The idea that nerds can’t love sports is, to put it politely, bunkum. It’s a very dated misconception that does a lot more harm than good. The jock-nerds amongst us often have to keep quiet about their love of either sports or nerd culture, depending on what crowd they’re with. However, there are those who are very much finding their own crowd, as well. If you’re a jock-nerd, then here are some interests that can offer the best of both worlds. They can satisfy the two sides of your passions. They might even help you find some like-minded people in the process.
The Rise of eSports
Sure, you can be content enough knowing that some of the most widely-played and most popular videogame franchises in the world are sports games. Both EA Sports and 2k Sports are some of the leading developers in the game; they have games in the NFL, NHL, FIFA, NBA, and more. However, one of the key traits of many sports fans is their urge to compete and prove themselves against others.
ESports and competitive gaming, in general, have become much, much more popular over the past decade or so. However, it’s not just Street Fighter, Counter-Strike, or League of Legends that are getting all of the attention. The FIFA eSports scene is one of the biggest in the world, with events like the FIFA eWorld Cup having drawn 32 of the world’s top players from Global Series tournaments held around the world. There are many tournaments for different sports games, too, so keep an eye out for your favorite.
Found a League
As much they might like to deny it, deep down, every fantasy football league participant knows that it’s just a little bit nerdy. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that. Quite the opposite! It allows people to engage with their favorite sports in ways that they might not have even considered before. It’s a great way to make your love of sports a communal thing to enjoy with others, as well.
Finding your perfect league for fantasy football might be tough, especially if most of your friends don’t share that interest with you. However, it’s becoming increasingly easy online to find a league you can play with. Often there’s an attached Discord group to hang out in. You can exercise your love of the game; at the same time, you’ll apply critical thinking and decision-making to your fandom in a way that you never have before. There are subreddits wholly dedicated to helping football fans find their fantasy league. So don’t worry; you’ll be able to find your place before too long.
Fantasy Football, but for Games
If you’re already a fan of fantasy football, but you wish you could get your gamer friends involved in a group activity that has that same kind of decision-making, fun communal spirit, and competitive aspect, then Fantasy Critic might just be worth considering. As we’ve already hinted, it’s effectively fantasy football, but for videogames.
It’s best started at the beginning of the year. Everyone picks out upcoming video game releases that they think are going to have a high review average on OpenCritic. The higher the game scores over 70, the more points you get. If it goes lower, you lose points. Players can draft games initially, but leave spots open to pick up games later. You can also play with rules that see you lay a bet against someone else’s game; if it reviews poorly, you get points. It’s a fun way to flex your insight when it comes to the gaming market. And it’s a little slower than fantasy football, but still a fun subject to keep everyone engaged over the year.
Join the Stats Guys
Whether or not you’re joining a fantasy football league (or fantasy league for whatever sport you enjoy), there’s a lot of fun to be found amongst the stat nerds of the sporting internet. There are a lot of sites that compile the stats of players and teams in any given major league, and plenty of people who peruse them.
You can keep up with the stats simply to keep up with the game; then you can better understand how players and teams are doing without the bias of fandom blinding you. You can use them to write your own articles and posts, making a name for yourself as one of the more educated and smart sports guys out there. Of course, you can also use those stats to inform your fantasy league stats. You might even use them to make some smart bets if you feel like spending a little of your own money.
Become a History Nerd
Of course, maybe you just want to learn more about the sports you love. Maybe, like a lot of nerds, you have an enthusiasm for gaining an encyclopedia-like knowledge that you can whip out at a moment’s notice to either the delight or groans of the crowd. If you’ve got a mind like a library and a love of sports, however, then trivia quiz apps and games online can be just the outlet for all of your biggest brain plays.
There’s a wide range of trivia games on the net; some are specifically designed for fans of sports. You might even find trivia quizzes suited specifically to your field of expertise, be it NBA: 2010-2020 history or WWE champions throughout the years. Even if you’re not using it to win any internet points (or cash in some cases), a lot of people enjoy becoming a sports history buff simply for the pleasure of knowing more about their favorite pastimes.
Get Fit While You Game
If you’re a sports lover, then there’s a good chance you enjoy some kind of sport yourself, whether you’re part of a local team or you simply play around with a few of your more athletic friends for fun. Of course, if you’re serious about your sports, then you’re likely to have your own fitness routine; you don’t need the help of a videogame to get you fit. However, if it’s been a while and you have trouble getting the motivation, fitness games can actually be pretty useful.
By far one of the most impressive fitness games as of late has been Ring Fit Adventure. It’s not just a game that gets you moving with on-screen instructions like Wii Fit was. No, it’s a full-fledged RPG, with levels to run through, monsters to fight, and different attacks to select like their spells in an old school Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest. Of course, those attacks are different exercises, and they’re pretty good at targeting different areas of the body. As far as making bodyweight exercises fun, it does a pretty fantastic job.
Gamify Your Exercise
Perhaps your exercise routines are a little more hardcore than the kind of fare that Ring Fit Adventure and other fitness games can offer. That doesn’t mean that you can’t apply the fun of gaming to your workout routine.
Gamification is a term that refers to using video game mechanics to make all kinds of different activities (and often chores) more exciting and engaging. Even if you’re maintaining a consistent workout routine, having a little help keeping your motivation up can go a long way indeed. There are tons of modern fitness and diet apps that use game mechanics such as experience points, goals, leveling up and the like to add that extra bit of motivation. It might all seem like bells and whistles, but the reason it’s being used so widely is that it works.
Check out of the latest fitness apps that aim to make working out a lot more fun and see if it can’t add a new sense of play to your workout routine.
Dominate The Board
Of course, when we talk about gamers, we’re not just about video games. We’re also talking about those who have been playing the board games that have evolved and grown into a thriving landscape of creative and challenging past times. There’s a certain sport to any competitive board game, be it Settlers of Catan or Warhammer 40,000. However, when it comes to sports lovers, there are board games to appeal to them too, and we’re not just talking Subbuteo.
Blood Bowl, an American football board game set in the Warhammer universe, is one of the most widely played board games out there, taking the fun fantasy element of its parent series and adding a satirical football twist. There’s even a videogame version of it on PC and PS4.
Nowadays, it’s getting far more common that jockish types are getting into games and other nerd culture interests, and that dyed in the wool nerds are getting into sports. It’s a good sign that all things geeky and beautiful are only becoming more accepted and mainstream as time goes on. The hobbies above see their share of both gamers and non-gamers, but each of them offers something a little bit extra nerdy to keep you really engaged.
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