A few words on dating and sports.

I like sports.

If you know me, or know anything about me, you know that. You know I live and die by the movement of a hockey puck and that I think there are few things as unsexy as a Baltimore Ravens jersey. Most girls’ impulse buys consist of shoes or lipstick or handbags. This afternoon I spontaneously purchased a Brooks Orpik tee-shirt. (BECAUSE EVERYONE ELSE IS HURT ARRRRGGGHHHHH. Ok, that’s out. Moving on.)

My friends like sports. I spent Sunday afternoon, like most Sunday afternoons in winter, watching my beloved Steelers with several girlfriends. Sitting there, watching us eat chips and drink and yell at Ike Taylor, I thought, hey, single men of New York. There are four eligible, awesome girls watching football on the Upper East Side. Why the hell aren’t you here with us?

When I watch football with my friends, I don’t discuss how tight the players’ pants are but the merits (or lack thereof) of William Gay. I do fantasy football and hockey. I own entirely too many Penguins shirts. I even like going to Pirates games, even though they’re usually painful. And yeah, my fantasy football draft is a wine-induced shit show, and yeah, I find a lot of athletes attractive, as evidenced by this list, but I love them first and foremost for their athletic abilities. (Trust me, I wouldn’t be in love with Brooks Orpik if he wasn’t one hell of a hockey player. Put him in a suit working at a bank and he’s just that big guy with the crazy eyes.)

So I think my friends and I are decent catches, right? I think we, as women who are completely happy wasting away an entire day watching football, should be appealing to most men. We’re not going to nag them about why they’re watching the game. We’re not going to drag them to the mall on a Sunday and make them hold our bags. A friend of mine actually walked away from a guy at the bar once because he didn’t like sports. You’d think we’d have men breaking down our doors, right?

Not so much.

Not to say some of us haven’t had some success. I have several sports-crazed girlfriends who are dating or married to wonderful, sports-crazed guys. But I’m starting to wonder about this… Forgive me if I sound a bit Carrie Bradshaw here, but do guys really want a girl who likes sports? Or do they like to keep sports in their own domain? Would they actually prefer a girl who nags them about watching sports to one that will actually challenge him on them?

My theory – and God, I hope it’s wrong – is that men will say it’s awesome that we ladies like sports, but in reality they’re threatened by it. They actually want the dopey little girl who doesn’t understand how many downs a football team gets, who wears the stupid pink jerseys because she’s trying to impress her man, and only pretends to care to get his attention. The girls who like and know and can argue sports get placed firmly in the friend zone, and once you’re there, it’s impossible to get out.

Guys don’t want to be challenged. They don’t want to have the argument over whether Crosby or Ovechkin is a better hockey player with someone who actually knows what they’re talking about, because they don’t want to lose. They want to feel like they know everything there is to know about the game they’re watching, and they don’t want to be told they’re wrong. I’ve seen this in action. I’ve seen a guy try to explain hockey rules to his lady friend and not say a single accurate thing. I’ve been told that girls should only wear form-fitting sports gear, because a big, baggy jersey isn’t cute. You know what I say to that? That my Sidney Crosby jersey comes down to my knees, it hasn’t been washed since 2008, and I feel sexier wearing that than anything else, because that’s when I’m happiest.

I hope there’s a guy out there who appreciates me – and my friends – for the sports crazed people we are. I hope there are men who are turned on, not intimidated, by me screaming “EFF YOU TEBOW” at my television. I hope there’s a guy out there who will have hours-long arguments with me trying to convince me that basketball is more exciting than hockey. I’m just not sure there is, though. My ex didn’t leave me for a carbon clone of myself, he left me for the polar opposite, someone who couldn’t tell you if a puck is pumped or stuffed. And there’s a reason there’s a multi-million dollar industry now selling thousands upon thousands of pink jerseys.

Prove me wrong, guys. Tell me I’m full of crap and that your woman loves sports and all your friends are looking for someone who does. Or, if you have the balls, tell me that I’m right, and that unfortunately I have to compete with the high ponytailed bitches that block my view of the TV on Sundays. If that’s the case, then I give up. I’ll be in the back table, with the table full of beers and wings and my friends, yelling at Ike Taylor.

 

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5 thoughts on “A few words on dating and sports.

  1. I’m pretty sure Bri likes sports. She tolerates weekly pilgrimages to a friend’s house to watch the Steelers, she seems to really enjoy watching hockey, and weirdly she directs the watching of professional wrestling (whether or not that’s a sport is a discussion for another day). To me, she sparkles like a diamond in the night, but I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t be incredibly pleased if she wrote something quite like this blog post. The male-to-female ratio when we all get together for Sunday Ticket is approximately 1-1. In other words, I don’t know what’s wrong with the men around you, but they have serious problems, and you should ignore them except when mocking them.

  2. I do like to think that men like women who enjoy sports. My last “date” was literally me and the guy sitting around watching playoff football and eating pizza. This was quality enjoyment for both of us.

    However, I think the truth that you touched here was that men don’t like to be challenged in their relationships. As a general rule. I used to think that men wanted someone who was their intellectual equal. But the older I get, I’m skeptical. And research and statistics seem to reinforce that educated women are remaining single. For a variety of reasons. But this is one of them.

    My ex left me for a long list of reasons. But I think the underlining reason was intimidation of my education, my career, and my aspirations. He always had to be right and did not like it one bit when I tried to argue. Now, how I started to avoid arguments all together is a whole separate post.

    Despite all of this. I do think there are men out there who would love to be with sports-loving, educated, successful women. See RJ, for example. The trick is finding them single and available. And we know how hard that is.

    Love this post.

  3. I’ve had this very thought process many times. I, too, really dig sports and am passionately obsessed with the NFL (fav team – Packers!) but feel like my love of sport is more of a turn-off for men than a turn-on, that I would not be welcomed in the man cave on Sundays. It shouldn’t be this hard to find someone to cozy up with on the couch while watching football and downing a few beers, should it? Apparently it is, no matter where I’ve lived (grew up in Wisconsin, spent a few years in DC, now in Portland, Oregon)…

    I’m glad you have a group of friends to watch and cheer with anyway! That sounds like a blast.

    Well written post! Thank you for throwing this issue out into the universe…

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