By Huxley Pruitt, Sports
5/9-The Imperial Fool’s Ball League, the sport that has swept Crowndon gaming to the detriment of all other athletic endeavors, opened its third season last night. Thousands of fans, all of them under the delusion that their team is the best and that they somehow personally contribute to said team’s victory, came out in droves last night to eat smoked meat products and be rude to each other.
The sudden popularity of the sport has sparked the interest of sociologists in Nor Easter last year, who this year have decided to study the game, the behaviors of its fans, and its impacts, psychologically, physically, and economically.
“It’s all so very fascinating,” said one such scientist, who asked to remain anonymous. “The behaviors on display. Adult men–Crowndon men, so known for their normally stalwart demeanors—painting themselves in the bright colors of their teams and wearing the uniforms of their favorite players; it is akin, I suppose, to the fans of things like ‘The Gutted Earth’ you see dressing up as their favorite characters. Although, you’re less likely to wind up in the hospital if you get caught dressed as the villain in that novel than if you get caught wearing an opposing team’s jersey. There also tends to be a lot less rioting afterwards.”
The rioting, this sociologist says, lays at the crux of his study. It is a strange phenomenon, he says, that does not appear to be contingent upon victory or defeat, nor does it appear to happen with any regularity.
“The conditions have to be just right,” he says. “It typically happens toward the end of the season, it is typically the home team that goes on the warpath, and it can be either a way to celebrate a win or decry a loss. That’s the most baffling thing about it all: adults, smashing through their own streets, because they’re happy. It makes no sense! But it happens.”
The proliferation of the sport has left many scholars baffled, particularly at the traction it has gotten in Crowndon, of all places. Crowndon is, after all, often characterized by their collective humorlessness. I asked a few fans what they saw in the game.
“Not sure if you have noticed this, good sir,” one fan answered. “But Crowndon has received quite the thorough beating this year. I think we deserve a little bit of an outlet.”
That’s not to say the game does not have its fans outside of Crowndon. At least one high profile Nor Easterner, Sir Rigel Rinkenbach, has taken an interest.
“Of course I’m a fan!” Rinkenbach said. “I invented the game, after all. Then I introduced the game to Crowndon, sat back, and laughed.”