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Sportsball, not to be confused with the Wii U video game of the same name, is an Internet slang term used to describe any competitive sport that revolves around a ball, particularly the ones that end with the suffix "-ball" in their names, such as baseball, basketball and football. As implied by its generic name, the word is typically used in a derogatory manner by those who either dislike or has little interest in sports fandom. In recent years, there has been some backlash to the term as outdated and cringeworthy.
While it's unclear where the term originally started, on March 3rd, 2007, Urban Dictionary  user Balcerzak submitted an entry for "Sportsball," defining the term as:
A generic term for any form of sport involving a ball, and especially those with "ball" in their name. Often derogatory.
On October 14th, 2009, Los Angeles-based filmmaker Peter Atencio posted a short sketch video titled "Sportsball" to his Vimeo channel, which features several individuals raving about the fictional sport in a workplace setting. On October 20th, the segment was aired as a segment on G4 Network's Web Soup (shown below).
Beginning in the early 2010s, a number of popular webcomic artists, including Vector Belly and xkcd,  published various illustrations poking fun at the predictable nature of sportscasters' commentaries and cliches associated with post-game press conferences. On September 3rd, 2013, The Oatmeal  posted a webcomic depicting a football fan chatting about his favorite team to a coworker who doesn't follow sports in general.
On February 14th, 2014, Threadless user LeviALarson submitted a raglan-sleeved jersey design titled "Varsity Sportsball" to the site (shown below). On July 29th, Vermont-based graphic designer Jory Raphael submitted a t-shirt design titled "Sportsball" to the online merchandising site Cotton Bureau.
On February 2nd, 2015, Redditor EzeSharp launched the subreddit /r/RealSportsball as an exclusive forum for sarcastic discussions of popular sports. On April 19th, Newgrounds  user CTincknell released a Flash-based scrolling arcade game titled "Sportsball." On August 15th, Rooster Teeth premiered a new sports-themed weekly web series titled "Sportsball" starring Joel Heyman, Jack Pattillo, Geoff Ramsey and former ESPN radio personality Tyler Coe (shown below).
Multiple websites have published articles mocking general sports events as "sportsball," including Wonkette and Buzzfeed.
As the 2010s went on, there was increased backlash against expressed the term "Sportsball" as a dated and cringeworthy way of attempting to express one's intellectual superiority for not being into sports. In the spring of 2017, Junkee and The New Yorker both published articles against "Sportsball." In The New Yorker's piece, titled "Smart Things I Have Done While You Were Watching Sportsball," author River Clegg satirically wrote:
Composed a funny Facebook post about how I just don’t understand sportsball. “Sportsball” is the clever term I use to denote whatever sport currently occupies the national psyche. See, it’s clever because it sounds self-deprecating at first--as though I’m someone who doesn’t fit in among the sports-loving masses. But it actually conveys my contempt for sports, which I consider not only frivolous but interchangeably so. Hence “sportsball,” an ingenious portmanteau that I can use to dismiss any sport as a pointless distraction. Except for hockey, since they use a puck for that.
On September 18th, 2019, The Hard Times  posted a satirical article titled, "I Actually Do Play Sportsball and My Team Did Score the Most Goal Baskets and Your Comments Offended Me."
On social media, users began deriding the term, particularly as a way to counter "sportsball" posts when major sporting events were happening. On February 7th, 2020, the day of Super Bowl LV, Twitter user @mcmansionhell wrote, "If you still call any sport “sportsball,” I hate you. this isn’t le 2012 Reddit," gaining over 900 retweets and 15,000 likes (shown below, left). The same day, user @ShammyTV posted a Joker parody of a person who uses "Sportsball," gaining over 200 retweets and 1,700 likes (shown below, right).
 Urban Dictionary – Definition for 'Sportsball'
 Rooster Teeth – Sportsball
 Cotton Bureau – Sportsball
 XKCD – Super Bowl
 Imgur – Sportsball
 BuzzFeed – This Is Why Sportsball Is Your New Favourite Sport
 Reddit – /r/RealSportsball
 Threadless – Varsity Sportsball
 The Scruffy Robe – Sportsball
 YouTube – Rooster Teeth's Sportsball
 Newgrounds – Sportsball World Cup
 Wonkette – Sportsball Year In Review: It Was Mostly Awful!
 The Oatmeal – Go Piggers!
 Vector Belly – Sports Interview
 Vimeo – Sportsball
 Junkee – RIP “Sportsball” Let’s Quit Talking Down To People For Loving Sport
 The New Yorker – Smart Things I Have Done While You Were Watching Sportsball
 Twitter – @mcmansionhell
 The Hard Times – I Actually Do Play Sportsball and My Team Did Score the Most Goal Baskets and Your Comments Offended Me
Nov 02, 2015 at 07:20PM EST
Feb 10, 2021 at 07:25PM EST
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