Kleefeld's FanthropologyWhen I was growing up, I could not for the life of me understand sports fandom. I wasn't terribly athletic, so despite some bouts with Little League and intermural basketball and the like, I didn't have a lot of interest in sports in the first place. But having played a number of them, both in local leagues and in gym class, I understood the basic rules and techniques in the games, so my lack of understanding sports fandom didn't come from a lack of understanding the games themselves.

Usain BoltWhat I didn't understand was why anyone would be a fan of an entire team, year after year for decades on end. I could see being a fan of an individual player; not having much ability myself, it was easy to look at and appreciate the ease with which professional athletes could accomplish what I could not. I could understand seeing how Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's sky-hook was impressive and worth garnering a fans' attention. The Olympics made a lot more sense to me by that standard than professional sports; I can see why people are just as happy to cheer on Usain Bolt as Gabby Douglas.

By contrast, following an entire sports team failed to resonate for me. While some of the individual players might be worth sustained interest, or even some coaches, the members of any given sports team change on an almost ongoing basis. Why would I support the Cleveland Indians for a decade, when the entire roster would change over several times? It would be an entirely different team, consisting of entirely different players from when I first started watching. Read More...

Trading cards have been around forever. Whether you’re a football, hockey, baseball or basketball fanatic you can find a package of sports trading cards at almost any store you go to. Even the Target store down the street from my house has a whole aisle dedicated to trading cards and Panini is changing the face of these cards forever by adding an “HD quality” video screen!

The Panini HRX (Highlight Reel Xperience) trading cards will tip-off in June with four of Basketball’s top athletes (Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, John Wall and slam-dunk champion Blake Griffin) plastered across them. Read More...

Soccer and nightlife don’t really mix too well and Budweiser feels so strongly about it they’ve invented a new sport called Poolball. Yes, I said Budweiser invented a sport. I know it’s not what you thought you’d be reading about today but you are. You’re welcome.

The new sport/game plays just like your standard game of 8-ball pool with a few major differences -- you use your feet to strike the cue ball, the table is 7 meters long, and the balls are miniature soccer balls colored up as the classic stripes and solids you see in the bar. Also, the pockets now have nets around them to handle the larger objects and rather than standing at the side of the table you will stand on top of it, like you would a soccer field.

Apparently ESPN and Fox Sports covered the tour around Buenos Aires pubs and bars. This is the real deal and I guarantee you will want a chance on the field/table just as much as we do once you see those first few goals made. Unfortunately, I don't think we'll be seeing any Poolball tables in the States anytime soon. Read More...

The 30 superheroes of 'The Guardian Project,' the brainchild of Stan Lee, Guardian Media Entertainment, and the National Hockey League, were unveiled this past Sunday at the NHL All-Star game in Raleigh, North Carolina. Each original superhero -- or Guardian -- is based on a different NHL team, incorporating unique elements of each team's name into the powers/design. The idea was, according to NHL VP of Marketing Brian Jennings, to reach out beyond the hardcore Hockey enthusiast to the "casual fan" utilizing the universal medium of comics. And who better to help do that than Stan "The Man" Lee himself?

"It's been a very exciting project," Stan Lee told MTV Geek, "because the idea of creating 30 superheroes at one time -- well, you can imagine! We were very lucky because the names of all the teams lend themselves to superheroes."

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