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Latest revision as of 12:32, 12 November 2014

Welcome to the explain xkcd wiki!
We have an explanation for all 1480 xkcd comics, and only 15 (1%) are incomplete. Help us finish them!

[edit] Latest comic

Go to this comic explanation

Super Bowl
My hobby: Pretending to miss the sarcasm when people show off their lack of interest in football by talking about 'sportsball' and acting excited to find someone else who's interested, then acting confused when they try to clarify.
Title text: My hobby: Pretending to miss the sarcasm when people show off their lack of interest in football by talking about 'sportsball' and acting excited to find someone else who's interested, then acting confused when they try to clarify.

[edit] Explanation

In this comic, Cueball (i.e. Randall) explains that even though he does not care about sports and is tempted to be scornful about others' obsession with it, he understands that people feel vulnerable about stuff they care about. And he will for sure be fed up with all the talk about the Super Bowl discussions and arguments over the coming weeks. However, since other people tolerate his interest in odd things like meteorology and the Philae lander (see 1324: Weather and 1446: Landing), he recognizes that he should show the same consideration to them. (Technically this is implicitly an invocation of Immanuel Kant's categorical imperative, which, although it makes no reference to the Super Bowl, specifies the general maxim Cueball is following here).

In the last frame, he tells us that instead of celebrating the sports event on Sunday, he will be celebrating friendship (through listening to his friends) and snacking (through eating snacks). This suggests that the value of friendship trumps the discomfort of watching human activities that seem uninteresting to him - and that the snacks also help ameliorate his discomfort.

The title text continues the "my hobby" trope: here, Cueball creates discomfort for people who scornfully refer to for instance football, basketball and/or baseball as "sportsball" by calling their bluff and pretending to be interested in this imaginary sport. A person who does not even know that sportsball is imaginary, or who assumes they are talking about the Nintendo game by that name, would clearly be even more uninterested in sport than someone who just scorns sport in general. Feigning interest in this imaginary sport exposes their snobbishness.

In a distant past, Cueball spent his time differently during the 60: Super Bowl. See also 1107: Sports Cheat Sheet.

[edit] Trivia

This comic shares a title with comic #60, published February 6, 2006. This appears to be only the second time that two xkcd comics have borne the same name: Comic #786, published August 30, 2010, and comic #1071, published June 20, 2012, both bore the title "Exoplanets."

[edit] Transcript

[standing Cueball]
Cueball: I don't know much about sports, which can be culturally isolating, so it's tempting to get vocal and defensive about not following them.
Cueball: Caring about something makes people vulnerable, so not caring gives you power.
[picture of weather map and Philae spacecraft in the background]
But I know things I'm into don't always sound interesting to 100% of the people around me, and it means a lot when they sometimes try to listen anyway - and maybe even find themselves sharing some of my excitement!
[standing Cueball]
Cueball: So while everyone is going on about the super bowl on sunday, let me tell you what I'll be doing:
[standing Cueball]
Cueball: Listening!
Cueball: Hooray for friendship!
Cueball: Also, eating snacks.
Cueball: Hooray for snacks!

Is this out of date? Clicking here will fix that.

[edit] New here?

Last 7 days (Top 10)

Lots of people contribute to make this wiki a success. Many of the recent contributors, listed above, have just joined. You can do it too! Create your account here.

You can read a brief introduction about this wiki at explain xkcd. Feel free to sign up for an account and contribute to the wiki! We need explanations for comics, characters, themes and everything in between. If it is referenced in an xkcd web comic, it should be here.

  • There are incomplete explanations listed here. Feel free to help out by expanding them!
  • We sell advertising space to pay for our server costs. To learn more, go here.

[edit] Rules

Don't be a jerk.

There are a lot of comics that don't have set in stone explanations; feel free to put multiple interpretations in the wiki page for each comic.

If you want to talk about a specific comic, use its discussion page.

Please only submit material directly related to (and helping everyone better understand) xkcd... and of course only submit material that can legally be posted (and freely edited). Off-topic or other inappropriate content is subject to removal or modification at admin discretion, and users who repeatedly post such content will be blocked.

If you need assistance from an admin, post a message to the Admin requests board.

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