So, I wasn’t planning on doing another of these until Monday, but a golden opportunity landed in my lap today with the release and desperate attempt at publicizing an article written by Eric Hansen of Outside magazine. (http://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-adventure/sports/Quoosiers.html?page=1)
I’m hearing a lot of people praising this article as a fine piece of journalism and a great representation of the sport of quidditch.
My opinion: This is the most degrading article ever written about quidditch, and I’m not going to be nice this time around.
Hansen doesn’t bother to fact-check or read the IQA rulebook, but still manages to think that he knows everything about quidditch because he played a few games riddled with disregard for the rules. The jackassery in this article is unparalleled. Not once does he talk about the high-level of athleticism and skill required to play, but instead focuses on how fun it is to break the rules!
This article disrespects quidditch in a whole new way. I thought I’d heard it all. The people saying we’re nerds, HP freaks, how we look ridiculous with brooms between our legs; you know what I’m talking about: the people who judge the sport before giving it a chance. Hansen takes this to a new level. He openly admits in the article to being one of these naysayers, but then comes and competes anyway (I guess kudos for that). He then proceeds to write this article that says nothing about the actual sport even though it’s 14 fucking pages long. He insults his competitors by saying the team that beat them got lucky, builds up his own team by overrating the teams they beat, and brags about breaking the rules regularly, and then claims ignorance as a defense.
No, there is nothing good about this article.
I got about 1 page into it before I realized that it had to be featured as my next Unpopular Opinion. As I was reading, I opened a word doc and copy-pasted quite a few quotes, and wrote a brief reaction to said quotes. They are below.
- “games that typically last around 45 minutes.” -Really? More like 20 minutes, but I suppose we can give you a 120% margin of error, it’s not like this is for an article or anyth… Oh.
- “How were we to know that brooms were supplied?” - Maybe if you had done 20 seconds of fact-checking before attending the tournament? But clearly that’s not your job, right?
- “2000…not wholly fit competitors,” - Oh, really?
- “one of our offensive players” “offensive players (chasers)” “defenseman, called a beater,” - I wasn’t aware there were set offense and defense positions. Oh right, because there aren’t.
- “What are they talking about? I’m still not sure.” - That’s pretty obvious
- “two of whom must be women” - False. Two of whom must be a different gender.
- “unblinking eyes of a proper Potter psycho.” -Dude, really?
- “The next, this freak lowers his non-broom-carrying shoulder and blasts her in the sternum.” -Okay, maybe he shouldn’t have hit a substitute, but it’s very possible that it was unintentional, and from the sound of it, you reacted out of rage instead of reason, and still are. Chill with the insults bro.
- “I certainly wasn’t a Potterhead” - Not all of us are these days.
- “Josh had once led an inexperienced team of New Yorkers to the finals of the World Elephant Polo Championships in Nepal, another competition of indeterminate ridiculousness. I immediately named him co-captain.” - Yep. Because playing polo on elephants is the same as a full-contact, one-handed sport. You’re part of the problem. You think anyone can play and win this game just because it started in a book. You mock it and take for granted that you’re the best when you haven’t even seen a match, just because a few people on your team used to play sports. I’d say you’re as bad as the people who mock us at practice, but you’re worse. You’re writing from the inside and you STILL have no idea what you’re talking about.
- “It includes straightforward sections like “The Mounted Broom,” plus many more-taxing chapters.” - none of which you bothered to read, apparently.
- “But when our offense picked up defensive bludgers, it was only out of confusion.” -Again with the offensive/defensive player thing…
- “The violence was not only pervasive but gender neutral. Hide your girls, indeed.” - A couple things on this one: 1) it’s only violent to people who don’t know the rules. To everyone else it’s just rough. There’s a rather large difference. 2) Hide my girls? No way. I’ve seen girls that can take down anyone and take hits from anyone. Just because girls are weak in your mind doesn’t mean they are. Maybe you should try to keep your sexism out of your journalism.
- “the “HR coordinator,” the “executive board members,” the “regional directors,” the “outreach director”…” - I’m sorry, why are these in quotes? They’re not larping those jobs, those are their fucking jobs.
- “a new book or movie had appeared roughly once a year for the past decade, and because these kids were the same age as Harry and Ron and Hermione, developments in the books had mirrored changes in their lives.” - What does this have to do with the sport? Just because HP was the source of the sport doesn’t mean it’s the only reason for the sport. It’s certainly not for me.
- “True, we were still struggling with the basics of [staying mounted], but it also must be noted that I was wearing sunscreen on my face and worn-out tennis shoes on my feet, while the gangly co-captain had on steel-cage lacrosse goggles, a mouth guard, and cleats, and had rubbed blue war paint under her eyes.” - Is that all it takes to justify not playing by the rules? Not being adequately prepared? No, that’s your own fault, quit making excuses.
- “Sure enough, the announcer shouted “Brooms up!” and the ref started handing out yellow cards—mostly to us. I got one for tackling from behind. Tim earned one for tackling with both hands. Two of our goals and one impressive snitch grab were dismissed for murky reasons. All of these were prompted by whines from the Hopkins co-captain.” - Ah, so it’s the other team’s captain’s fault you guys were penalized for breaking the most obvious and key rules in the game? They should have just let you keep breaking them and put yourselves and others at risk for injury? No. I don’t think so.
- “but in an inexcusably amateur scheduling mistake, organizers pitted us against Hopkins…” -yeah, I doubt that’s the case. You got the seed you earned and so did they. That’s not a mistake.
- “We win the 2nd game against Hopkins by 20 points, after having grabbed the snitch four times,” she continued. “The first three times were disqualified for Frisbee Tim being too aggressive/physical on the snitch. The fourth time was supposedly too aggressive as well but the snitch didn’t want to be thrown to the ground anymore. He was a small, mildly injured kid with glasses and a uniform covered in dirt by the fourth grab.” - Blatant cheating. You are not allowed to physically interfere or interact with the snitch runner. Your seeker should have been red carded after the second time.
- “our beaters were throwing elbows “ - Please, take more pride in breaking the rules and disrespecting the sport I love.
- “But an RIT player, so small as to go almost unnoticed, sneaked up and made off with the sock. “ -Yes, because if you didn’t win it HAD to be because the other team was lucky, right?
Time to change careers, Hansen. Journalism clearly isn’t your strong suit.