Just because we’re geeks, it doesn’t mean we can’t dig on sports. Science fiction has brought us some of the finest sports to have never been played, barring one curious exception detailed below.
Luckily for the future history of humanity’s ball sports, the Caprica Buccaneers were doing high-altitude pre-season training in the mountains outside of Delphi when the Cylons launched their surprise attack. A search and rescue operation launched by the Battlestar Galactica rescued most of the team some months into the war, so the tactics, history and rules of pyramid will be retained for future future generations.
Showing the value of team sports in building our ability to work together, the Caprica Buccaneers waged a successful guerilla war against the Cylons despite having no formal military training. So stuff that up your cornhole, all you hippies who think there’s no point to football.
Stu Phillips – Battlestar Galactica (Main Title) | download
Most likely the least well-known of the future sports on this list is from the surprisingly awesome 1989 film The Blood of Heroes* (starring not just the world’s most underrated actor, Rutger Hauer, but also the always-kickass Vincent d’Onofrio). Played in a post-apocalyptic world, the sport features a dog skull instead of a ball and teams of five wielding various weapons. Other than that, the rules are pretty slim. And, given that the players have chains and pointed sticks and shit, you should probably leave it that way.
Little did I know when I set out to document these physical contests from the future that a sport based on The Game is being played as we speak. Called Jugger, after one of the positions on the team, there are leagues in Denmark, Germany, Ireland and Australia. I’d like to imagine that they’re playing in Europe because they’re such a forward-thinking sort, but the inclusion of Australia on that list makes me think it’s just because some people really like to hit other people with sticks. Oh, it also appears to be an offshoot of the Society for Creative Anachronism, which surely settles the hitting people with sticks bit.
*The film is known as Salute of the Jugger in some releases.
Dave Lister, technician third class on the mining vessel Red Dwarf, was such a huge fan of the London Jets‘ star Jim-Bexley Speed, that he named both his children after him – Jim Lister and Bexley Lister.
Our ability to chronicle this passtime have been hindered significantly by the passing of the entirety of the human race during the first ten minutes of season one, while Dave was in stasis. That’s quite a shame, really, because football in three dimensions would be pretty kickass.
The original Rollerball is a classic science-fiction tale; a movie which cleverly tells a story of media manipulation of the populace in the not-too-distant future. Oh, yes, it also has Rollerball – a sport with a metal ball, motorcycles and rollerskates – a sure-fire formula for fatalities. Yeah, the movie has aged a bit, but you can’t fault it for having an excellent story about humanity to tell us. Also, it has some killer retro 70s fonts and sets – everyone who loves how the future looked 30 years ago should not go past Rollerball (and Logan’s Run).
Don’t bother with the remake. Even the presence of Paul Heyman (of ECW fame) and LL Cool J couldn’t save this train wreck. The underlying themes of ‘bread and circuses’ and social engineering on a massive scale are replaced with the usual Hollywood tripe that sends hordes of mullet-clad dirtbags into frenzied fits of “USA! USA! USA!” glossolalia.
Please don’t think less of me for presuming LL Cool J could make a film better.
It’s been said that the writers of Futurama changed the rules of Blernsball between appearances on the show to keep it as confusing as possible. Leela Taronga, captain of the Planet Express Ship, holds the distinctions of being both the first female blernsball player and the worst blernsball player of all time.
Some of the known rules of Blernsball:
- If three balls go into a small hole in the center of the field, a pinball-style multiball is initiated; dozens of balls are shot at high speeds into the field, causing frenetic action. If all the balls are hit by the batter, they get a blern.
- Relief pitchers are conveyed from the bullpen to the pitcher’s mound by means of a giant tarantula wearing the team’s cap (a notable exception being Leela’s stint as relief pitcher, where she typically remained in the dugout).
- A player may circle the bases on a lightcycle. However, this might only be allowed when a blern is hit.
- Bases occasionally explode. Again, this might only happen when a blern is triggered.
- There is a position of Fifth Blernsmen, despite the infield still resembling a baseball diamond.
- Traditions of the game include aluminum bats, the 7th inning grope, and taking home blernsball players as souvenirs.
Futurama Theme Song – Remix | download