I absolutely love sports, and my favorite, by far is FOOTBALL. I love to watch it, write about it, talk about, heck I’ve even thought about joining a female football league, that rumors say will be starting soon in my city. (My five foot nothing height and less than beefy frame may not support this dream however) But I look forward to Sunday every week. The day I eat all the carbs I want, don’t worry about the calories in my beer, and consider cheese fries a food group of the day. A day made for sweatpants and yelling at the TV. Sunday, is my DAY. And nothing makes me go from laid back chilling, to ready to tackle someone more than: “Oh you’re a fan huh? Can you name five players on the team?”
I’m sure you’ve heard it at some point, or at least some variation. I’m not sure what cause those who ask this annoying question have. Do they think that they have to validate fandom? Is being a sports fan some secret club where if you don’t know the handshake you don’t get in? Are they intimidated by a female intruding onto the sacred ground of male sports? (Men, maybe you get this question as well, so I am in no way singling you out. I just know as a female I have heard this question more times than I’d like to count) I simply don’t get it.
Other loves aren’t belittled by this type of question. If you say, “Man, I really enjoy painting” I’m not going to ask you to name five painters of the renaissance era. If you sit down at my bar and say “Wow, I sure do love beer.” I’m not going to ask you to recite the German Purity Law of 1516. Or if you happen to like Dave Matthews, I will not require you to name every album by year in sequential order.
I guess I don’t get the defensiveness, and NEWS FLASH knowing players names or positions does not mean that you are a bigger or better fan than an other person out there. I get having pride about your sports knowledge. (Ya’ll do not want to know how many hours a week I spend reading about players and teams.) It’s an investment. And I enjoy sharing my knowledge with others. I’ll almost talk to a fence post about football if it looks interested enough. But that’s the thing, I know quite a bit, but I still want to know more. I want there to be fans around me. I want to engage in sports debates with people of all ages, genders, and knowledge. If you’re a beginner that’s even better! That way I don’t worry about sounding like an idiot if I get a players rookie year wrong. Or I can convince you that The Steelers are the greatest team ever. (By the way, they are)
The whole point of this rant is to let people out there know, you are not alone. It’s okay to love something with out knowing all the little details, because you have to start somewhere. And the starting is the fun part! Don’t get discouraged, and find some friendly fan to show you the finer points of the game. And if you are guilty of this awful infraction, know that you are killing the opportunity to teach someone more about the game, and making that person feel pretty isolated. Don’t do that!
Signing off and feeling refreshed