What It Feels Like for a Girl

One of the things that we all love about this site, both as writers and readers, is that it’s a place where we can all feel normal as sports fans. We can talk about batting averages and winning percentages and goals and who will beat who, and no one will look at us funny. We need this place because quite often, female sports fans are seen as freaks, pretenders or unfeminine, when none of the above is true.

Mommy, do you think that the Bulls should pick Derrick Rose or Michael Beasley?

Our experiences are all very different, but they share one common idea – that too many people see female sport fans as freaks of nature. Some morons have even said that we would make bad dates. Read on to find out what it’s like for us sports fans who happen to have breasts.

Lady Andrea, A Really Big Shoooooow

Being a girl who enjoys and knows a lot about sports often has me feeling like a guest-star on the Ed Sullivan Show. “She juggles! She spins plates! She knows Ryan Ludwick’s OPS!” It’s not offensive, per se. Sometimes, as was the case with a guy at my firm last summer, it’s downright cute. He was just so impressed by my baseball knowledge that it delighted him to sort-of “quiz” me. But he never made me feel bad or stupid or like a freak and that is KEY. He actually managed to convey his fascination in such a way that it felt like a big, fuzzy compliment to me. I appreciated that. Guys who are threatened by women who know sports? Can bite me.

Chitown Chick Knows what a single leg is, thank you very much

I was at a bar watching some fight, yelling along with all the other, mostly male patrons. “That’s a weak single leg! It’s getting you nowhere!” I yelled. A man turned around and stared at me as if I had just grown a third eye. I ignored him, and continued watching the fight. When I yelled again, he came over to my table and said “You don’t know what a single leg is.” I was shocked by his straightforward idiocy, resisted my urge to show him what a single leg is, and said,”Yes, I do. Can I keep watching the fight?” He said “How does a girl know that?” I answered that my womanhood didn’t keep me from understanding MMA, and how the hell does he know what a single leg is? He felt so stupid that he bought me a beer. In the end, it worked out, but the annoying thing is that this was not the first, nor will it probably be the last, time that I have had to prove myself as an MMA and amateur wrestling fan.

Miss Minda can teach you a thing or two

I don’t want to get some kind of martyr complex here, because sports are not truly that important, but…it isn’t easy being a woman and a sports fan. My whole life’s experience as a female sports fan can pretty much be summed up in one short conversation I had with some boneheaded guys last summer during an Omaha Royals baseball game. These two teenage guys were loitering near the O-Royals dugout, with handfuls of memorbilia. Conversationally, I asked them whose autographs they were after. One said, “I’m looking for Luke Hochevar, but I’ll bet you don’t even know who that is.” Really, guy? You think I don’t know MY team’s number one freaking draft pick? You think I don’t know who he is, what he throws, what his record is, and what projections are for him? Why, little guy, would you assume something like that? Oh, right. The lack of dangly parts. Well get over it. I am a woman, but I am a sports fan too, and a damn good one. Sure, I like to ogle asses, calves, forearms, and eyeblack, but I also like to ogle OBP, ERA+, VORP, WARP, and anything else in those complicated-looking tables in books the size of dictionaries.

Cinnamon Girl Can Blog On Her Own With The Big-Boys

I spent some time thinking about what to include in this post. I must admit, since few know of my real interest in sports, offensive incidents rarely happen. And even when they do, I’m inclined to roll with it. But then, just this past weekend, I experienced the perfect example. I was at a Memorial Day party with my husband, Weed Against Speed from Melt Your Face Off. I was discussing with his family how we each write for sports blogs. I said something to the effect of, “He’s writing for a hockey blog, and mine is about all sports by ladies.” The response from the quasi-relative who shall remain nameless, was: “So you just copy his stuff, then?” As I said, perfect example.

Mistress Christina can throw down when necessary

Gives me things to talk about to boys I don’t know very well (I have found it to be an excellent flirting technique. It also excludes most other female competition from the convo). Most of my best male friends became such via sports bonding. I’m quite frequently the only girl who can contribute (or is even interested) in an in depth sports conversation. The most annoying thing is that I really like going to sporting events but it’s hard to find girl friends who are willing to go with me. Stupid law students. And then guys sometimes think its weird going to a sporting event alone with a girl. It’s not a date, homeboy, I just need someone to come with me so I’m not sitting by myself and there is someone to talk to at half time! I would say that is the most frustrating thing. I also wanted to go to some Carolina Hurricanes games this year and had the same problem. I couldn’t get any girls to agree to come with me, and I think the guy friends that I asked if they wanted to go, felt like I was asking them out. I really haven’t had any problems with people giving me a hard time about being a girl sports fan. I have a pretty good memory for numbers and stats so I can throw down when necessary. After I pwnd a few people on things like points per game, average playing time, shot percentages, along with the players heights, ages and weights, they tend to give me the respect I am due!

La. M Alana is in it for more than the hot guys – though she doesn’t mind them, either!

I rarely talk about basketball – the one sport I really love – with acquaintances, particularly male ones. People are invariably shocked when they learn that I love basketball; this probably has less to do with the fact that I’m female, and more to do with the fact that I’m minuscule, deadpan, and use unnecessarily large words when I’m insulting someone (which is often). It’s somehow too difficult to understand that someone small, book-smart, beskirted, and female could like sports, particularly basketball. Most people manage to come to the same conclusion: a girl that doesn’t play basketball must like it for one reason and one reason only – the hot tall black guys. Now, don’t get me wrong. I like the hot black guys, and the hot guys in general, as much as the next mostly heterosexual female. But when a stranger assumes that I am that brainless, then, well. It’s a good way to ensure that our friendship goes no further. This was made clear to me a couple of years ago, when I was having a conversation with a group of friends about the league – trades, specifically, and tradebait. Now, I may not know the game of basketball itself as well as some, but I know my teams. I know the players, what they’re good at, what they’re bad at, what their averages are, how they play, how they defend. Yes, I told them, AI would probably get traded to Denver, because Denver desperately needed a change and Philly was going nowhere. And then he and Melo could have dueling hairstylists. One young man on the edges of this conversation, an acquaintance that I thankfully haven’t talked to since, simply couldn’t reconcile me and my appearance – small, female, etc. – with what I was saying. “So,” he said, “Do you, like, just have a thing for black guys, or something?”

Dame Ain’t Taking Yo’ Sh….

It’s the FIFA U20s in Toronto and a few Gambian players have just come out of their dressing room to head out onto the pitch for warm-up. They’re mulling around in the tunnel near the medical room which I’m standing outside of. I remember it was a double header that day – another match had just finished up and the crew were just standing around waiting for the next game to start. I was checking the match schedule – I don’t remember what I was doing, to be honest – when I heard a “EYYY… EYYY” coming from where the boys were standing. I look up – a Gambian player. “OOOH… Hi!” – Another Gambian dude. Brilliant, I’m being cat-called by a bunch of teenaged boys at my job. That sort of thing happened not only once but twice that month. My supervisor was there on both occasions and didn’t seems to give a rat’s. I also had one very clever security man look at my ID once and say, “Oh, medical services. So, if I pass out are you going to give me mouth to mouth?” Try fist to mouth.

Miss Minda sums up our feelings best with: It’s hard to avoid getting angry when confronted with idiots who think having breasts precludes me from also having sports knowledge. It’s probably not worth getting mad over, but it’s certainly annoying, and will probably not go away anytime soon. There will always be buffoons who think women like us are a threat to their masculinity. But there are also tons of cool guys out there who welcome us to their tailgate parties, and who know they can bitch to us about that how that one hot-hitting infielder or lights-out reliever never gets the chance he deserves in the Bigs, and we will get it. I’m not planning on letting the few idiots ruin my fun.

64 thoughts on “What It Feels Like for a Girl

  1. Well-said, Ladies.

    I read the Baseball Prospectus cover-to-cover every year, and every year, a man asks me what I’m reading. That’d be fine, but then they always follow it up with, “Why?” And the answer, “Because I’m a really big baseball fan” never placates.

    It makes me a little stabby. Just like not being invited into the NCAA pool here at work made me a little stabby my first year. My second year, I sussed out who organized the thing and invited myself. “Oh, we didn’t figure you’d want to play. We don’t usually invite the girls.” First, I am almost 30 damn years old, and I’m the youngest person in the office, so let’s go with “women,” and second, why the hell not? Afraid you’ll lose? Think that we don’t understand the super-coolness of the event?

    Wow, now I’m stabby all over again. That was a lot of jibber-jabber to say, “I agree.”

  2. Word ladies, word. You wanna freak a guy out, say “that’s an infield fly” before the tv announcer does.

    But in my office, the guys treat me no differently, and I love them for that. I actually spend a lot of time talking one of them about sports, mostly hockey.

    My sis was keeping score at a Trenton Thunder game once, and she had to go to the bathroom (we’re girls afterall, it’s what we do!) So she gives the scorecard to her friend next to her (a guy) and he’s like, what’s a backwards “K” mean?

  3. That article doesn’t surprise me at all, he’s a man and sometimes men are stupid. But as huge sports fan and a very articulate one, I was greatly offended. No woman should touch Den Cotton with a ten-foot pole. He’s obviously got some insecurity issues. I’ve never had a guy to tell me something like this. If you ask me some guys can really take note from some Ladies like us. I don’t know if this Mr. Cotton wrote this out of satire or if he really does think like this.

  4. Not sure if the article’s tongue in cheek, but it’s always fun to surprise people. A couple of weeks ago some girlfriends and I went to watch the Twins play the Red Sox–for much of the game we engaged in a game of Twins v. Red Sox Hot or Not, and I could tell the guy in front of us was getting irritated. But then we were able to rattle off some information about Sean Casey, and we got the “Wow!” look. Always makes my day.

  5. I haven’t had a problem with most guys my own age (I’m 28), but I had a conversation with an older guy at my work who, after telling me he was a huge Giants fan asked who my father rooted for, like I would have no interest in sports other than that. I also remember watching football with my family one Christmas and, after I made some comment about the poor defensive alignment of one of the teams, my uncle scoffed “so you know about football now?” It’s not all older guys — my ex-boss was only too happy to discuss sports with me — but they tend to be the ones who make thoughtless or jerky comments.

    The nice side of the Christmas memory is that my brother, who gives me a lot of crap (because he’s my brother), immediately spoke up that I knew a lot about sports, which shut my uncle up. But I’ve still never felt the same way about that uncle.

  6. great stuff ladies. I’ve grown tired of explaining what kind of fan I am, so I rarely bring it up. You’ll just know when I cancel my plans with you because the game is on.

  7. Nope, Ellen, it’s experiences that we have all had. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not a huge deal, but it’s annoying to constantly have to validate ourselves.

  8. I find sports fandom/knowledge/geekiness very attractive in the opposite sex(especially if they’re Cardinals or Virginia fans:)). And to be perfectly honest, most of the women I know, or have run across, that are sports fans, are much more level-headed and rational about whatever sport(s) they like than the majority of male fans I know.

  9. Great post. It used to bother one of my ex-boyfriends to no end that I knew so much more about sports than he did, until we started playing bar trivia that was heavy on the sports questions and we ended up winning quite a few times because I knew my stuff.

    I’ve definitely had similar experiences to a lot of yours. The initial “what the hell” reaction by the guys, some ridiculous comments (“Oh, you must be gay then” – not that there’s anything wrong with that), and eventually acceptance that, hey, you know your stuff and that’s cool. Overall not really a big deal, but having to go throught that time and time again is annoying as hell.

  10. I’m right behind you ladies. I’ve always been a sports fan, but not quite to the technical level that some of you are on. I’m getting there, because I say there’s nothing better than the jaw-dropped look I get when I can discuss the merits of an over 4-3 defensive alignment or why I’d love to toss an octopus at the Joe.

  11. Just like we want to be accepted for being sports-loving girls, we also have to accept guys who don’t particularly care for sports.

    Sure, I haven’t met one yet, but I’m sure somewhere out there, there’s a guy who couldn’t give two figs about a layup. (Yes, I know that those people wouldn’t be here…)

    At this point in my life, I haven’t met anyone who’s wowed by a girl sports fan. Which means that our message is getting out there!

  12. That’s a good point MC.

    Based on my love for sports and the fact that I have an master’s degree in mechanical engineering, sometimes I think I should have been a boy. But I would have to be a gay guy, since I like boys so much!

  13. 1. I think that asshole Den was “trying” to be tongue-in-cheek. But if he was…he should learn how to, ya know, write. Because he just came across as whiny, insecure and needy. Especially the way he kept at it in his comments. It’s like he was pretending to be tongue-in-cheek, but really he is incredibly threatened by strong women.

    2. Cinnamon Girl, I would’ve kicked that quasi-relative’s ass from here to Tuesday for that remark. I don’t mind (and actually sometimes like) the guys who think it’s hot or cute or whatever that I know sports. It’s the ones who really cannot wrap their heads around the concept and talk down to me that are bothersome.

    When I went to the in-person interview for the law firm I ended up working for we were at lunch and the 2006 post-season came up (it was during the NLCS/ALCS right then) and the Tigers fans and Mets fans were talking and I piped up that the Cardinals weren’t going to go quietly and that since we’d picked up Jeff Weaver he had a 4-1 record and a sub 3.0 era (or whatever the stats were, I don’t remember now) and that Wainwright’s curveball as our closer was just deadly. It ground the conversation to a screeching halt.

    One of the older men said, “Haha, you must’ve talked to your dad this morning.” and I just shot him daggers and said, “Oh really? Why is that? What are you implying? No really, I’d like to know *exactly* what you meant by that? Spell it out for me. I’m kind of slow, you know, being a girl and all.” What a dick.

    I found out later that that conversation was part of the reason I got the job.

  14. Metschick, I have actually dated a guy who really could not care less about sports. We would have actual conversations where he’d be talking about fashion (total clotheshorse) and I’d be like, “Shut up, dude. The game’s on.” It was total gender-role reversal and our friends thought it was HILARIOUS.

  15. You know why that little girl has two black eyes? She talked during the baseball game.

    /surprises all the Ladies… with flowers in exchange for not getting kicked in the gooners

  16. @ LA – Your other story is awesome too. I can’t kick his ass, though, because, well, I’m a girl … he weighs at least twice as much as I do.

    @ Burnsy – As long as it was a joke, that made me laugh so hard!

  17. To be fair…you sports-knowledge-dropping ladies are just throwing us guys for a loop.

    Normally, when females talk we hear and [think] “blah, blah, blah, blah, [nice rack], blah, [I'd like to play with her boobs], blah, blah, blah.” But, when you throw in sports ken into the mix, our train of thought gets messed up.

    It becomes: “blah, blah, sports, [boobs], blah, [wait did she just say something about sports? nah, but i still would like to see her sweater bumpers], sports.” Us: “what? did you just say something about sports?”

    We’ve got one-track minds, and you come in and throw our train off the rails. You have to give us the first statement/look of incredulity as a pass. Afterwards, feel free to kick us in the nads.

  18. First it’s trying to get his ass kicked, next it’s going to be chained up inside a locker naked with a ball gag in his mouth.

    You know, for funsies.

    Christina-we are SOOO going to a Duke-Carolina game next year. Or the ACC Campionship. Or whatever NCAA tourny site is closest to us.

    Andie-you were more restraint than I would have been. I think I would have flipped out.

  19. Hey, Ladies…, I have a post idea.

    I’m a sports fan. The girlfriend, amazing in pretty much every way but this one, is not.

    How do I go about turning her into one?

  20. (P.S.: Knowing what a Cover 2 and a 2-3 and a double switch and the neutral-zone trap are is sexy. Except for the neutral-zone trap, which should be banished from Earth.)

  21. For the record: A lady who follow sports = total turn-on.

    I love her dearly, but my wife neither follows nor cares about sports and I wish she did, because then she might stop looking at me like I was from Mars whenever I freak out while watching an Eagles game (which is quite often).

  22. @ Rockabye – Marry her and have boy babies. I’m not saying daughters can’t be into sports (I’m trying to teach my two girls right, and even at 5 and 7 they already know some stuff about sports), but nothing will help a mom stay connected with a teenage boy like a love of sports.

    /admittedly perhaps a drastic move on your part.

  23. Oh Rockabye- This is a very cute idea. If your girl is not a sports fan, just put on the game and talk to her about it, explain it simply and progressively. Don’t make her feel dumb if she asks questions. I was always afraid to ask the questions for fear of the snarky comeback. Start slow- a few innings, a quarter. And don’t be offended when she makes a comment about a cute player because she hearts you!

  24. See, I feel fortunate that this was never an issue for me growing up. My mom loves hockey and she inherited that from her mother, who made the kids sit and watch Hockey Night in Canada from across the border on Saturday nights. Almost all of my female friends are sincerely into at least one sport and I appreciate that. So it confuses me when someone presumes that a woman would have no interest in sports, and it offends me when they presume that they have no knowledge. But I also presume its an issue of territoriality. There are few realms that some people think that they have all to themselves, and when you shift their paradigm by proving them wrong, the equation goes out of balance.

    So hooray for women who love sports, it makes it easier to love both.

  25. Knowing what a Cover 2 and a 2-3 and a double switch and the neutral-zone trap are is sexy. Except for the neutral-zone trap, which should be banished from Earth.

    Dammit…I was so perfect until that last one…I LIKE the neutral zone trap!

  26. Seriously though, I think women who like sports and really know sports are awesome. In fact, it’s an added bonus to the breasts.

  27. Being married to the daughter of a football coach, who knows WAY better than I do what a D-lineman’s gap assignments are supposed to be, I know am a very lucky guy. As are/will be the fellas who land any of the Ladies…

  28. My significant other is a far bigger baseball fan than I, and it’s actually uncanny how much she knows about sports (her NFL knowledge is still circa 1997, and charmingly so). There are few things in life I enjoy more than heading to a Jays game together and trying to keeping score. While checking out hoochies. And heckling.

  29. Chamomiles, be careful what you wish for. My wife doesn’t look at me like I’m from Mars when I’m freaking out because of the Eagles, but that’s because she’s laughing at me because she’s a (knowledgeable) COWBOYS FAN… at least she doesn’t like the Devils or Rangers!

  30. Pre-football obsession, at family parties my uncles would give me the perfunctory kiss hello and then I’d spend my time in the kitchen getting drunk with my aunts and making food for the penis laden relatives. But a few years back my uncles were discussing their favorite quarterbacks NOT associated with the Eagles, and I mentioned how I was a big fan of Drew Brees (he was with the Chargers at the time). They finally looked at me as someone other than “niece who comes bearing taco dip.”

    Conversely, I had a run in at a bar about a year ago with some jackass who, when I yelled god knows what about a penalty, snidely asked if I actually knew what the penalty was. When I said I did, he asked me to name any other penalties in football. I immediately went into eff you mode and listed a number of them off the top of my head, including yards lost.

    Yes I have boobs. They do not prevent me from understanding football, they just make my jersey a little fuller in the front. GAH.

  31. I have absolutely no problem one way or another with women who know more than me about sports (quite common among my group of friends, as I hardly claim to know a lot). But the main problem I have is when one woman says to another, “Oh, is *so* cute”.

    I’m not really sure why I have a problem with this given that I can’t stand Tim Duncan primarily because of the crazy bug-eyed “What, me?” look he gives every time a call goes against him – if I don’t like an athlete because of his facial expressions, why can’t someone like an athlete because of the way his face looks?

    I guess I can rationalize this apparent contradiction by noting that Tim Duncan has complete control over his attitude and behavior, but not really over his “cuteness”. But, bottom line, that kind of comment annoys me, and as my gay male friends are not into sports much, I tend to hear them pretty much exclusively from women.

  32. To clarify my last comment, rather than this being an issue with women sports fans in general, it’s more of *my* issue. Why am I annoyed by a comment like this? I don’t really have a good idea and would love to hear some theories.

  33. Yes, girls who know sports are indeed sexy. There is little doubt of that. I just need to find a girl who at least tolerates sports, since that is the realm in which I make my living.

    In a perfect world, I would meet a girl who has a good knowledge of sports, but not quite so much that she critiques me for screwing up a broadcast!

  34. “Hey, Ladies…, I have a post idea.

    I’m a sports fan. The girlfriend, amazing in pretty much every way but this one, is not.

    How do I go about turning her into one?”

    KILL. ME.

  35. I played many sports, and I played two man’s sports, football and wrestling. I know what a single leg is, a takedown, a touchdown, a TO, a turnover and the difference between Greco-Roman, Freestyle and Folkstyle is. Try that for size.

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  37. Well said Ladies. I’ve had many a moments of guys being shocked and awed that I like sports (You like sports ?!?). Yes, it’s annoying but it’s something I’ve gotten used to as much as people mispronouncing my name even after I let them know how it is pronounced.

  38. And another thing: Guys who assume you got your sports-love from someone else.

    I don’t have a brother who was into sports and I’ve never ever seen my dad watch or talk about anything sports related.

    Metschick – Yes, my dad is one of those guys. He completely doesn’t get it.

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  40. Oh, WOW, can I relate to this. Being of a, ahem, certain age I’ve been dealing with “she has boobs, what does she know about sports?” for a very long time. A friend of mine still tells people about her Super Bowl party where some idiot was interrogating me about what colleges various players attended because I showed up in a jersey (it was fun to watch his eyes widen as I correctly answered). I can fangirl, yes, but I can also tell you that hot player needs to get his OBP up or is having trouble hitting the curve ball or is letting his slider hang too long.

  41. I have one guy at work who will not speak to me out of fear that I will show him up with sports knowledge (he stopped speaking to me after he saw I was perfect after the first day of the NCAA tournament.) Another guy will not talk to me until he’s studied up on the stats from the football games from the weekend before.
    When I used to race my car at the drag strip, I had to call out people for incorrectly identifying their engine codes and compression ratios. And often got the question, “What is your boyfriend driving?” and even, “Are you old enough to drive?”

  42. This post speaks to my heart. I have been a rabid sports fan since my earliest memories. When I was younger, it wasn’t such a big deal (exept that I was usually the only girl at the ball card shows – and some of the dealers tried to cheat me because of their sexist assumptions). But once I was a teen, it became a bit of problem because suddenly it was no longer acceptable for me to be “one of the guys”. Throw in the fact that I was also a 3 sport athlete and an honor student, it made associating w/female non-athletes, non-sports fans, or non-geeks a challenge. Not that the guys completely abandoned me, but the friendships deffinitely changed. Even now (I’m 29) none of my girlfriends could really give two sh*ts about sports, so at social occasions I either have to sneak my way into the guy conversations or get stuck w/the ladies who talk endlessly about their jobs and children. I am very fortunate that some of my coworkers (I work in a predominantly male field) and my husband are very cool w/it (every year we watch the entire NFL draft together!). It’s just a shame that some men (and women) are so closed minded.

  43. I’ve spent quite a bit of time thinking and talking about this. In answer to the question of why guys get annoyed when you talk about an athlete being attractive is two-fold, I think. First, on some level guys think we are pointing out their weaknesses in comparison to that guy. Um…I don’t even waste a nanosecond comparing myself to Eva Longoria when my husband drools over her. Second is that I believe talking about sports puts guys in the frame of mind that you are a buddy, a pal, one of the guys. Then you go and remind them you are also a woman with a sex drive. Does not compute.

    I used to be a sports reporter working in a department where I was the only female. Sure, I got treated like crap by football coaches and I’m pretty sure my co-workers thought it would be funny to send me to cover the state wrestling championships (I actually knew quite a bit about wrestling), but in the end I felt like they relaxed somewhat and gave me a bit of respect.

    And, just for the record, my husband is a former sports reporter, and yes, I did develop a taste for football and baseball through my dad and my grandfathers. But I gathered my basketball, tennis, and hockey knowledge pretty much on my own.

  44. People think that being a girl makes you one-sided. You have to like dolls, dress-up and painting your nails. It used to seem like the only clothes you could buy for girls were pink, sparkly, and sassy. I think people are finally starting to realize that not all girls are Barbies.

  45. Loved this post, thank you. Even if half the sports you mention are deeply incomprehensible to me, being from the other side of the pond.

    I find nothing so annoying as the assumption that women only watch sport to drool over the guys, and have spent a lot of time snapping at people, no I’m interested in football not footballers. But I don’t see why we shouldn’t be also allowed to look at the guys without that somehow invalidating us as serious sports fans.

  46. What’s killing women is that there are so many who play the ignorant card which ruins it for the ones who do. The cleat-chasers don’t help. Any of the girls working in sports know there are the ones who have the knowledge and the ones who have it, but use it for the Mr$. degree.

    What bothers me the most is the girls who look for my approval and recognition every time they know something in sports. Okay, you knew Tim Hudson was known more for his hitting at Auburn, good job, you want a medal?

    I have to admit of all the girls I dated, the best ones were the ones I learned the most from. I learned a lot about NASCAR from a previous girlfriend, but she would always say, “Aren’t you impressed a girl knows that?”

    I was impressed anyone knew that, let’s keep gender out of it.

    And let’s face it, is there anything sexier than a girl you can play catch with (or co-ed softball)? A close second is one who knows what a double switch is and can anticipate one coming a half inning earlier.

  47. Ahhhh welcome to my life! I was a sports writer for a few years (very recently took a bit of a hiatus, got offered a job I couldn’t turn down)… the thing is, being a woman in sports is a blessing AND a curse. On the positive side, I ALWAYS got the interview… but then would spend half of it trying to ignore that the guy was hitting on me, and trying to actually get them to answer my questions. Wives/girlfriends hated me and were really cold to me because I was talking to their husband/boyfriend, even though I was just trying to do my job. But you know what? I loved my job, and I just got used to the fact that I’d have some obstacles to overcome that men in the field wouldn’t. And I’ll take getting flirted with if it means I get to be PAID to watch football. Maybe its not fair, but it’s reality.

  48. Great post. So I’ve worked in both pro and college athletics, the comments and questions never cease to amaze me… Try explaining to your boss that you’d like to take a couple days vacation to go to Iowa or Oklahoma for a wrestling event. My best/most puzzling moments:

    1. At a bar in Boston watching Red Sox game on TV (not a Sox fan, but it’s the only thing on TV in Boston). Had a puzzled (what a moron) look on my face as whoever was at bat swung at a really bad pitch and hit into a double play. Some bozo next to me assumed the puzzled look was because I didn’t understand what was going on. He took it upon himself to educate me. I rolled with it as long as I could keep a straight face and then asked him some complicated baseball question, I can’t even remember anymore, and his jaw about hit the ground. I thanked him for the lesson and left.

    2. Went on a date with a guy I met on one of the online dating sites and proceeded to tell him what I did for a living. Basically told him that my career and my spare time revolve around sports. His response… “Well, I don’t really like sports, I don’t even like watching them on TV…” Seriously, that’s how you’re going to start of a date with a girl? Talk about a bit of role reversal.

  49. I am a huge baseball (read Cleveland Indians) fan and absolutely adore our centerfielder, Grady Sizemore. However, while I admit that I am not immune to his good looks, I really admire him for his all-out effort on defense and offense no matter the score or the time of the season. He’s a great ballplayer to have on a team and puts himself on the line for his teammates time and time again. I hate that because I am a fan of his, I am tossed aside as simply another member of Grady’s Ladies, a group of baseball annies cleat chasing Mr. Sizemore.
    In 2008, I attended a game and was sitting in the bleachers when a “gentleman” tried to start up a conversation with me about Grady. “What do you like most about Sizemore?” he asked, “How cute he looks with eyeblack, or how good he looks in baseball pants?” I looked at him and replied, “I actually like that he’s on pace to have a 30-30 season and has increased his walk to strikeout ratio.” That ended the conversation.

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