Monday, December 05, 2005

The Halls of Academia

Ever wonder what it would be like to live in the world of academics and professional intellectuals? I've always had a romatic attachment to the professorial lifestyle but I also held some of the pre-conceived notions to which a good many people probably subscribe. Namely the belief that academics (the hyper-intellectual ones in particular) live in a detached version of the Joe Schmo's reality. For example a lack of interest in, or awareness of, the median American male interests.

One of my old professors maintains a blog in which he comments on economics, politics, and social issues. Today I was reading a post of his regarding an article about an online sportsbook that had to shut down some of its prop bets on who will win both the Time and Sports Illustrated "Man of the Year" awards (due to some "insider betting" by a Time-Warner affiliated PR agency). In his post, my old prof sheepishly admits to not having "ever heard of" the athlete name Sportsman of the Year by SI, Tom Brady. Now I'm no sports geek but I would think that anyone with an even passing interest in American professional or collegiate sports would know who Tom Brady is. He's not as notorious as Terrell Owens but the guy certainly gets a lot of national TV facetime. Plus, I know the prof is into college and NBA hoops. It's hard to imagine someone watching Sportscenter looking for Wizards highlights would never have sat through a Tom Brady segment in the last couple of years. Maybe it's all about what your focus is on.

I guess what this says is that there really are people with more important ways in which to spend their time. And that I shouldn't assume anything about what people know or care to know about.


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