I realize that I probably fit at least some of the stereotypes of being a nerd, especially in high school. I made good grades, I didn’t get sent to the principal’s office for misbehaving, I was an officer in several school clubs (including Math Club), I liked comic books later in life than normal people do, wore some very nerdy glasses (I didn’t get the requisite nerd inhaler until last summer), and so on. I also, however, played high school football, really enjoyed the weekend house parties (maybe a little too much), and dressed like the vast majority of my school. I say all of this to get to my point that there is more of a crossover in the jock/nerd communities than most people believe. Look at comic book movies, for instance. If only forty year old virgins living in their mom’s basement and providing tech support online watched these movies, the genre would be dead by now. Movies like The Dark Knight and The Avengers appealed to much greater portion of the population, even if “nerds” are the ones straddled with the label of liking comic books. Or take the runaway success of The Walking Dead on TV. These numbers show that jocks, soccer moms, nerds, and the whole lot of our population have much more similar taste in entertainment than society is led to believe.
I mean, even sports are being inundated with a nerd revolution. Baseball has the Moneyball movement and sabermetrics which leads to some very heated debates about the sport and how to play. Last years AL MVP vote is a prime example of the level of viciousness these debates can climb to. Fans are split on the validity of a player’s batting average and RBI totals. On base and slugging percentages are becoming the vogue stat. NBA teams, such as my Memphis Grizzlies, are hiring more and more front office executives from outside the realm of former basketball players and coaches. Football teams are analyzing numbers to a degree that would have been mocked ten years ago.
Under Armour is now embracing this new found acceptance of nerds, as well as recognizing that many high school nerds have grown up to be fitness warriors. A friend of mine posted on Facebook yesterday a link to Under Armour’s Alter Ego line of workout clothes. Basically, it is Under Armour’s compression gear with superhero insignia printed on them. When I first saw them, I thought, “Damn, I had that idea!” And that is true, a few months back, after completing a long run, I told Susan that a company should make tech shirts and other workout gear with superhero insignia because I thought it would sell quite well. She laughed, called me a dork, and we went about my day. And now Under Armour has introduced this Alter Ego, which is a great name, line of clothing. MY second thought was “Damn, why does it have to be compression wear?” Compression shirts and fat guys do not mesh very well. I get the usefulness of compression, it just is something I normally steer clear of, both for my self image as well as out of respect for others. I may have to make an exception in this case.
The Batman one is fantastic, as is the Superman and Captain America ones. I am not a huge fan of the Hulk or Iron Man ones. I can only imagine that a Flash one would sell well, as would any referencing the X-Men or Green Lantern. Also, a Punisher one would sell well, even to people who had no clue who the Punisher. If anyone at Under Armour would like to know what a member of the plus sized gym community thinks of these, a couple of them can be sent to me in Memphis for some beta testing and product reviews, size XL, please…