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The tortuous relationship between hipsters and stick-and-ball sports

The hipster goes through between one and five stages of sports appreciation, always in the same order

Just having fun - Image by g-stockstudio/istock/Thinkstock
Just having fun

Hey Mr. Hipster Dude!

With the passing of another Super Bowl of Crap, do hipsters actually pay any attention to all the sports crap that’s going on? If they do, WHY? I usually ride my motorcycle on days like that, ’cause there are not that many idiots texting while attempting to drive on the roads.

— Stinky, Alpine

I may or may not have touched on this in the past, but the tortuous relationship between hipsters and stick-and-ball sports is fraught with insults and indecencies from both sides. The tension goes all the way back to childhood, when many young hipsters realize that they lack the necessary genetic talent to excel in sports. Hoping to develop some alternative skill that will impress chicks, the young male hipster gets himself a guitar, and thus a future indie rock musician (or wannabe) is born. The young lady hipster’s falling out with organized sport happens similarly, although young women are more likely to turn hipster despite an athletic proclivity (rather than on account of a lacking in that department) because society lavishes much less praise on the successful female athlete, so there is less to be lost by embracing more artistic pursuits.

In later life, the hipster’s distaste for organized sport matures, like a fine wine exposed to the mitigating effects of an oak barrel. Driven by an ironic sense of nostalgia, the hipster goes through between one and five stages of sports appreciation, always in the same order.

Stage one engenders an affinity for nonmainstream sports such as cycling, rugby, golf, and cricket; all of which offer an opportunity to develop a wealth of trivial knowledge unlikely to be shared by the average American.

Stage two permits the hipster to adopt a soccer team, preferably in an international league rather than MLS, over which the hipster can obsess with all the fervor of a devoted Raiders fan. However, the real joy in soccer fandom comes from delivering smug diatribes about the global popularity of soccer, which this particular hipster will probably call fútbol.

Stage-three sports hipsters become enamored with baseball. So long as they remain in stage three, they walk a fine line cultivating a self-aware revelry in the All-American “Casey at the Bat” traditions and superstitions of the National Pastime.

Stage-four sports hipsters don’t just like hockey, they live for hockey. Very rare, but unmistakable when seen in the wild.

Stage five, the existence of which remains hotly debated by hipster scientists, culminates when the sports hipster embraces football, basketball, or as is often the case, both. Remaining hipster while enjoying the mainstreamest of all the sports presents an existential problem. But so long as the hipster professes an admiration of a notoriously terrible team such as the Cleveland Browns, who haven’t seen the postseason since the 1990s, hipster credibility is maintained. Loser-picking provides a suitable cushion of irony. As I mentioned, a sizeable minority of the scientific community claims “hipster” and “armchair quarterback” are mutually exclusive terms. Once a hipster embraces the Oakland Raiders, and any incidental fantasy-football leagues that might arise, the transformation into basic bro is complete and probably irreversible. Because so few hipsters make it to stage five, the data are sorely deficient. Regardless, to answer your question, there were probably more hipsters out riding their café racers than watching the Super Bowl.

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Just having fun - Image by g-stockstudio/istock/Thinkstock
Just having fun

Hey Mr. Hipster Dude!

With the passing of another Super Bowl of Crap, do hipsters actually pay any attention to all the sports crap that’s going on? If they do, WHY? I usually ride my motorcycle on days like that, ’cause there are not that many idiots texting while attempting to drive on the roads.

— Stinky, Alpine

I may or may not have touched on this in the past, but the tortuous relationship between hipsters and stick-and-ball sports is fraught with insults and indecencies from both sides. The tension goes all the way back to childhood, when many young hipsters realize that they lack the necessary genetic talent to excel in sports. Hoping to develop some alternative skill that will impress chicks, the young male hipster gets himself a guitar, and thus a future indie rock musician (or wannabe) is born. The young lady hipster’s falling out with organized sport happens similarly, although young women are more likely to turn hipster despite an athletic proclivity (rather than on account of a lacking in that department) because society lavishes much less praise on the successful female athlete, so there is less to be lost by embracing more artistic pursuits.

In later life, the hipster’s distaste for organized sport matures, like a fine wine exposed to the mitigating effects of an oak barrel. Driven by an ironic sense of nostalgia, the hipster goes through between one and five stages of sports appreciation, always in the same order.

Stage one engenders an affinity for nonmainstream sports such as cycling, rugby, golf, and cricket; all of which offer an opportunity to develop a wealth of trivial knowledge unlikely to be shared by the average American.

Stage two permits the hipster to adopt a soccer team, preferably in an international league rather than MLS, over which the hipster can obsess with all the fervor of a devoted Raiders fan. However, the real joy in soccer fandom comes from delivering smug diatribes about the global popularity of soccer, which this particular hipster will probably call fútbol.

Stage-three sports hipsters become enamored with baseball. So long as they remain in stage three, they walk a fine line cultivating a self-aware revelry in the All-American “Casey at the Bat” traditions and superstitions of the National Pastime.

Stage-four sports hipsters don’t just like hockey, they live for hockey. Very rare, but unmistakable when seen in the wild.

Stage five, the existence of which remains hotly debated by hipster scientists, culminates when the sports hipster embraces football, basketball, or as is often the case, both. Remaining hipster while enjoying the mainstreamest of all the sports presents an existential problem. But so long as the hipster professes an admiration of a notoriously terrible team such as the Cleveland Browns, who haven’t seen the postseason since the 1990s, hipster credibility is maintained. Loser-picking provides a suitable cushion of irony. As I mentioned, a sizeable minority of the scientific community claims “hipster” and “armchair quarterback” are mutually exclusive terms. Once a hipster embraces the Oakland Raiders, and any incidental fantasy-football leagues that might arise, the transformation into basic bro is complete and probably irreversible. Because so few hipsters make it to stage five, the data are sorely deficient. Regardless, to answer your question, there were probably more hipsters out riding their café racers than watching the Super Bowl.

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Sheesh, "their" (possessive) own blood over there (direction.)

Feb. 22, 2018

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