Nerd Factor: Super Sports

Dr. Mike Robinson, LC Communication Studies Professor~

So, the Superbowl is over. As I write this, I have no idea who won.  However, I can guess that you are either disappointed by your favorite team or you are starting to feel the euphoria of victory wane.  That’s a difficult high to come down from and while other sports are in play, there’s nothing quite so special about them yet.*

What you need is something above average… something dare I say “super.” Thus, the Nerd Factor presents a list of sports that go beyond the norm to satiate your appetite for unusual athletic thrills.  

Kill-Derby:  Way back on the eve of the Bicentennial, our democracy was threatened by the machinations of the evil General Torey and his Royalist Forces of America.  Their goal?  To drive the country crazy with Madbombs, then sweep in and restore the country to a monarchy.  Naturally, Captain America opposed the plot and fought a desperate battle to save the nation.  At one point, Cap and his faithful friend the Falcon were captured and forced to participate in the Kill-Derby.  This hyper-violent frenzy of a sport was essentially roller derby on crack.  Teams rolled into each other on high speed skateboards while using sophisticated weapons to blast the heck out each other.  Yes, it’s created by villains, but it’s still fun to watch.  

Sports things
Illustration by Genevieve Griffin

Tron Biathlon:  You may not know this, but deep inside cyberspace, computer programs live in an anthropomorphized world.  Bearing the human faces of their creators, these beings do their jobs.  This world has a kind of bread and circuses approach to keeping its citizenry happy, so some of these programs may find themselves competing in various games.  The disc battle has opponents throwing their identity discs (deal with that one Freud) at one another, seeking to “de-res” their enemies.  Later, players may find themselves in light cycle battles, a kind of fatal high speed race where light bikes create walls behind them.  

Quidditch:  Don’t be silly.  Everyone knows magic is not real and therefore Quidditch is not a sport.  

Contest of Champions:  Remember Jeff Goldblum from Thor: Ragnarok?  Well in the comics, his character the Grandmaster is quite the cosmic troublemaker.  Bored by immortality, the Grandmaster creates challenging games for himself and this one was a real doozy.  The Grandmaster and his opponent, the personification of Death herself, gathered together teams of superheroes to compete for pieces of the Golden Globe of Life.  As you might imagine, the battle was intense.  Such excitement inspired two later contests, which allowed for more action in the mighty Marvel manner.

Running Man:  We may be unwittingly developing a theory that oppressive regimes develop the greatest sports here, but the most popular game show in the far off future year of 2019 is The Running Man.  Its premise is a simple one.  Criminals are offered the chance of freedom if they can escape from a group of audience selected “Stalkers” who make wrestling stars seem mild mannered by comparison.  If you can just get past the fact that the sport ultimately props up a horrible government and that contestants almost always die, it’s actually an intriguing event to watch.  

(*Yes, I am aware that the Winter Olympics start this week.  But these columns have to have a premise of some sort right?  They don’t write themselves y’know.)

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