When I was in school, gaming, fantasy books, and anything related was not a hobby that got any respect. It generally got you looked down upon.
That figures into this story.
So Monday I was at the gym, doing my program with my trainer, Mike. It's a small group setting, so each person has their own workout and we do our own thing. Who else trains mid-morning on a Monday? Mostly pro athletes, and this time of year it's the football guys. So most Mondays it's me and anywhere from 3-5 pro football guys plus a couple of other athletes - and an older amateur athlete similar to myself as well, to be fair.
The conversation go around to reading, and then to ragging on Harry Potter books, and then suddenly it was all "Game of Thrones." A couple of the guys really love it. They binge watch it, they read up on it, they're all about it. I just sat there listening for a while. One of them especially was so into it. He was so excited to be talking about dragons and who killed this other guy and how awesome is this other guys and then more about the dragons.
Then I finished my set, and I walked over and told him that when I was in high school, playing role-playing games and reading books about dragons, the jocks - really mostly the football guys - would make fun of people who did those things. So I said it was very gratifying to me that here is this Super Bowl champion getting all excited and saying, "Hey, do you guys watch that show with the dragons?"
I said, "Give it enough time" and we said together "it all turns around eventually."
I mean seriously. The guys who peaked in high school football decades back held me in contempt because, hey, I like stories with swords and dragons. And now here's a guy with a championship ring or two all into the same stuff.
That made me really happy. You just have to be patient sometimes.
I suppose I could invite him to game, but he works on Sundays.