29 June 2010

Newsflash: Some women enjoy sports for sports sake.

There was a really great post on Jezebel today about female sports fans and the shit we sometimes have to put up with because we're women.

I guess I'm lucky because I've not had to deal with that shit too much in my life. But I can't say douchebags haven't tried to test me to find out whether I'm a "real" sports fan or not. For example, the guy I somehow got talking to when I was watching Minnesota-Mankato State hockey a few years ago. Something came up about the Timberwolves and I busted out some statistic and the guy was all impressed.

Not so impressed that he let it stand at that, however. He went on to quiz me and I went on to be totally fucking offended by his questions. He asked me who managed the Twins before current manager Ron Gardenhire. He asked me who coached the Gopher football team before Glen Mason. He asked me who coached the Gopher basketball team before Dan Monson, and when I very nearly lost my shit about that one, he asked who coached the team before Clem Haskins. I actually got the coach of the Wolves before Flip Saunders wrong, but that was because I'd forgotten about Sidney Lowe's brief tenure. I think. The thing was, he didn't even know I was wrong. Ass.

Apologies to non-Minnesotans and non-sports fans for that little bit. Believe me when I tell you: these questions were fucking insulting.

The worst part was, however, the guy eventually told me "If I was single, I'd be all over you right now," after this whole sports discussion. Of course, that plays into "liking sports to get a man" meme. UGH.

Fortunately, I've had a few men in my life who appreciated my love of sports. My best friend's dad, who was our high school wrestling coach was the first. He got us involved in a shitload of wrestling stuff. The football and basketball coaches appreciated my efforts as a statistician, which helped me learn even more about those sports. The ex-OC picked up on my sports interest really quickly and because of him, I've been playing fantasy football (and winning) for several years.

And of course, there is The Boy I Currently Like. He (seems to, anyway) respect and even value my opinions about sports. We spend hours watching and talking about sports. I can't tell you how awesome it is to have someone to watch all of my favorite sports with, much less have someone with whom I can talk about them. Even when we're not watching stuff together, we're watching them at the same time and I can e-mail him about something I saw on the Twins game and he'll know what I'm talking about. That's so awesome after the spate of guys I dated who were not at all into sports. How I found those fuckers is beyond me.


Clint said...

Well done. My girlfriend recently started getting into soccer, EPL then the World Cup. She knows the players, teams and how the game works. However, she wouldn't know managers, coaches or really any history of the teams and games. Which I think is great because she asks questions and that shows she is genuinely interested in learning about it.

Bottom line, you shouldn't have to be a quiz master of sports history to enjoy the game. If you truly dig a sport then its obvious to anyone who isn't a complete a-hole.

PS She is also a Minnesota girl and I've said this to a lot of people I've met; girls in Minnesota love and KNOW their sports. Unlike some of the Trixie Cubs fans we have here in Chicago.

Good post :-)

Jess said...

Thanks, man.

I, too, am getting into soccer, thanks to The Boy I Currently Like. I already understood the basics (thanks, Phy Ed!) and have watched past World Cups, but I am definitely paying more attention this year.

I'm lucky to have a lot of women friends who are into and knowledgeable about sports, but I also have that friend who would yap at me constantly about where Kirby Puckett was sitting or what Jimmy James's wife was now eating when we had partial Timberwovles season tickets. CAN'T YOU SEE I'M WATCHING THE GAME?

And it's always heartening to know there are plenty of men out there who accept and appreciate legitimate female sports fans.