On Friendships and World Series

Five years ago today, I was sitting in front of my TV when my phone rang.

“You’re watching?” my friend Susan asked.

“I’m watching,” I said.  “I had to stop knitting because I’m too nervous. We’re going to win the World Series!”

“I’m so happy for you,” she said.  “Even if the Tigers are going to lose.” (At the time, Susan lived in Michigan and knew a lot of Tigers fans.)

Susan was one of the first people I met at college, and the very first girl friend I ever had who cared about baseball.  When we arrived at college in 1998, my Cardinals were inching excruciatingly slowly towards the end of a decade long funk that happened to coincide with my entire baseball fandom to that point.  Susan’s team, in the AL, was better, winning their division twice in three years, albeit only to get swept out of the first round by the Yankees both times.

You see where this is going.  Susan grew up a Rangers fan.

Over the years our friendship has continued, our love of baseball always on the periphery.  St. Louis improved, Texas declined, St. Louis declined, Texas improved — in fact in the entirety of our friendship, this is the first year the Cardinals and the Rangers both made the playoffs, much less the World Series.  We graduated college, moved East (Susan then moved South, and North, and South again).  We went to old Yankee Stadium and CitiField together.  We went to Europe together (where, disappointingly, we were a few weeks too late to attend a German professional baseball game).  I was rooting hard for the Rangers during last year’s run, and delighted in their first playoff series win almost as much as she did.

It’s not that I don’t want to win the World Series.  If the Cardinals somehow put two more wins into their pile of improbable, backs-against-the-wall victories they’ve been accruing for the last two months I will be ecstatic; if they lose, there will be a weekend of moping in my near future.  But I will also make that call on the phone, and I will be happy to do it.  If you can’t celebrate a World Series with your best friend, what’s the point?

Good luck, Susan.  Good luck, Rangers. Go Cards!

You Watch Sports Like A Girl!

As a female sports fan, you often get challenged about your fandom. Sometimes, people try to make you “prove it” by asking you trivia questions. Or, like the NFL, MLB or NHL, they assume that you’re only in it for the rhinestones and pink jerseys. People assume whatever you’re saying can’t be right, that your stats are wrong or that you just in it for the cute boys, fun mascots or jersey colors.

Follow the jump for more…

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Welcome to Buffalita’s Bachelorette! (Part 1)

Never mind Kate and William, or those rumours about Brangelina finally tying the knot. The Wedding We Care About here at Ladies… is that of our own Buffalita, who will be exchanging vows with the soon-to-be Mr. Buffalita next weekend.

Unfortunately, time, money and geography prevents us Ladies… from throwing her a proper bachelorette party, complete with wine, taco dip and game of washers (WHAT! A game of washers was completely acceptable at my baby shower! Maritimers know how to party, yo!)

So instead, we’re sending our best wishes in true Ladies… fashion with this series of posts dedicated to the Best Bride-to-be in NY State. Who needs a male *ahem* exotic dancer when you can run a series of photos of handsome athletes instead? (Besides, it eliminates that messy tipping…)

Let this song set the mood and join us after the jump to see who I picked for Part 1 of Buff’s Bachelorette.

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We interrupt this hiatus for…uh, wrestling.

Okay, we know we’re on vacation and everything, but sometimes something so unspeakably awesome happens that we just have to say something.

Today? Mick Foley happened.

Let’s catch up on Mick Foley, shall we? He’s gone by ‘Mankind’ and ‘Cactus Jack’ and ‘Dude Love’. He’s wrestled using a baseball bat covered in barbed wire and once lost two thirds of his ear in the ropes. Oh, and his finisher before he retired from the WWE was Mr. Socko: a dirty sweatsock shoved into the mouths of his opponents. We are not making that up.

But that’s Mick Foley the performer. Mick Foley the wrestler. Mick Foley the showman.

Mick Foley the person?

Is donating the ENTIRETY of his latest book’s profits to Children’s Fund International (benefiting rape victims in the Sierra Leone) and RAINN, the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network.

Oh, and he’s volunteering his time to work as an online counselor for RAINN’s support line.

We ladies may ogle, and we may joke, but in the end, we are a bunch of women writing about sports. We’re women.

We may not ever write about wrestling ever again, but we’re women. And as women, we salute Mick Foley.

And now we’re back on vacation.

Merry Christmas from the Ladies…

Toronto Maple Leafs

As I prepare this very post, my children are literally bouncing off chairs and squealing with anticipation (it’s Christmas Eve) and as much as I love this excitement I’m thisclose to reaching for the bottle of Crown Royal I saved for Mr. Bee’s stocking. Don’t worry, though – I’ll wait until they’re sleeping.

That Toronto Maple Leafs ornament has been going up on our tree ever since Mr. Bee and I started spending Christmases together, oh, 12 years ago, I believe. I love a good holiday tradition, especially ones that you can call your own, like reading “The Night Before Christmas” with your kids on Christmas Eve, Bailey’s in my Christmas morning coffee, watching the World Junior Hockey Championship on Boxing Day.

I’m not alone in all this holiday sportiness. For instance, CuteSports has her tree decked out in Packers and Badger stuff. For Raven, it’s all about the Caps on her tree. And today Games Mistress told us about making her Drew Brees gingerbread cookie (still giggling!)

What are your sporty holiday traditions? Please share them below!

Enjoy the holidays! I leave you with two gifts. One is courtesy of Minda via Royal Blues (and Minda, I am SOOO getting the Crayola markers out for this one. I may have more fun than my kids!)

The other gift is below.

Merry Christmas, readers! And Merry Christmas my dear Ladies…!

The Ladies … Give Thanks

I am thankful both these men wear Cardinal red.

Games Mistress is thankful both of these men wear Cardinal red.

Happy (American) Thanksgiving from the Ladies!

While we’re thankful for family, friends, and the chance to stuff ourselves with food while in the company of said family and friends, we here at Ladies… are also thankful for what the sports world has given us over the past year.

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The Ladies… This Week

Hey all, it’s time for a new weekly feature: The Ladies… This Week. Pretty simple — It’s new stuff from the Ladies’ other websites this week.

Sorry for the extremely belated-ness of this post; the intrawebz was being mean to me.

It was TV sweeps week this week, and as many shows– especially of the “reality” variety– came to an end, Ladies… was there.

I scrolled through Lady Andrea’s Survivor Finale Report over at Keeping Up Foreign Relations, and the first phrase I saw? “Pixelated Natalie Side Boob.” Sounds like an… interesting… show. (“Snake. Giant lizard.” and “Big scary bat. James leaps out of the bushes, kills it and eats it.” also stuck out.)

Meanwhile, on the “interviews with athletes we both idol worship and lust after” front, Chitown Chick bestows Gerald Harris with a new nickname over at Chicks Heart Fights. He approves.

And on the ever-popular “atheltes needing therapy but instead getting Punk’d” front, Dame of Extra Time goes to see a psychologist. And some Heroes jokes.

The “this is a sports blog… right?” front presents is with Miss Minda’s musing on the Royal’s bullpen at Baseball and Other Things.

Whew! Well, adios to last week, and let’s all get ready for the week of May 19, 2008. Should be a party.