“Of movies, music, TV, and sports, I’d give up sports last”

So I randomly pull out a 2006 Chuck Klosterman book that’s been sitting on my shelve for months to read a few days ago, and today, dude’s a guest on Bill Simmon’s podcast.

I’m not nearly as big a fan of Simmons the podcaster as Simmons the writer. I don’t listen to most of them, but this one is good. The two pop culture geek/guru talk everything from NBA (Lebron to legacy to history of the game) to pop culture (inception, how long do we wait until we openly talk about stuff that can be considered spoilers?)

They talked about many interesting things, but one thing that stuck out was when Klosterman said this…

“Of movies, television, music, and sports, I’d give up sports last”

This is a pretty big statement to make, considering Chuck Klosterman makes his living writing about movies and music for Esquire and Spin. It’s a bold comment to make in general; I don’t see any female on earth agreeing to this. Hell, you’d be hard pressed to find guys outside of the US or like, Brazil and South Africa, who’d agree with this.
But Chuck tries to back it up. He argues that, random guys who’ve never met can break the ice easier with sports talk than music or movie talk. He argues that you’re just MORE LIKELY to come across an avid sports fan than one for music or television. Now that doesn’t seem possible at first, I’m sure there are more people listening to music than playing sports. But Chuck makes a good point: with movies, television and music, you have to find someone who shares your taste to have that conversation–someone who’s a fan of heavy metal don’t care about talking music with a classic music buff. Klosterman says that with sports, having DIFFERING views actually adds to the conversation.
Now as someone who’s gotten into many a heated sports argument not just face to face, but over instant messenger, xanga, and facebook (one time me and two friends left 90 some comments on my facebook status arguing over the merits of Laker fans and whether or not my dislike for Kobe was genuine), I definitely agree with that.

“I’m a KISS fan, I don’t want to talk KISS with someone who hates them. I’m not interested in attempting to convince them of something that’s purely subjective,” says Klosterman. “But with sports, the more we differ on an issue, say you think Peyton Manning is better than Tom Brady, the more we can talk.”

Klosterman said he’s not good at making small talk with strangers, unless it’s established that the other dude like sports, then he can talk for hours. “Everytime my wife takes me to dinner to meet her friend’s husband, I pray to god that he is into sports,” he said.

I kinda see his point. As a dude, I’m more likely to get in a random talk on the streets about “taking my talents to South Beach” or “Chris Paul or Deron Williams?” than with someone over the ending of Inception or whether or not The Stroke’s third record sucked (that would be a no, but most reviewers think that).

One more thing about sports…it doesn’t just help us make conversation, it helps us hang out, period. Sometimes I wonder what do girls do. Like with guys, we can always go hoop or bowl (well, I’m speaking like I live in America, in Hong Kong, guys go karaoke and shop for pointy-toed shoes and shit), and often times, that weekly basketball game is what keeps a group of guy friends together even though they’ve grown apart, lead different lives, and have nothing in common. I don’t think I’d see half of my LA friends if we didn’t play basketball. Many of them I don’t have much in common with anymore, but we get on the court and it’s like old times.

Sports is great. I dunno if I’d give it up last, that’s a mighty mighty tough one. But man it makes you think.


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