Archive for the ‘Complaint Department’ Category

The Complaint Department: Episode 1

September 12, 2011

It is extremely annoying when someone that knows nothing about a certain topic pretends that they’re an expert in that field. It doesn’t matter what it is: history, politics, sports, Renaissance paintings, 17th century flowers.

Apparently this is Renaissance art...who knew?

Acting as if you know everything, when you clearly don’t just makes you look like an ass. No one knows everything, not even me (I’m pretty close though, it’s the 17th century flowers and Renaissance paintings that are killing me). And no one is expected to know everything. Hell, you’ll probably be respected more if you admit you don’t know the answer or don’t know something about a certain topic, rather than blurting out some absurd answer just to hear yourself speak. But some people don’t follow that line of thinking. They believe they have to know everything under the sun, and if they don’t know it, they bull shit it.

I bring this up because I have noticed it in the past few weeks in a sport I love—tennis. The US Open is currently being played and all of a sudden everyone is an expert on tennis. My Twitter feed, which consists of possibly two tennis writers, is all of a sudden full of tennis “experts” giving their “expert” opinion on everything US Open. I don’t go on Twitter and write about how to pick up girls on Halloween, even though it may be easier and in my face for that time, but it doesn’t make me an expert. I freely—and sadly—admit that I rarely ever get any play in that game. You would want to go to a frat guy for that type of information, and he’d tell you how to correctly, and casually, roofie a girl.

I’m not the only one who gets annoyed by people who pretend to be experts at something, when really they know nothing about the subject, right? Well it annoyed me so much during the US Open, I came up with a name for it: sports shoobies.

What I mean by sports shoobies, are people that become fans of a sport only when that sport is put in front of them. It’s happening now in tennis, but it can happen in any sport. MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL playoffs are a big time for the shoobies to show themselves. I’m sure it happens during golf’s majors, but the only reason I watch golf is for John Daly’s pants and to see if the Gold Channel has started a 24/7 show following Tiger Woods. I’d love to see how he picks up all those waitresses at the Waffle Houses.

I’m not sure of the origin of the word shoobie, but I heard it first from the cartoon Rocket Power. That probably is not the source of it, but I’m going to say it was started by Rocket Power partly because I loved that show and partly because I don’t want to do research to truly find where it came from (it feels like homework then). Rocket Power used it to refer to tourists who came to the beach during popular vacationing season and encroached on their space (all while wearing their shoes on the beach, I believe). The space that the “natives” occupied all year was all of a sudden taken from them.

Here is the number one definition from Urban Dictionary: “someone who thinks they own the beach when they go just for a weekend or a summer most of them deserve death…even [though] they are the reason our economy survives.”

That definition is perfect. Except the part about deserving death, I’m not going that far. But shoobies are annoying. They act like they own the place, when really they know much about the beach or the conversation. When someone starts talking about the development of Novak Djokovic, even though they don’t know what country he is from—well that’s frustrating. It belittles the sport when someone thinks they can learn all about it by watching a few match four times a year.

But the last part of that definition is important too: “even though they are the reason our economy survives.” The more people that watch tennis, even if it is just for the four majors, help to make tennis a worthwhile sport for the TV networks to put on the air.

So really I should be happy. The more people that watch tennis, the more it will be shown on TV—and I love watching tennis so it seems like a win. But I can’t be entirely happy. I just don’t care for people who don’t know the sport, to talk about it as if they’re experts.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to be an elitist and say not everyone can be a fan of tennis, or anything for that matter. I’m not an expert on anything. I love tennis but I don’t claim to know every fact or facet. People can like whatever they want to, I’ll never stand in the way of that. But it isn’t the fans that upset me.

I watch certain sports when they are on TV or when it is a big event. But I don’t act as if I’m an expert. I don’t walk into your house and start telling you the history of it or the history of your life, because I don’t know anything about it (and there is a very good chance I don’t really care). So don’t come into a sport or any other topic and pretend to be the be-all, end-all in the discussions of that topic.

I want to repeat that fans are great. The more tennis fans, the more it could be on TV and I could maybe make a living on it. But it’s that small group of people that watch one match, maybe even just a few games and then believe that they are experts who have been following tennis closely for years. Become a fan, but don’t try to be an expert. And I’m totally cool with people pointing out how hot Ana Ivanovic and Maria Kirilenko are.

Soooo hot...

So, so hot.

Watching something different or learning about a new topic is fine, but don’t pretend to be knowledgeable if you’re actually a novice. As sad as I am to see tennis on TV go away until basically the Australian Open next year, I’m happy that I’ll have my Twitter feed back and I can continue to read about Kristin Cavaliari’s most recent adventure and European basketball, which I know nothing about but accept that I’m not an expert, just merely a fan.