26 AM EST

    That was a brilliant post, and I totally agree with your theory that NFL or sports fans are wayyyy crazier than Trek fans.
    I think the world would be a better place if people were more interested in living life via the ideals and values set down by Gene Roddenberry and less the ideals set down by, say, Denis Rodman.
    Thanks for the smile! I needed it.

  7. Saul:

    I'll see if I can find you on LinkedIn.

    If not, I'm on as Jacqueline Lichtenberg, or on Twitter as JLichtenberg

    Jacqueline Lichtenberg

  8. Anonymous8:21 PM EST

    That post was so on target, it was so true. I work in an office, with guys, that all they think, read, or breathe is football. If you don't care about football, or baseball or are weird.

  9. Very funny, and so true. I need to print this out and give it to a few people I know.

  10. Looking back that this post from a few years back, it still feels pretty fresh. Perhaps we have a problem with fandom in America. Has it gone over the line? Marketers certainly don't make it easy for us. We're targeted to the nth degree, and I for one don't like it. But always remember this: It's a free country. Within the law we're free to do whatever we want, no matter how stupid and drunk we get :)