10 Struggles Every Sports-Loving Woman Knows To Be True
The world of sports is a magical one: the athleticism, the camaraderie and the drama.
It is one of the few things (alongside music and film) that allows people to put aside their political, cultural and religious differences and come together.
Some of my greatest friendships were born from a shared love for a great team and some of my most treasured memories are the who, what, where and when associated with some real sporting spectacles.
But, as with everything in life, the positives must be balanced out by some negatives. And, let me tell you something: Being a 20-something female sports fanatic can be exhausting.
Between the assumptions that we’re only in it to impress guys and the blatant stares we’re met with upon entering a bar before a big game, I’m surprised we haven’t all just retreated into the comfort of our living rooms to stay for all eternity.
So, with this in mind, I decided to compile a list of 10 times I wish I wasn’t such an avid sports fan — because we’ve all been there.
Maybe you’ll think this list a load of rubbish, or maybe you can relate to it. I hope it will make you think twice the next time you judge that girl walking down the street in a Nets hoodie.
So, here are the 10 times I wish I loved sports less:
1. When your favorite team makes the final
It’s safe to say most people have experienced this at least once in their lives. (If you haven’t, I apologize. Your time will come.)
Your favorite team had an absolutely stellar season and has made the final. Suddenly, they’re also everyone else’s favorite team. You’re perplexed.
You’ve never even heard Jim from Account Management mention them before, and all of a sudden, he’s covering his bald spot with a cap featuring your team’s branding.
People then assume you, too, are a bandwagoner, leading to many defensive conversations with friends, family and the guy making your coffee who assumes he, too, has the right to quiz you on your entire sporting history.
2. When people assume you’re just trying to impress the guys at the bar
Oh, so because I’m a female sitting in a predominantly male sports bar, I’m desperate and looking for someone to give me a little attention, right?
No, that’s not what I want at all. Chances are, I’m only here because I don’t have a functioning TV and don’t want to be the sad person sitting by her laptop, following a CNN live feed.
I want to sit here and enjoy the game. If you want to talk to me, you can come say hello at halftime or following the post-match interviews.
3. When an international test is held in your backyard
There are few feelings more wonderful than the rush of excitement that comes over you when you learn an international test match will take place in your city.
This excitement, however, can all too often come crashing down the moment you inquire about the price of tickets.
Sure, you can save $100 when you’ve been given three months notice, but if you’re required to purchase that bad boy day of, you may as well head straight for the Ben & Jerry’s instead.
4. When I realized it requires excellent time management skills
Living in the Southern Hemisphere and juggling Northern Hemisphere sports alongside work and college can be an absolute nightmare.
This problem crops up for everyone. There will always be some kind of time zone issue that arises when a game isn't played on your home turf.
When Sunday Night Football becomes Midday Monday Football, you’ve got a whole other situation on your hands.
If I drag myself out of bed for a 2 am game, you know the team holds a very special place in my heart.
5. When I realized my athletic ability will never even come close to the players on TV
I figured out pretty early on team sports weren’t for me. I’m not terrible, but it certainly doesn’t come naturally for me.
For the most part, I’ve come to terms with the fact I will never be a champion triathlete or make the national women’s cricket team. But, every now and then, I wonder if maybe I'd put in a little more effort, I might have made it.
Then, I remember I am one of those "creative" types who is an A+ public speaker and all seems well again.
I’ll just be the PR kid waiting on the sidelines to pick up the pieces when a player's dirty laundry gets hung out to dry.
6. When I spent my rent money on team merchandise
Being the fashion bunny I am, I find it ironic how easily I get lured in by the unflattering team kit.
Marketing 101 taught me I only want the merchandise because I want to feel a part of the team. I want to be a valued member of the fandom.
Despite my total awareness of aforementioned marketing ploys, I still lust after the jerseys I’ll only wear a handful of times a year, the synthetic scarves and the training shorts clearly made for men and do nothing for a woman’s booty.
The pride one feels while suited up in the appropriate garb on game day is priceless (but, not really because that sh*t is expensive).
7. When my girlfriends wanted to watch "Legally Blonde," and I just wanted to watch Friday Night Football
Don’t get me wrong; I have plenty of female friends who like sports, but I would only classify a handful of them as being on my level.
When a big sporting event comes along that none of my close gal pals are into, I find myself scrambling for any Tom, Dick or Harry to watch it with in order to avoid being left alone at the bar.
This has led to some wonderful times over the years, but it has also led to some creepy old guys taking it upon themselves to keep me company and refusing to leave my side until I call it a night.
8. Whenever I remember I will never be a WAG
As a feminist, this one kills me, but I honestly can’t help it. Sportspeople just make women so goddamn thirsty.
I'll equate my fascination with WAG-life (Wives and Girlfriends) with my undying love for Posh Spice. Growing up, all I wanted was to be just like her.
She had it all: She was glamorous, poised, intelligent and talented, all while being with the world's most lusted-after athlete.
I know it’s for silly, superficial reasons, but there’s just something so appealing about sitting with the other WAGs in the corporate box, rocking some sick-ass designer shades and cheering on our boys.
I’ll meet you one day, Gisele, just you wait.
9. When I realized I read more sports news than any other genre
As a political science major, this one weighs on my conscience. The fact that I read more about Julian Edelman’s off-season than I do about Vladimir Putin terrifies me.
With digital media making it easier than ever for us to fine-tune our news consumption, a lot of us are trading in the international news pages for the entertainment and sporting ones.
I find myself having to leave reminders on my desk to check in on the global headlines each day in order to avoid disconnecting myself from the real goings-on in the world.
If I wasn’t so obsessed with being painfully up-to-date with the sporting world, I might be better informed on other matters of global importance.
10. Because gender stereotyping
This list simply wouldn’t be complete without this doozy. The unnecessary and downright offensive conversations that arise from sports-related stereotyping drive me mad.
If I have to listen to one more person tell me I’m just “doing it for the D,” or assume that because I have a vagina, I am incapable of understanding basic rules and strategies, I will castrate him.
Women have just as much right to sit in a sports bar, drink a beer and talk sports as any other man.
For the most part, I find myself welcomed into such situations, but there will always be one person whose small-minded brain simply cannot comprehend the fact that a woman could be useful for anything other than spending money, cooking and cleaning.
It’s 2015. Women like sports. In fact, many of us would go so far as to say we love sports, so suck it up and get over yourself. ‘Nuff said.