Personally, I have little interest in sports in general. And I find that the interest ratio is much lower with those interested in technical fields than others. However, obviously proven by this project and life experience, there are definitely those who are very interested in both sports and STEM-like disciplines. So I wonder: what makes one become attracted to sports or conversely what has caused certain groups of people to be apathetic? Why is most of the geek population uninterested? And lastly, what causes certain people to seemingly be an exception with equally strong interest in both areas?
I assume my life experience is congruent with the hacker news community, but I'm also keen to know if my observations don't mirror others!
Similarly, while I understand why (American) football can look like 11 armored clowns randomly bashing into each other, it is arguably the most interesting and strategic game on offer by the time you understand the rules, the why of those rules, and the resulting strategies, metastrategies, statictics, etc. Baseball is also more interesting when you understand more of the whys of what is going on than just "Man hit ball with stick and run fast".
Of course there's no great virtue per se in loving to watch sports, so I'm not advocating that anybody seek this out, but if you are interested in what all the fuss is about, I recommend learning more about the sports and the rules and the second-order effects of the rules and such before writing them off. Unfortunately, I do not have any references; I did it the long, slow, hard way.
(Contrariwise, while soccer is fun to play, learning more about it has still left me pretty cold to the sport.)
To this day, I really cannot empathize with "having a team." I get that it comes off as neckbeardy or holier than thou, but it just seems like arbitrary tribalism - maybe because I moved around a lot as a kid(from BIG SPORT cities, too! Green Bay to Houston to San Francisco), but I never really understood why people prefer "their team" (other than the obvious, logical reason). Maybe better - I can't empathize.
This isn't for lack of trying - when I grew up my dad and his friends would yell at the TV. That looks fun! They're so excited and engaged, why can't I feel that for a sport? Genuine emotional response to whatever "our team" is doing? I mean it's not like my life is empty without it but I've always wondered why others can feel strongly enough to shout at a TV but I never could. Not for sports, esports, not even when a couple of kids from my class were on ninja warrior.
Some people tend to like specific players which shuffles their teams around, sometimes from year to year. I think this has been a change over the years - each league wants more viewership on all their games, not just the bigger markets. So you can drive that by 1) running and promoting fantasy games and 2) promoting individual players.
If you play fantasy football you end up shouting at the TV for games you normally wouldn't care about. But then you end up liking some of these players so you kind of root for their team too.
Put some money on a game or try fantasy sports if you like sports but don't have any horses. It can be addicting but it's fun, especially in an office pool. I would have never watched Houston Texan games but I had Hopkins & Fuller and it was cool watching DeShaun Watson emerge from the backup role (really unfortunate he got knocked out of the season recently though) and they had some unbelievable games.
Major sporting organizations (MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL, etc...) are very good at selling stories of players/teams and having people emotionally connect with players/teams at that level. This is what leads to favorite players which can lead to favorite teams.
Another aspect is region. For example, I've grown up in Seattle since I was a toddler. Everyone around me is a Seahawks fan. I am a Seahawks fan. It'd be too much to follow multiple teams for me, but some do.
This gives me something in common with those around me, and having team spirit and dressing up on Sundays is fun. Hanging out with friends on Sundays, watching football, and shooting the shit is a lot of fun and sometimes the only time we can all make to see each other as we get older and our lives drift in their different directions. That bit was a little off tangent but it does help illustrate why someone may like sports.
I'll agree that learning the rules really helps.
When you're watching two different teams line up against each other, attempting to read what the other team is trying to do and executing against it in real time is exhilarating! There are several aspects of the game that have to be accounted for on every single play. It's a mental, physical, and emotional game.
Hope this helps you (or any reader) understand why someone may enjoy to watch sports. Go Hawks! :)
Agreed, always reminds me of this classic Mitchell & Webb sketch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xN1WN0YMWZU
In terms of sports, I like the competition, I like the strategy, overcoming the odds, and the idea of dedicating your life to mastering a skill. Though, I have strayed from football recently due to brain trauma concerns, and my kids aren't allowed to play it.
I also coach my kids basketball teams, which is a ton of fun, and has helped me with leadership and planning, plus is some extra exercise for me!
> Why is most of the geek population uninterested
This isn't my experience at all. I have worked in academia, and there is a nearly universal interest in sports, particularly the "local" college teams (Ohio State and Wisconsin, in my case). My PhD department could have fielded a competitive track and field team. At my current job as a software engineer at a prop trading firm, EVERYONE is interested in and plays sports. We have many corporate teams, our TVs often have sports on, and the devs behind me have an encyclopedic knowledge of baseball. Like literally, it is faster to ask one guy about baseball going back to the 50's than it is to google the question. The other guys on my team are very active, work out regularly, and play sports in their free time. The stereotypical "geek" in a Doritos-stained hoody and an extra 200 lbs ALMOST doesn't exist here.
For me, it is having a physical yin to the mental yang of problem solving all day. I meditate as well, but just DOING something physical is very cathartic, and meditative in its own way.
In terms of why some people get interested, it is probably environment. I like and play sports, so my kids do too. I don't push them to, but if Daddy is watching and excited about basketball, they will be too probably. One of mine isn't AS excited about sports, but is loving martial arts now, which I have never done.
I am a software developer, and my work has a large community of sports fans. However, we keep our sports talk to some special slack channels for sports, because we know there are a number of people who really don't care for sports at all. So, you might be surrounded by geeky sports fans that you don't even know are there!
As for why I love sports, there are many reasons. I am a geeky sports fan; I love sports stats and analytics. Baseball is perfect for this, but other sports have their stats, too.
I love how sports are very logical; there are clear, well defined rules that everyone knows. There are specific and finite objectives, and there is never any uncertainty about what success is. I love the strategy involved at trying to figure out, within those confines of the rules, how to achieve that victory.
I also love playing sports; I don't generally like exercise (e.g. running, lifting weights, or other only-for-exercise activities). I do love playing sports, though, because my activity has a purpose (trying to win). I love competing, and that is in sports, video games, board games, etc.
I wonder if this is more antidotal than factual. I know a lot of STEM professionals who enjoy participating and watching sports. I know a lot who don't, too... just saying, I wouldn't be too quick to assume it's a fact, or causal. (I'm a bit biased... I was reading up on long short-term networks last night while watching the Lions take apart the Packers).
I don't personally follow, or play, team sports. But if I did, it'd absolutely, most certainly, be basketball.
I wonder why that is?
Once you start to see the little things like that, the game gets a lot more interesting. The easy way to know some of those quirks and tiny elements is to grow up playing the game, which is where a lot of people's fandoms come from. But I think sports leagues/announcers/media could make more of an effort to highlight those games within the games, rather than shooting for the lowest common denominators, which they frequently do.
There are just so many intriguing facets of these games and you won't appreciate them by flipping through the sports channels, but give it a chance: pick a local college team and go to a game. Try to find a radio station that does play-by-play coverage of the action and listen to that on your headphones. Football is great because the excitement of the big plays will hook you but the strategy will keep you. Like a good programming language, you can get some easy early excitement but find long-term enjoyment as you delve deeper and deeper into the details of what's going on out there.
IMO, picking and caring for a professional sports team plays the same role as religion - satisfies some kind of deep primal urge to "belong". I grew up in Europe, so soccer (it's football, dammit!) was that religion - the history of the club, the songs, the chants, the way you dress for the game, the people you meet and hang out with - you feel like you belong, like you're part of a family.
The actual event is basically modern gladiatorial combat - we get to blow off some steam without killing each other. I'm positive murder rates would be way up if it weren't for competitive sports.
The problem is that this type of thing isn't often really covered in sports broadcasts, which makes it hard for a viewer to connect with.
I think it's too bad that more coordinated nerds don't try sports. I was able to play at a much higher level than my physical abilities by simply out-thinking a lot of guys. I'd know the last 3 times I faced a certain defender, the things he tried to stop me with, and what he'd likely be expecting me to try the next time. I always had felt like this gave me a bit of an edge, even with freak athletes that should have crushed me.
If you can just learn the game and be reliable (don't make stupid mistakes) you can be an asset. You also get to feel the camaraderie that comes with winning and losing as a group, and why teamwork isn't just a buzzword that get's thrown around by recruiters.
I know the different playing styles of the players. Watching a player behave like you anticipate them to activates some deep intellectual pleasure zone I had never had with a sport before. Also, when you know a players normal level of play, when they do something special, it has more impact.
Once you know each players style, you can then start to think about and imagine how the five different players on the floor are going to behave as a group. When someone subs in, you can change what you think the playing is going to be like and when you see that is the case, it is pretty cool.
I just know the Warriors players this well, along with a couple of the super stars like Le Bron and Harden. Some sports fans know everyone in the league. That must be an even more intense and interesting intellectual feeling than what I get out of it.
BTW, Lets Go Warriors!
This is obviously at a general level, it doesn't apply exactly to every individual but overall it's pretty accurate from my experience.
I find the NBA to be full of things that draw my interest: it's all about stats, strategy, and basic data projections which is at least half of what draws my interest.
I'm always watching box scores and other numbers while watching live games and even when looking at yesterdays games I delve deeper into the stats more than I watch the highlight videos of fancy dunks (I do that too, it's just not my first stop like most people).
Sites like http://fivethirtyeight.com/ have made it easier to be a data science nerd and like sports.
Once you really get into the sport there's also plenty of advanced strategy and in-game mechanics that are invisible to casual viewers. There's way more going on in a game of basketball than guys throwing the ball into a hoop and running around.
Here's an example of more advanced basketball that is employing strategy, instead of fancy trick passes and dunks, something you wouldn't automatically notice as a non-fan casually watching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSHt_tyZ25E (ball movement is used to draw the defenders into the middle, creating opportunities for shooters)
The other half of it was that it was the game I played with friends grow up. I feel that you need to have played a sport to truly appreciate the talent and skill involved when you watch as a fan. And it's possibly many smart kids were too busy to have the opportunities to play them, beyond chucking a few balls into the net for fun. They just don't get the opportunity to see the depth and complexity in the sport as the general population.
Data from previous seasons is still available. Check it out if you’re into that sort of thing.
Many (perhaps even most) hackers don't follow or do sports at all and are determinedly anti-physical. Among those who do, interest in spectator sports is low to non-existent; sports are something one does, not something one watches on TV.
Further, hackers avoid most team sports like the plague. Volleyball was long a notable exception, perhaps because it's non-contact and relatively friendly; Ultimate Frisbee has become quite popular for similar reasons. Hacker sports are almost always primarily self-competitive ones involving concentration, stamina, and micromotor skills: martial arts, bicycling, auto racing, kite flying, hiking, rock climbing, aviation, target-shooting, sailing, caving, juggling, skiing, skating, skydiving, scuba diving. Hackers' delight in techno-toys also tends to draw them towards hobbies with nifty complicated equipment that they can tinker with.
The popularity of martial arts in the hacker culture deserves special mention. Many observers have noted it, and the connection has grown noticeably stronger over time. In the 1970s, many hackers admired martial arts disciplines from a distance, sensing a compatible ideal in their exaltation of skill through rigorous self-discipline and concentration. As martial arts became increasingly mainstreamed in the U.S. and other western countries, hackers moved from admiring to doing in large numbers. In 1997, for example, your humble editor recalls sitting down with five strangers at the first Perl conference and discovering that four of us were in active training in some sort of martial art — and, what is more interesting, nobody at the table found this high perecentage at all odd.
Today (2000), martial arts seems to have become firmly established as the hacker exercise form of choice, and the martial-arts culture combining skill-centered elitism with a willingness to let anybody join seems a stronger parallel to hacker behavior than ever. Common usages in hacker slang un-ironically analogize programming to kung fu (thus, one hears talk of “code-fu” or in reference to specific skills like “HTML-fu”). Albeit with slightly more irony, today's hackers readily analogize assimilation into the hacker culture with the plot of a Jet Li movie: the aspiring newbie studies with masters of the tradition, develops his art through deep meditation, ventures forth to perform heroic feats of hacking, and eventually becomes a master who trains the next generation of newbies in the hacker way.
This is a little self-serving, but for a few years until I moved, I maintained a stats page for a city beer-league softball team, made almost exclusively of current and former STEM grad students.
But personally... it's not for me. I can begin to glimpse what people find so fascinating about it, but I think I'm hardware-incompatible with the pacing of most sports.
The exception being olympic events, because they tend to be short and intense.
Then again I don't really identify as a geek. I just like technology and building stuff and software was a natural fit for me.
I realize I'm in the minority, judging from the amount of effort it has taken to convince my phone to stop popping up notifications ruining every Seahawks game for me from a dozen different sources, and from browsing the Formula 1 website with my eyes closed in the hope of scrolling down to find the local time of the race without seeing the headlines that will ruin qualifying for me (or the race itself if it was an early one).
I really just want the world to stop telling me scores for everything.
And on the topic we're discussing, it would have been pure awesome if they had instead intercepted the streaming video feed and converted it to ASCII art in realtime. That's a project I could get behind!
Generally, the match of the day was played at 15:00 on a Saturday afternoon. However, it was also replayed early evening, around 19:00 or 19:30 I think.
My father would avoid the radio all afternoon and the evening 18:00 news (we only had two radio stations and two TV channels). Woe betide any child who let slip the score before he had a chance to watch the evening replay.
Life seemed simpler then.....
But sure enough, I'm sipping my coffee on Monday morning and in walks Ellie saying "are you surprised that [REDACTED] won the Superbowl?"
First off, how could you possibly know that the Superbowl was even a thing, let alone find out about it here in BFE Africa, or decide to tell me about it.
And, of course, back in civilization with NFL Gamepass a few weeks later, I spent the entire game thinking. Ah... She was just messing with me...
Definitely messing with me...
Are you serious? No one wants to know the score. It ruins the whole point of watching a sporting event.
I have Sling TV to watch my NBA team games this year. About 1/2 the time I hit "watch" (with the "dvr" option) while the game is still going it jumps live, rather than ask me if I want to start from the beginning. So, I have to hit "watch" then back, then watch again, where it asks me. Seriously, WTF Sling?
I love the lines that show when players were in/out. Really helps to visually what +/- stats tell you.
Only qualms might surround ToS for `stats.nba.com`:
> You may download material displayed on the Site to any single computer only for your personal, noncommercial use, provided you also maintain all copyright and other proprietary notices contained on the materials. You may not, however, distribute, reproduce, republish, display, modify, transmit, reuse, repost, link to, or use any materials of the Site for public or commercial purposes on any other Web site or otherwise without the written permission of the Operator.”
But I don't think you're likely violating this.
I, for one, love terminal apps like this. We need some one to do a hockey one next.
Two use cases:
1. Why wait for the actual NBA games? Instead, follow a simulated league that “plays” as many games as you want to consume (but the games are played at real world speed).
2. You, and your friends, are the managers! Follow along as the results of your management decisions are played out.
Currently no terminal UI, sadly. PRs welcome!
Are you able to follow the simulated games without using your game console? Or, asked another way, does it run in the cloud?
edit: the answer with pkg and node bundled is 64MB and about edit: 2.4MB rolled up with the bugs fixed
Moreover, the only thing I miss since cutting the cord is live events (sports, states of the union, olympics, etc.). It's not worth it to pay the various leagues (see above, plus I'm a Knicks fan...) so any little bit helps.
It's a long story, but basically the Knicks were fantastic in the 90s, but since 2000 have been mostly a garbage fire. They're a historic team located in NYC, a massive market, and play in Madison Square Garden, a fantastic location, yet despite all that have been miserable. Poor management decisions — trading draft picks to apt for over-pay aging players, for example — is a big part of it.
Show HN (7 points, 798 days ago, 4 comments): https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10153993
Unless the ONLY sports you care about is in fact the NBA. Otherwise, you'd still need to visit some sports site for updates.
I would imagine this can be easily made sports agnostic? Maybe not... Maybe not all the leagues have a realtime API or they do not conform to the same interface.
Usually a comprehensive app like you are talking about gets built onto until it reaches all sports. Can this not just be the first step?
This can be feature complete for individuals who represent the cross section of NBA and terminal fanatics. Anyone else outside of this cross section, the dependency on the likes of espn.com is still there, and will likely have it open in an adjacent browser.
Expanding your calculator analogy, my point would be akin to critiquing an add only calculator app
Only if you can find the same quality of data feeds in the sports. It'll never be agnostic but it could in theory be generalized so that it's easy to add sports.
But again - data formats.
Looks like this uses a very unofficial API - see the note about AWS IP ranges being blocked on https://www.npmjs.com/package/nba