An old friend of mine from high school keeps posting things on Facebook about her son's recent participation in the Quidditch World Cup VI, which just wrapped up in Kissimmee, Florida.
Yes, you read that right, Quidditch. Like Harry Potter and flying brooms and the golden snitch and all that. I, too, found this a bit peculiar, and had to look into it.
Turns out, it is for real, people! There were 80 teams from universities around the world!
According to the website for the Quidditch World Cup, "Players will collide in full-force tackles, bludgers will leave stinging blows that knock athletes off their feet, quaffles will whistle through the goal hoops, while seekers hunt the snitch runner. Thousands of spectators will look on, watching one of the most exciting sports ever invented unfold before them."
Apparently, "Quidditch is a co-ed, full-contact sport that combines elements of rugby, dodgeball, and Olympic handball, with four balls (plus a human snitch) and seven players per team vying for control of an elliptical pitch."
Just like they play at Hogwarts. Except, of course, they don't actually...fly.
My friend's son plays for USC, and though they did well, they didn't make it to the final, which was between UCLA and my alma mater, The University of Texas, who were the big winners. Go Longhorns!
What do y'all think about this? The super cynical side of me just rolls my eyes and gasps "Oh good Lord, really?" But the other, super-geeky side of me says "Woohoo! Quidditch! Where do I sign up?!"
Even though the website says that Fox News (who apparently covered the event - not sure what to make of that) describes it as "a cross between the Superbowl and a medieval festival", these kids seem to be taking this silliness pretty damned seriously.
And I guess the game's tons of fun, with lots of action, but really? They are pretending. To. Be. Riding. Brooms! They are grown-up people!
And I keep wondering what JK Rowling must think about it. Is it an exciting thrill for her? Having INVENTED a sport in which people are actually competing in a World Cup? Or does she just shake her head in disbelief and think "It's FICTION, people!"
What do y'all think? Good fun? Or "Good Lord!"?