Thought Catalog
January 28, 2014

10 Struggles Every Female Sports Fan Knows

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What is the issue?
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1. No, we’re not “into this” to “impress some guy.”

I honestly have yet to meet “some guy” who is actually impressed by the kind of grotesque screaming that happens when you mix a female sports fan with beer, a bar or a stadium, and her team. (If you are this guy, call me.) It is an otherworldly transformation like the veela of Harry Potter’s lore, especially when her team is down. There is something completely wonderful in being able to just express ourselves so loudly. Everyone should do this more often.

2. We don’t need help understanding what’s going on, but thanks for your concern.

Sports are actually pretty simple. They have to be in order for so many rules to be remembered by the people who are more focused on getting a ball from one end of a field to another. Even if you factor in different plays and formations and rosters, chances are good that a female sports fan might have seen a few games in her day. She’ll be able to keep up with the possession, and I’m willing to bet that she pays enough attention to her team’s habits and can tell you what each different play is and what each player’s strengths and weaknesses are.

3. Pink jerseys have their time and place, but they’re far from the rule, because part of the glory is wearing your team’s colors.

Jessica Simpson had her moment with Tony Romo’s pink jersey (which was also kind of a kiss of death, but let’s not go further into that fiasco than we need to) but not all of us are that way. We don’t need a jersey in pink, we don’t need rhinestones everywhere, and we don’t need our team’s name emblazoned across the backside of our underwear. (But game day nail art devoted to our colors never hurt anyone.)

4. We know more about a player than whether or not he’s cute.

And even if we think it, we know better than that. We know that this is a sin tantamount to watching us freak out about The Hunger Games and all the girl power that lies therein, only to counter that you think that Jennifer Lawrence is hot. Because she is — but she’s a movie star and she’s going to be, but it’s beside the point to mention that. Good looks don’t help anyone get a ball across a field. When the game is in play, that is what we want. That is all we want.

5. Asking us to talk about stats as if you’re trying to stump us is a lesson in futility.

We can keep up with stats just as well as we can keep up with the game. We can keep up with individual players’ backgrounds the way we can keep up with all of the Kardashians. Have you ever noticed what kind of crazy, random facts exist in a woman’s brain? Could you imagine what happens when she applies that kind of evil genius to sports? Her opinion may differ from yours, but that’s not because she doesn’t know what she’s talking about, or because she’s a woman. It’s because different fans analyze approaches in different ways. That’s all.

6. Order enough food for us, too.

And order as much as you would for yourself. Calories don’t count when the clock is running.

7. We will take the game personally.

Almost to a fault, and we will yell at the screen and bemoan plays and smack our heads when someone misses a shot because it’s killing our hearts, what they’re doing out there. We love our teams, but during a bad game, we don’t have to like them very much. It has nothing to do with PMS, but yeah, we’re going to take a loss or a fumble personally. This is what every fan does. Every fan takes their team’s loss personally. We all know this line of thinking is irrational, and the glorious thing is? We. Don’t. Care.

8. Probing us on whether or not we think something is violent is kind of beside the point.

You can be a football fan or a hockey fan or a wrestling fan, acknowledge the sport is inherently violent, and still cheer on your boys. You can be a male sports fan and be deterred from the violence (like President Obama is). To apply the heteronormative binary that women hate violence and men thrive off of it is to forget that most all of us like competition. That is what everyone bonds over when it comes to sports.

9. No, this isn’t just a “phase.”

We are tried and true, through thick and thin, ’til death do us part, and everything in between. It doesn’t matter if our dads taught us the intricacies of the game when we were little girls, or if the college we went to had a big sports culture, or moved to a new city and supporting the new team made us feel like we were at home, or if we just one day decided to up and pay attention. We’re fans. We have been fans, we are fans, and we will be fans. Life is too short to hop on and off of bandwagons all the time.

10. But in all, you might as well just like the same teams we do.

Because if they’re both playing on the same night, guess who’s game you’ll end up watching? There is no winning this battle. Really, it’s best to just give in now. TC mark

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