Sports

  • OTW Fannews: Fannish connections

    By Claudia Rebaza on Martedì, 11 February 2014 - 9:01pm
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    • Mina Kimes wrote in Slate about how critical football is in maintaining her relationship with her father. "My father still calls me almost every day when he’s driving home from work. We still talk about the news, and the weather, and the pain in his back, which has gotten a lot worse over the years. But mostly we talk about football. I tell him the rumors that I read on the Internet that day. We scoff at the ignoramuses who dare criticize our team—typically East Coast sports analysts—and praise the brilliance of our coach and general manager. We keep talking as I fiddle with my key, unlock the door, and trudge up the stairs."
    • The Hindu discussed the expansion of fandom from those close to home. "Before the Internet invaded our lives, trends and popular culture meant tidbits of information shared by friends and family members. Once a popular series ended, there was no platform to learn more about the characters, new plots etc. The Internet seems to have changed the manner in which we consume new trends of popular culture. From running promotions on social media websites to operating fan pages and Wikia pages on the net, fans are ensuring that the characters they adore live on forever on the Net."
    • Marketers are latching onto the word fan as a way to connect people emotionally to their brands. However, one group long acknowledged as fans are tech fans. The Verge took a long look inside the mind of a fanboy and explored the hostility emerging from brand loyalty. "Once somebody has acquired this level of arcane knowledge, there is absolutely nothing to do but share it with other fanboys. 'Among my close friends and family no one really operates at the same level as me,' says one high school Android hobbyist. Thus, fanboy culture takes place in the comments sections of tech news sites and YouTube."
    • Shadowlocked blogged about the marketing approach being used for The Muppets Movie. Saying the ads target multiple audiences, Calvin Peat explains, "[I]t's not as simple as a binary between fans and critics, as if you're either a fan or a critic; or even a continuum between fans and critics, as if you're somewhere along the line between being a fan and being a critic. Rather, it might be more accurate to consider two dimensions: from high-brow to low-brow, and from appreciation to excoriation."

    What personal or marketing connections have you seen in fandom? Write about it on Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Passing judgments

    By Claudia Rebaza on Giovedì, 30 January 2014 - 9:13pm
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    • The visibility of fandom fights is a definite downside of social media. Stylecaster wrote about attacks on singer Lorde and dubbed it "extreme Internet fandom". "'The music and fashion industries nurture teens’ obsessions with one icon after another,' said Epstein—a professor of psychology at the University of the South Pacific...'No matter how competent teens are, we trap them with their peers 24/7 and don’t let them enter the adult world in any meaningful way. Many get frustrated or depressed or angry as a result, and they exercise power in any way they can. In recent years, social media has become a major power outlet for teens, even though it actually gets them nothing except a little attention. So when Lorde or anyone else for that matter trips up, or at least appears to trip up, they pounce in large numbers. It’s a pathetic way to demonstrate power.'"
    • Writer Ben Koo discusses how the toxicity of regional tribalism in college football sets fans against one another. "The power brokers of college football think they are onto something in nurturing a rising tide of friction, envy, and hate in the college football fan eco-system. Hate has long been an underrated tool for anyone looking to make people watch, care, and pick a side in sports."
    • At Kernel, writer Jack Flanagan manages to indict Japanese culture and fans alike. "[W]hen the internet and Japanese culture collide, these people have that haven to explore worlds far away from the suppressed ones they inhabit, for whatever reason. So, yes: it’s a shame for some that Japanese culture comes down to niknaks and samurai. But the strange and somewhat superficial interest in Japanese culture online is rooted in the need for solace."
    • The Atlantic hosted a spoilery article about the plot of Frozen. "Leslie Fielder...argued that the American novel is incapable of dealing with sex, and instead focuses on violence and death in a prolonged state of boyish immaturity. Yet he could have been writing about the state of American films today where violence gets more audience-friendly ratings than sex from the MPAA in a culture dominated by superhero franchises that are primarily aimed at boys...'We champion the culture of teenage boys every day—giving them all the comic book heroes, sports stars and porn any human could conceivably consume. Can’t we give teenage girls one thing without demonizing them?'”

    What judgments on fandoms and audiences have you seen? Write about it on Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Reading fandoms

    By Claudia Rebaza on Giovedì, 19 December 2013 - 5:43pm
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    Banner by Diane of an open book with a pencil in the center, an OTW logo and the post title

    • Fanworks as an element of fandom activity seems to be growing, even among media outlets that cover fannish topics. Pop Crush decided to poll its readers on "Would you rather read fan fiction about One Direction‘s Harry Styles or Austin Mahone?" while Hardwood Paroxysm began mixing fanfiction and analysis. "Here’s a new feature we’re trying out at the Ol’ Paroxysm. It’s called Fantasy Fiction. One writer, Kyle Soppe, gives you a fantasy basketball update for the week–who’s been good and who’ll be good pickups. Another writer (this week, it’s Jordan White) writes some fan fiction about the week’s players."
    • Meanwhile on the literary front, fanfiction is fitting right in. In a book review of A Little History of Literature in the New Statesman they note that "[t]here is no hand-wringing about the death of the book...[n]or does he bewail the popularity of the fan-fiction websites...These forums for the common writer revive a form of storytelling that, like the Odyssey, “is not commissioned, nor is it paid for, nor is it ‘reviewed’, nor is it bought. It is not, as the term is usually applied, ‘published’. 'Fanfic' is part of an evolving online republic in which writing is not a commodity but a 'conversation.'"
    • Mashable asked about the future of book clubs while discussing Tumblr's reblog book club. "Fershleiser made sure that she chose a book that would appeal to Tumblr readers. `In choosing books, it’s a combination of what do I feel comfortable recommending [to someone] as young as 13, but also will be compelling to adult readers, and what will resonate with the Tumblr community, which skews a little nerdy, a little progressive and a lot fandomy'." Being only online and "moderating a month-long book discussion ...was much more time-consuming than hosting a physical book club. `The challenge is how much time it takes to do right — trying to respond to every question and concern, making sure everyone's being heard.'"
    • Novelist Daniel R. Pike told the TriValley Times about the difficulty of getting published, even if he first succeeded at 17. “Final Fantasy 7 is the reason I went to college to be an English major” because “I started writing fan fiction for that game when I was in high school."

    What fandom reading have you been doing? Write about it Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Minorities in Fandom

    By Claudia Rebaza on Martedì, 12 November 2013 - 5:59pm
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    • PC Mag ran several articles on minorities in fandom from a panel at New York Comic Con. "Representations of Muslims in media have improved as well. Muhammad Aurangzeb Ahmad, who created the sci-fi compilation A Mosque Among the Stars, said that in the past decade 'Muslims in comics were the quintessential other.' But this has changed with a French Batman who is an Algerian Muslim, a Green Lantern who is a Lebanese Muslim from Detroit, and other re-imagined characters."
    • Such panels at major fan cons are seen as critical for raising awareness of troubling issues in fandom. "Jay Justice said, 'the media doesn’t promote us, so we have to promote ourselves.' Taking onto Tysk’s comments she pointed out that up to a certain age society seems to have no problem with children dressing up in costumes outside of their race. It’s something we often see, for instance, in elementary school Halloween celebrations. Yet at some point we start facing the 'why are you, as a non-white person, trying to portray that white character' questions. Justice asked, 'at what age are we supposed to start telling children that they can’t play certain characters?'"
    • India.com announced the arrival of a new Indian superhero, Chakra on November 30. His move is the result of a partnership between Cartoon Network, Graphic India and POW! Entertainment. "'Chakra: The Invincible' was also selected as part of a handful of third-party content partners soon to be featured on Rovio Entertainment's new ToonsTV platform - one of the largest global digital platforms for kids in the world with over a billion views already since its launch."
    • Disputes in media fandoms tend to lean to verbal harassment rather than physically violent extremes. But the problems generally emerge from a failure to understand the other side's concerns. This can erode formerly good relations between fans and creators, or fans and other fans. "Teen Wolf released a video of actor Dylan O’Brien asking for fans to vote for Teen Wolf in a TV Guide poll... O’Brien joked that if people didn’t vote, they’d kill off the show’s lone surviving gay character, Danny...The joke didn’t seem very funny, particularly when the survival rate for side characters in Teen Wolf is notoriously low for anyone who isn’t a straight, white man."

    What troubling issues have you seen in fandoms? Write about it on Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Ripped from fandom

    By Claudia Rebaza on Giovedì, 31 October 2013 - 5:11pm
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    Banner by Bremo of the post title with a tear through the word 'Ripped'

    • Communities of fanfic writers took their writing group practices online decades ago. On the Media reported on a commercial copy of these spaces, dubbing it "virtual workshopping. A website from Penguin Publishing, Book Country, enables thousands of writers to exchange manuscripts and notes and self-publish their work. A few have even gotten traditional publishing deals through the site." Other than the book deals, the mechanisms sound familiar. "[I]f a writer has written something that is just awful, not very many people will comment on it or they will comment briefly and respectfully but not say very much; there's a sort of graceful fade away. And the second thing that can happen is a manuscript that might seem terrible to one reader seems fantastic to another, because they are the right audience for it. You can find sub-categories and niche audiences that you wouldn't otherwise access."
    • While not commercial, Caroline Siede wrote in A.V. Club about a fandom practice that has been automated, making gifs. "Gifs have long been the bread and butter of Tumblr—the perfect way to capture every moment of Dean/Castiel sexual tension, every David Tennant eyebrow raise, and, apparently, every moment of Omar Little badassery...Either to mock these fans or to help them celebrate their beloved Wire by capturing even more moments from the show, programmer Darius Kazemi has created a robot that posts a random gif and an accompanying line of dialogue from The Wire every hour."
    • At SB Nation an "experiment" in writing fanfiction to accompany a photo turned into dueling fics when "my effort at fulfilling this assignment struck my esteemed girlfriend as so gross that she would not let it stand but composed her own rival fan fiction Friday to bring the touch of urbanity to the proceedings."
    • Hero Complex interviewed Eric Moro, Wikia’s director of entertainment programming and asked "Why a collaborative effort between professionals and an online fan community?" to which he replied "[O]ur various anime and manga communities draw incredibly large audiences from all over the world. So hosting a project in this space allowed us to play at a global level. Second...it’s more about the creator that’s involved than it is about the character(s). Third, comic book, movie and TV characters are all tied up in complicated rights issues/licenses. And while we’re just starting to see networks work in this space (“The Vampire Diaries” fan fiction through Amazon’s Kindle Worlds, for example), it’s still not an idea the industry has fully embraced."

    What "ripped from fandom" stories have you seen? Write about them on Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Not so surprising sports fandoms

    By Claudia Rebaza on Mercoledì, 23 October 2013 - 6:10pm
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    Banner by Lisa of a green field with huddled soccer players & a team scarf being raised in the stands

    • Although they're among the most visible fandoms in many cultures, sports fandoms are also often gendered in the media. Forbes took note of better-late-than-never marketing to women, while Yahoo's Breakout blog listed five "surprising" stats about fantasy sports leading with the fact that players are both younger and more female than generally portrayed.
    • At Sports on Earth writer Colin McGowan wrote about learning to be a soccer fan. "In Alex Pappademas' 'I Suck at Football' column that ran last season at Grantland, he wrote about how his daughter understood the sport as 'the show where the men try to get the ball and then they fall down,' which is about as apt a description of football as you're going to find...It's not much more complicated than that, though it's as rich as any other sport. Being a fan isn't so much about understanding how the game works as much as it's telling yourself stories about the machinery. We assign meaning to teams and players, favor some styles over others, delight in or are crushed by swings of luck. The men kick the ball toward the goal and then fall down, and we have a lot to say about that."
    • Writing about baseball, Richard Peterson speculates how being a fan of specific teams shapes a fan's personality. "I could tell what team they rooted for by observing their demeanor. The Cubs fans in the audience were easy to pick out because they were the ones who looked like they needed a hug. It was also easy to find the Cardinals fans because they were the ones sitting next to Cubs fans. They weren’t about to hug the fans of Chicago’s lovable losers, but they did want to make sure that Cubs fans knew what the fans of a winning team looked like."
    • The Philadelphia CityPaper decided to investigate fanfiction about its hometown Flyers. "There are hundreds of stories and millions of words dedicated to imagined romances and trysts with the Flyers available for your perusal on Mibba, a creative-writing website boasting well over 10,000 stories." Yet even within this slice of fandom, writer Dan McQuade seemed to find it surprising that women were involved: "Most authors of Flyers fanfic identify themselves as young women, and this may be the one place on the Internet where this is actually true." He also might want to wander beyond Mibba before claiming that "this phenomenon doesn’t happen for baseball, basketball or football."

    What sports fandom stories do you have to tell? Write about them on Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: How to be a fan

    By Claudia Rebaza on Mercoledì, 21 August 2013 - 5:24pm
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    Banner by Bremo saying a fan is someone who has found something they like

    • Morgan Davies wrote about the stages of becoming a Teen Wolf fan. "I used to creep downstairs after my parents had gone to sleep to plug my laptop into the dial-up cable in our family room and load all seventeen chapters of a story in different windows before scurrying back upstairs and reading them all in bed until three in the morning, always ready to snap the computer closed and pretend to be asleep in case anybody came looking. Some years later...I started telling myself that at some point I would outgrow fanfiction, and fandom in general...I kept telling myself this until I was around twenty, or twenty-one, and then I decided that persistent self-delusion wasn’t cute."
    • Being a fan is increasingly being seen as someone who is a producer themselves. Den of Geek collected examples of fan creations memorializing Doctor Who's 50th anniversary. The variety of ways to be creative and share with others keeps expanding.
    • Diana Uy wrote in Manila Standard Today about How to be a Kpop Fangirl, interviewing Gigi Melodias. "Melodias discovered some of her longtime friends through fangirl forums and concerts. In 2009, She collaborated with some of these friends to start FangirlAsia.com, the first online store of Kpop merchandise with its own domain in the Philippines. Today, FangirlAsia.com is owned by Melodias, her husband, and sister. With some extra help, this small band of Kpop fans also organizes artist events and gatherings for loyal Kpop fans."
    • At least in sports fandom howerver, the collecting aspect is a predominant form of fandom activity. Thom Lovero wrote about jerseys as a symbol of fandom. "The jersey has become the flag of sports -- the most powerful symbol of the connection between fans and their teams. 'You can’t do any more than wear a player’s number on your back to show that connection,' said Merrill Melnick, a retired sports sociologist at SUNY Brockport who specialized in studying fan behavior." But when things go sour, the jersey takes the brunt of fan anger. "'When the athlete does something to let them down, they can’t take them to court, so symbolically they burn a jersey,' Wann said. 'It’s like someone throwing a ring back in the face, as publicly as they could possibly cut off the ties to the athlete.'"

    What fan history stories do you know of? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Fan conventions

    By Claudia Rebaza on Venerdì, 16 August 2013 - 8:47pm
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    Image by Robyn of gathered people with text reading Meetups Large and Small

    • SB Nation published a somewhat bemused summary of a day at MLB Fanfest but concluded that "The Real Baseball Thing has something to do with the act of playing baseball and something to do with the cumulative experience of watching it over a lifetime, and it's easy to sense its presence and see its effect. It manifests as a slow, blissed-out trancefulness, and it -- and not the sepia tones or the synergy -- is what still fills stadiums and domes. The chance to commune with it is what led volunteers to spend day-long shifts feeding pitching machines and encouraging strangers. It was the only reason anyone was at the Javits Center in the first place, and why the game -- alternately shrunken and puffed-up as it can seem -- can still fill six blocks with excited people."
    • Henshin Justice wrote about the growth of Tokusatsu fandom as seen at Anime Expo. "Power Morphicon is still in its infancy and focused on tokusatsu’s American counterpart; and G-Fest, the largest Godzilla / Japanese monster convention, is far away in the Midwest. Therefore, as the largest North American convention geared specifically toward Japanese animation and entertainment, Anime Expo becomes the big summer convention for most West Coast-based toku fans to meet and geek." This can be a mixed experience since no fandom is completely harmonious. "[T]okusatsu cosplayers aren’t exempt from harsh, unnecessary criticisms. John noted other toku fans who approached him and questioned his cosplay and criticized him for even liking anything related to the Kamen Rider Hibiki series."
    • Fan conventions are also the subject of documentaries, such as Fantasm, a horror convention documentary that "explores the bonds formed by the close-knit community of fans who attend horror conventions."
    • Get-togethers don't always have to be on such a large scale though, and animator Leigh Lahav created the short video "Fangirls" as a gentle poke at the trials and tribulations of female fandoms.

    What fan convention stories do you have? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Fandom surprises

    By Claudia Rebaza on Lunedì, 29 July 2013 - 10:19pm
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    • Bronies have frequently been written about as the poster children for unexpected fandom demographics, but they aren't alone. Writing about "The Male Fandom of the Disney Princesses", Steven M. Johnson said "Maybe it was because I grew up in a family with two older sisters and no brothers — but in my house, videos of The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Sleeping Beauty played every single day — and I enjoyed them just as much as my sisters. Dads don’t have any need to worry or feel funny if their sons are Princess fans. Just like the great Disney heroes, the Disney heroines can teach your kids, male and female, valuable lessons of strength, independence, and pursuing their dreams."
    • While academic discussions of fandom have explored its cultural implications, it's also revealed activity obscured by assumptions about who takes part in what. Anthropologist Meghan Ferriter has been studying the fandom of the US Women’s soccer team on Tumblr. "What the USWNT fandom actually discusses and creates are representations of the USWNT, players, other fans, opponents, and other popular culture narratives...Mediated sport discourse, as well as USWNT fandom Tumblr disourses, provide accounts; neither reality nor clean interpretation of events. Rather, as with discourses of mediated sport, Tumblr discourses present a version of events that speaks to broader social relationships and understandings of sexuality, national identities, gender, and imply relationships of power."
    • WhatCulture.com suggests that pandering to preconceived fannish notions will be the downfall of the Hollywood machine. "There is a virus sweeping the boardrooms of film studios throughout Hollywood. It is a bitter, poisonous little blighter that sucks the joy and originality out of anything it touches. It is a self-serving, self-aware, tyrannical strain of social profiling. And it is quickly dominating the way in which films are conceived and made. It is eating away at filmmakers, and rapidly controlling the output of every major studio in modern cinema. It is known only as the ‘Fanboy’ plague."

    What assumptions have you seen perpetuated about fandom? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Fandom in life and death

    By Claudia Rebaza on Sabato, 27 July 2013 - 11:29pm
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    • The death of Glee actor Cory Monteith put attention on the show's fanbase. A former social media worker for the show discussed how the fans had won her over. "I spent several hours a day in the company of the gleeks, whose intensely positive outlook was genuinely disarming...The job was part marketing and part customer service, but I also found myself drawn into the role of unofficial counsellor. These were teenagers passionately involved in the lives of onscreen high-schoolers who reflected and played out their own feelings of isolation and confusion. They tweeted incredibly personal things to each other – and to me. Although I was just a disembodied online voice, I was still a sympathetic ear; an almost-real imaginary friend."
    • Meanwhile Junkee.com looked at the fanworks that were being produced. "Glee’s fan fiction community was quick to react. Numerous stories appeared on FanFiction.Net overnight, some of them are set within the world of the show, as Finn’s friends and relatives deal with the news of his death, and some are about the actors themselves. Some are maudlin, some are strangely poignant, but together, they offer a fascinating insight into the ways that people process their grief for a beloved character and a person they’ve likely never met."
    • In MLB fandom, it was the case of a fan's death and a player's decision to attend the funeral that made the news. "On the day of the memorial service for the love of her life, Meredith Benton wore her black Mets jersey stitched with orange and blue." She was not alone as "[i]n Jim's obituary in the Nashville Tennessean, attendees of the memorial were instructed to wear orange and blue." Mets player R.A. Dickey who lived near the memorial service heard about the death and went to meet the family. "To live a life without being passionate about something, be it a sports team or poetry or art, would be a really hollow life. So to see someone be passionate about something, I respond to that. It's a good thing, and I appreciate it. And there's no doubt he was passionate about baseball, in particular the New York Mets. So I felt a connection to him, even though I had never met him."

    What fandom attachments have you seen live on? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

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