As my favorite season continues in all of its pumpkin-spice-filled glory, I find myself being drawn to one of my year-round favorite places more than ever: the sports bar.
Sports bars are great because not only can you drink beer, eat wings and scream at the TV, you can do so at 2 pm on a Sunday and it’s completely acceptable.
However, I’ve noticed that while sports bars can be the ultimate spot for women with crowds of men and $2 drafts, they can also be incredibly irritating. Here are some of the pros and cons I’ve found as a woman in a sports bar:
Pro: Being hit on
If you’re single, sports bars can be the ultimate place to pick up guys. You can be a welcome cheerleader by rooting for the same team during the good, or a nice distraction with a tight-fitting jersey during the bad.
Needless to say, just being there will get you at least a few head turns, which is always a nice boost for the ego.
Plus, if you can talk fantasy football (or, as I like to call it, the “male panty-dropper”), you’ll have guys lining up to hear how many yards your wide receiver scored last week.
Con: Being hit on
If you’re not single, or just want to watch a game in peace, this can be the worst place in the world. Not only can you be relentlessly hit on, but also, most of the guys who try to hit on you fail epically.
Whatever guy said, “You know what women love? When you make fun of something they love,” should be beaten upside the head. If my team is doing poorly, I’m well aware of that and rubbing it in my face does not arouse me.
I came here to watch a game, not play weird guy mind games. If you’re not getting "the vibe" back, move along; this is a bar, not a speed dating event.
Pro: Being ignored
The fact is, most people won’t even notice you’re there because their eyes are fixated on the screen(s), which I quite enjoy. Most people go to sports bars to watch sports, as opposed to other bars where it feels like people are there just to make you feel uncomfortable.
At a sports bar, there’s rarely a dude wearing a cut off shirt that says, “SWAG,” creeping on you in the corner. There's no judgmental group of girls staring you down for wearing snow boots in a bar and no one awkwardly looking at you until you realize your face is covered in wing sauce. It’s glorious.
Con: Being ignored
For the ladies who’ve come to scout out the cutest Giants fan or hottest Rangers obsessor, sports bars are great places to find guys… most of the time. There are also times when guys wouldn’t notice you even if you were standing on the top of the bar naked -- and those times are the playoffs.
Word to the wise: If you’re going to a sports bar to engage in the sport of man hunting, do your research and don’t show up during a playoff game.
Pro: Acceptable place to yell obscenities
I must admit, I tend to have the mouth of a sailor from time to time, especially when alcohol is involved. When I’m overly passionate (or extremely frustrated) about something, it becomes hard to control the words that come out of my mouth.
This is problematic in places like work, grocery stores or anywhere near children, as it is not ladylike or appropriate. But, is it a problem at sports bars? No sir.
There are no distasteful looks when a woman yells that a referee is blowing the game (pun intended), or when she tells a rival team’s quarterback to insert himself inside… himself.
Con: Fellow patron sexism
There are some misogynists out there who don’t believe women can enjoy the same activities or passions as men. They also seem to have no problem sharing their dated views with the women around them.
I was once watching a game when some dude turned to me and said, “You don’t understand a thing do you, sweetie?” I don’t have enough time (or space) to explain how much I wanted to punch him in the face. But, sadly, it’s not the first time I’ve heard such allocations in a sports bar.
It can be a wild place, full of good times (wings, beer and pick-sixes) and bad times (sexist morons and no draft specials). But, whatever the case, sports bars remain on my list of favorite places and should be for all sports-loving ladies.