Home Culture Sociology Breaking: Nerd guy rejected by total jerk

Breaking: Nerd guy rejected by total jerk


In the interests of equal time to our male readers, we’d like to point out this story where a female Gizmodo writer did not feel comfortable dating Magic the Gathering World Champion Jon Finkel after she met him via OK Cupid:

We met for a drink later that week. Jon was thin and tall, dressed in a hedge fund uniform with pale skin and pierced ears. We started talking about normal stuff—family, work, college. I told him my brother was a gamer.

And then he casually mentioned that he played Magic: The Gathering when he was younger. “Actually,” he paused. “I’m the world champion.” I laughed.

Oh that’s a funny joke! I thought. This guy is funny! But the earnest look on his face told me he wasn’t kidding.

It goes downhill from there.

Now, while we feel that taking a female date to see a play about serial killer/cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer on a first social outing is not exactly a cute and cuddly gesture — but it will definitely separate the wheat from the chaff. You know what you’re getting into. Speaking as someone whose idea of light entertainment is a SNAPPED! marathon, it wouldn’t faze us, but YMMV.

Our guess is that writer Alyssa Bereznak realized from this and other subtle signs that Mr. Finkel was not for her. But the way she blamed MTG SOLELY for the rejection — and put down someone who has achieved a lot in his hobby — irked many other people who write on the internet:
Then what really caught our attention was when she began to identify her date with links to his Wikipedia page and a YouTube video. (No. We will not be reposting those links.) For all we know his anonymous OKCupid dating life just became public to a major tech audience.

This story rubbed us the wrong way. It’s already bad enough to expose your quirks to another person that you’re attempting to date. Being vulnerable to a stranger is hard. Add to that, the anxiety of knowing that your identity could be exposed to tens of thousands of online readers. Why bother?

Writer Steve Marmel delivers a withering diss to Bereznak:

However, here’s you, openly mocking somebody who is the best in the world at something. Let me repeat that, because it’s important.


Are you the best at the world at anything? I’m not. There are things I’m good at, things I hope I’m great at, things I hope I can be better at… but best in the world? No.

The writer of this piece is so vapid – so sure the stuff she’s nerdy about makes her cooler than the stuff this other person is nerdy about – that it’s okay to piss all over an ACTUAL PERSON who made the mistake of being kind to her on an online dating site.

Marmel surely speaks for a lot of male nerds who feel they are being judged by girls posing as “nerds” by claiming they like Star Wars or use a data phone. While true girl nerds — FRODO LIVES! — are still struggling to get a plaque in the Batcave, we don’t need these judgmental poseurs muddying the waters.

Finkel — who is so well known that he has his own Magic card — has surely parlayed this rejection into a lot of dates. That’s how things work on the internet, and he’s actually not a bad looking guy. So no one has really been hurt here. But surely Ms. Bereznak has learned that maybe a gadget blog called Gizmodo is not the place to make a blanket condemnation of Magic: the Gathering.

UPDATE I: Oh here’s a montage of Finkel in action, so you can see what you’re getting. Montage, montage, we’re headin’ for a montage….

UPDATE II: Oh yeah, I think Finkel is making out just fine, posting pictures of his cute cat, quoting Shakespeare on his Twitter and getting called hot by Felicia Day.

Id like to thank everyone for their messages, and Im sorry I cant reply to them all – especially all the date requests from cute nerdy girls


  1. It sure is tough, opening up your less-widely-accepted quirks to someone you’re hoping to pursue a relationship with. Luckily I’m married now and don’t have to worry about it, but there came a point with every girl where I’d have to bring up my room full of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ephemera.

    It goes real quick from “Aww that’s cute! I remember that show” to “Jeezus this guy is a freak.” (Actually that last comment is from my wife.) …But that guy’s a WORLD CHAMPION and will surely bounce back.

  2. This brings up memories. I remember being scared to tell my girlfriend (now my wife) about my comic books (this was almost 30 years ago — comics were not remotely mainstream, hence my trepidation). She couldn’t have cared less. I’m sure this guy can find someone less judgmental.

  3. Considering that the article gathered over half a million hits in less than a day, I wouldn’t be surprised if the intern who wrote that article got shot to the top of Gawker’s hiring shortlist. Lesson learned!

  4. The article was all about Bereznak’s preconceptions. She didn’t actually trouble to find out what Finkel is actually like. She just assumed we would all think she’s ever-so cool for laughing at something that’s widely perceived as a geeky hobby. She deserves the kind of guys who actually will date her.

  5. What’s a “hedge fund uniform?” A suit? Business casual? That’s the first sign this woman was not into this guy – subtly insulting him for dressing nice.

  6. If she didn’t like him, fine. You can’t like everyone you go out with. But to put him on blast like that afterward is way and beyond wrong.

  7. I posted this on Gizmodo in response to her post:

    Counter-story to the fear-mongering of this story:

    I’m excessively charming, but a bit nervous and I’ve helped Games Workshop test Warhammer 40,000 books for a number of years. I was so involved with one that I wrote some of the background snippets. (My name is in the front of that one) I love the game, I love the background and my army is on display in my living room.

    My now-fiance thought this was charming and cute that I had the dedication to put towards something that didn’t actually give me anything back. This could also be because she was a world-champion Guitar Hero player and has met Slash, Bill Gate and Gene Simmons.*

    Still, this comes off as the worst kind of hypocrisy. You write about gadgets for a blog, a successful one at that, but still, you’re writing about a niche. Gadget-nerds are the most socially acceptable nerds but they seem to have lost a lot of sympathy for other kinds of nerds.

    Also, why is it that every girl writer who writes about online-dating has to call it “an experiment” like it’s an excuse. Grow up and say what it is – you’ve exhausted your local, obvious, supply for whatever reason and are branching out, there’s nothing to be ashamed of.

    *This is an entirely true story, we’re getting married next year. We also met on OkCupid!

  8. There is a great book about Jon Finkel available on Amazon called: Jonny Magic and the Card Shark Kids: How a Gang of Geeks Beat the Odds and Stormed Las Vegas. It follow the young smart nerdy kid and his rise to Magic: The Gathering World Champion and his many successes in Vegas and sports betting as well.

  9. So I followed her advice in the article and Googled away. That’s the Gizmodo intern. NYU grad student and no break between undergrad and grad by the looks of the LinkedIn.

    And suddenly “consider the source” comes into focus.

  10. I have to agree with her conclusion.

    “So what did I learn? Google the shit out of your next online date. Like, hardcore.”

    Because you’d certainly want to know if your date is the kind of person who writes judgmental public articles about her personal life.

  11. lol, I didnt broadcast to any of my girlfriends that I collected comics.

    My current wife found out (did not hide it at all, bought them in her company) and couldnt care less. One night while watching an early episode of The Big Bang Theory (her first episode) after the gang went on and on about comics, my wife glanced over and said “hey, they sound nerdy like you”

  12. This woman is so disgusting. she just set the cause of women in comics/nerdom back by another 10 years.

    And in all seriousness what the hell is a hedge fund uniform? Does that mean he tried to look nice and put on a tie?

    God this lady is horrible.

  13. This is why I am soooooo happy to be married, to my wife, who at met at COMIC CON. The funny thing is, I bet she tells anyone who will listen, including herself, how tolerant and open minded she is.

  14. Ms. Bereznak is getting reamed on quick-meme, if it makes ya feel any better. Something like 25 pages of them. Making fun of her droopy/lazy eye seems to be a common theme of them.

    My favorite so far is one that sez the last guy who banged her actually started a charity in SUPPORT of female circumcision.


  15. There are plenty of beautiful, intelligent females who are attracted to nerdy guys, as long as they’re attractive and make a good living off their “nerdyness”, like the very nerdy Geo-Physicist I dated years ago. He was also a member of MENSA & a bit over my head & not as much of a party person as me, at the time, so it didn’t work out.

    This guy here is attractive but would look a lot better if he grew his hair out a little. Don’t let the psycho bitches get to you. You’re a LOT better off without her:)

Comments are closed.

Exit mobile version