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The line between nerd and sports fan is almost invisible when you get down to it: Is there really that much of a difference between a cosplayer wearing a bathrobe and waving a glow-stick at comic-con, and a fat high school burnout wearing a $200 Walter Payton throwback jersey while referring to the Bears in the first person plural? Whedon groupies and Jim Rome's clone army share the same doomed wish. But at least the jocks pine to matter in sports that actually exist. For the rest of us, we can always dream of sports like...

10
Dom-Jot (Star Trek)

How the Game is Played:

You hit a ball with the tip of a stick, rolling it along the top of a felt covered table littered with obstructions, impeding the ball's progress and providing targets for the player to hit. The game is essentially a combination of pool and pinball. According to the Memory Alpha wiki, "rolling the terik into straight nines is considered an extremely skilled move." Nobody who has ever actually worked on an episode of Star Trek knows what the fuck that means.

Lasting Impact:

Almost none. It's the "coolest" sport in Star Trek by default, since the only other choice is best represented by this picture:


Will's got his eyes on the prize, as usual.

Awesomeosity Factor:

1.3 out of 10 - It is a silly, silly game. Memory Alpha states games can go for as long as seven or eight hours, and even if you win fair and square, there's still a pretty good chance the loser will be a massive, vagina-mouthed creature that queefs broken sentences like a nightmarish combination of The Hulk and Yoda. He will stab your heart as a reward for winning. I wouldn't try this unless your badass XP is at Picard levels.

9
Pyramid (Battlestar Galactica)

How the Game is Played:

I think you're supposed to throw a ball into a board with a hole in it, and you can't move more than three steps with the ball before you have to throw it at a wall or a person. It's played on a triangle shaped court, hence the name. I think. Nobody really knows. None of the rules were spelled out because everyone was too busy drinking and crying and fucking hot robots. It seems to exist mostly so Starbuck can rub her sweaty body all over potential conquests in the greatest example of foreplay by way of sports since the beach sprint from Rocky III.


"I really, really want to play Pyramid."

Lasting Impact:

Well, if you shout "Go Panthers!" at a Comic-Con, maybe, like, four people will shout "C-Bucs Rule!" back in your general direction. Also, Michael Trucco's arms:

Awesomeosity Factor:

2.3 out of 10 - Unless you're Sam Anders, you're really not getting anything out of this game.

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8
Baseketball

How the Game is Played:

Take the framework of baseball, but instead of actually hitting a ball with a stick, all movement is decided by whether or not you can hit a free throw or sink a jumper. Disgustingly profane smack talk is not only allowed, but encouraged as a form of strategy in order to prevent the shooter from making his shot.

Lasting Impact:

Well, This guy expanded upon the official rules and went so far as to create an honest-to-god Baseketball league. It's like if the Star Wars Kid got caught taping himself dancing with a broomstick and decided to turn it into a touring roadshow. And because of the movie, we know what Trey Parker looks like when he does the Cartman voice. It's sort of like seeing Carroll Spinney wearing only the lower half of the Big Bird costume.


That shit just ain't right.

Awesomeosity Factor:

4.2 out of 10 - Really, aside from the part where having an encyclopedic knowledge of Your Mom jokes is beneficial, the game is pretty boring. Instead of using basketball rules, players are given giant sticks to hit each other with. But then the game gets rid of the sticks completely, leaving you with a version of regular ol' boring-ass baseball where nobody actually hits anything. Plus the movie kinda sucks.

7
Podracing (Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace)

How the Game is Played:

Tether a tiny cockpit, via two cables, to massive jet engines. Race through rocky terrain filled with giant obstacles at thousands of miles an hour. Avoid the obstacles, the booby-trapped engines of other racers, and the space rednecks busting shots at you for three laps, and you might win lots of money for the slave-owning gnat who wired your head to explode should you escape servitude.


Red Letter Media will upload a six-part review of this screencap to YouTube shortly.

Lasting Impact:

People have been known to make reference to the sport after achieving something significant; scoring a touchdown, finishing a painting, getting a raise, accidentally destroying an orbital droid control platform--all are occasions to be celebrated with a victorious bellowing of "Now this is podracing!" If you wish to really put a period on it, awkwardly miss a high-five with your friend and begin doing "The Twist" with yourself.

The video games based on the podrace are pretty cool, too.

Awesomeosity Factor:

5.9 out of 10 - 63 percent of the people who still own a Phantom Menace DVD begin the movie at this sequence, and then upon finishing it, skip to the three-way lightsaber fight, and then eject the DVD and hope nobody saw them. It's also a convincing argument for letting select few NASCAR fans into the stadium with loaded firearms--look at how much more fun it was for the crowd when the Tuskens started potshotting turdfaced aliens in the Canyon Dune Turns!

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6
TRON

How the Game is Played:

Firstly, you must be accidentally digitized by The Dude's secret laser, located in the upstairs area of an arcade he managed between roadie duties for The Doobie Brothers and Metallica. Once inside the video game world, you will be fitted with a blacklight sensitive unitard for a more comfortable gaming experience.

There are five games in the PentathaTRON: Battle Tanks, where you drive a tank around a maze and shoot anything that moves; I/O Tower, where you attempt to enter the I/O tower by killing anything that moves; MCP Cone, where you smash the hell out of a giant Hot Dog on a Stick hat until it fits you; Discs, where you throw your glowing Frisbee at someone until you knock them into oblivion; and Light Cycles, where you ride a digital crotchrocket that violates all known emission standards by leaving a glowing wall as exhaust. You win by getting other riders to crash into said walls and de-rez.

Lasting Impact:

This:

And also this:

Awesomeosity Factor:

6.7 out of 10 - So awesome that many people aged 25-35 seem to completely forget the movie containing these events is almost as fun as slipping into a coma. The awesome actively overwrites your memory so your brain remembers the movie as a five-minute long series of disconnected images constantly exploding against the back of your eyeballs in a shower of pixels. Hopefully the sequel will recreate the world of TRON the way we'd like to remember it, not how it actually was.

5
Rollerball

How the game is played:

Two teams of 10 players roller-skate in laps, trying to get hold of a magnetic ball you can throw through a metal hoop set in the wall. The ball is put in play when it is fired from a cannon at the skaters. Three members of the team are allowed to ride motorcycles through the track, potentially turning every match into an impromptu, live-action version of build-a-track from Excitebike.

Lasting Impact:

Ended up loosely inspiring modern roller derby; Specifically, the attitude, spectacle and brutality, subtracting Chris Klein (laaaaame!) and adding loads of snarling hot chicks in short pants throwing more 'bows than a Ludacris concert. (Tittays!)

Awesomeosity Factor:

7.6 out of 10 - James Caan on roller skates? Awesome. Unleashing bloodthirsty bikers onto a velodrome full of roller-skaters? Awesome. Shooting roller-skaters with a cannon while trying to dodge crazy motor-biking assholes trying to do sweet jumps off their testicles? Awesome. The remake? Sucktastic. The making of the remake leading to John McTiernan watching his cornhole in prison? Uber-Suck.

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4
Death Race (Death Race 2000)

How the Game is Played:

Similarly to the Gumball Rally, a transcontinental road race run on public roads. Crossing checkpoints as fast as possible scores you points. Committing vehicular manslaughter by running over innocent pedestrians also scores you points. Depending on your definition of "winning," you must score the most points, murder the most pedestrians and then also plow your car into the President of the Fascist United Provinces, and usurp his power. The best games of Death Race include lots of usurping.


And toothy cars.

Lasting Impact:

A large number of people owning Grand Theft Auto have no idea you can do other things in the game besides playing Death Race. The movie came out in the early 70s and still, motorists of all ages spot someone or something on the sidewalk and assign a point total to it, immediately followed by the brief mental image of turning said target into loose beef under the front wheels. Sick smile or high-pitched giggle is optional.

Awesomeosity Factor:

8.3 out of 10 - Considering human-kind has only had automobiles for a little over 100 years, there's something almost elemental to the wild-eyed glee we glean upon witnessing two-tons of metal smashing into soft meaty things. But as with anything very simplistic, after awhile it gets old. Aside from pretty paint jobs and leather-daddy copilots, the lack of variety in the gameplay deducts too many awesomeosity points to put this at #1.

3
The Running Man

How the Game is Played (short story):

After finding yourself emaciated and in a state of severe destitution, you agree to be defamed by the American Government in return for the opportunity to compete on live television for a shot at financial security. You are turned loose on the streets with 4800 dollars. You must evade government assassins for 30 days. While running, you must make two daily video messages and mail them to the TV Studio, making it that much easier for them to track you. If you miss a video drop, you forfeit the money, but the assassins keep hunting you until you are dead.

How the Game is Played (movie):

You're Arnold Schwarzenegger. You wear a silly costume and run around a Hollywood backlot while, behind the camera, Starsky tells Richard Dawson to smoke and sneer a lot as he orders the Village People to murder Arnie in front of a live studio audience.


But he won't be sent to the cooler.

Lasting Impact:

Seventy-five percent of everything currently on television can be traced back to this story, for all the good and bad that entails.

Awesomeosity Factor:

8.7 out of 10 - King wrote the short story in one frenzied week, and it shows: By that I mean it's lean, it's focused, it moves forward in a straight line at about 200-miles an hour, and it isn't bloated out to 3000 pages and loaded with multiple references to "Beams" and "Ka-Tets." It also actually ends. Most of his other stories just sort of stop, which is different from an ending in the same way "landing" is different from "faceplanting." The ending to "Running Man" was awesome - pre 2001. Unfortunately, now it's just kind of uncomfortable. Couple that with the campy, trashy film adaptation, and a couple awesomeosity points have to be deducted.

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2
Quidditch (Harry Potter)

How the Game is Played:

First, develop magical powers. Secondly, attend school full of godless heathens who openly mock Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ with their wicked ways. Then, once you've assembled enough soulless bastards, you can form teams of broomstick riding devil-children, and play this airborne combination of soccer, basketball and hockey.

Goals are scored by chucking a smaller ball (the Quaffle) through one of the opponents three goals without being knocked off your broom by a defense whose job it is to hit a large iron ball (the Bludger) into your body at bone-breaking speeds. The game only ends when a tiny, winged ball with a mind of its own (the Snitch) is captured by a member of either team. Catching the snitch is worth 150 points, regular goals are worth 10. Whoever has more points when the snitch is caught, wins.


This is the wrong way to catch the snitch.

Lasting Impact:

Teams from more than 200 colleges are affiliated with the International Quidditch Association, and play in tournaments with rewritten rules that account for the fact that real people can't fly on household cleaning implements.

Awesomeosity Factor:

9.6 out of 10 - It almost doesn't need explaining. Soccer + hockey + basketball + flying + drunk Phantasm ball + witchcraft = Fucking Awesome. I scored a 27 on the math section of my SATs and even I can understand that equation.

1
Calvinball (Calvin and Hobbes)

How the Game is Played:

Remember what its like to be young. Then make up whatever rules you have to in order to continue having fun. When you are exhausted from sheer exhilaration and laughter, the game is over, and everyone has won. Celebrate victory by going sledding with a stuffed tiger and eating PBJ sandwiches under your favorite tree.

Lasting Impact:

Every child currently alive on planet Earth intrinsically knows how to play this game.

Awesomeosity Factor:

15 out of 10 - Interesting note: Calvinball is actually the second most awesome invention of messrs. Calvin and Hobbes. Number one is the Transmogrifier.

Awesomeosity Factor:

37.6 out of 10 - True story: If Henry Kissinger can get a Nobel Prize, there is zero reason why Calvin can't have one. It's appropriate penance for the decades we've spent slapping bootleg images of him, alternately pissing or praying, on the back of our shitbox minivans and hoopties.

Now check out some made-up stuff that isn't so grand, in The 7 Worst Fictional Towns In America and The 11 Most Retarded Fictional Weapons.

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