Monday, April 03, 2006

Stop underappreciating female sports fans!

My friend Drew told me an anecdote while I was watching the Pirates blow their 2-1 lead against the Brewers. His girlfriend attends Pitt and was talking with a girl who unfortunately could not miss class to attend the Pirates' home opener a week from today. Directly after this a guy asked Drew's girl what a "Pirates' opener" was. To be honest, I wasn't that shocked. There are a lot of girls that know a lot about sports, and some know more than their guy friends.

Guys generally want their female companions to be interested in sports. That way, when they want to watch a game they won't have to be resigned to watching Grey's Anatomy, or Trading Spaces, or anything from the Lifetime channel. If you build a female's liking for sports, it's a bonus for both of you. It's something in common, plus you can get away with watching some more sports than you would otherwise (except the WNBA, of course).

To summarize...

Beer ads display a sports utopia

What's better than watching a game on your hi-def plasma TV with 9 of your closest and most diverse friends while splitting a case of Busch? Watching that game with 4 or 5 scantily clad (but always team oriented wear) model quality females with maybe some eye black or face paint for good measure. And in these ads, there are no "stupid questions" that guys fear, and there's no hassling to do yard work or whatever stereotype you want to put there instead. There is an inherent understanding that the sports are good and bring people together, and that the girls in the ad probably could beat you at fantasy football or at least outdrink most of your friends.

But I'm calling it utopia because it's unattainable. It's unattainable for a reason, and it's a bad one: guys have such a stupid ego about girls knowing too much about sports.

So let me get this straight...

As a guy, you want your girl to know stuff about sports. You want this girl to know that batting average is actually calculated as a percent, and the higher percent the better. You want her to know that a triple double is not a new appetizer platter at Applebee's, and that a lefty specialist isn't some sick self-pleasure reference.

But there's a ridiculous and thin line here. When she finally stops asking you how to calculate an ERA and figures out the intracacies of the NHL point system, the pinnacle has been reached. The girl has learned enough that she can hold her own in discussion or at least saying stupid things like "Peyton Manning is a clutch quarterback." At this point, guys still have girls at a subordinate state because they don't know everything.

And now the downfall

If your female companion knows more about you than sports, this is completely acceptable. Maybe she corrects you that Mark Buehrle only won 16 games last season, or that Earl Morrall started Super Bowl III, not Johnny Unitas. I don't know how this isn't a good thing. I've read a lot of stuff about male sports fans feeling threatened by their wives/girlfriends intense sports knowledge and passion. While the burning hatred my girlfriend (a Buffalo Bills fan) harbors for Drew Bledsoe does sometimes scare me, I would never feel threatened if she corrected me on Bills trivia. Guys need to just get over themselves.

What to do if your girl knows more than you

1) You could admit that maybe you're just a casual sports fan, and that's alright too. After all, you have a wife, and you doubt that guy on Stump the Schwab gets a whole lot of play from naming the Vezina Trophy winners of the last 35 years.

2) You could stop seeing this girl and start the process with a new girl, and have to answer those "annoying" questions all over again.

3) Whine like a little girl because your buddies chastize you... and forget that they probably watched "A Walk To Remember" for the 14th time the other night, and made you text him the score of the game he wasn't watching.

Personally, I'd pick number one.

So as someone that knows a few passionate girl sports fans that don't get the respect they deserve, take a chance on them. Maybe you'll actually listen to their conversation, someone they know might have season tickets... and besides, that one sports knowledgable chick on The Drew Carey Show was kinda hot.


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