9:24 p.m.: It’s a Tuesday night. I’m feverishly filing a baseball game story for tomorrow’s newspaper while looking up at the corner of my laptop to check the time.
9:32 p.m.: I keep sliding my finger across the screen of my iPhone to transcribe quotes from the local team’s manager. A few words here, slide; a few words there, slide; finish it off; slide back to the beginning of the quote to make sure it’s accurate; done.
9:38 p.m.: I give the copy one last read-through and submit it. I call my editor to let him know the story is in, packing up everything in the process. “Hey Jim, it’s Zacchio. My gamer is in; let me know if you have any questions.” “Thanks, man.”
9:41 p.m.: With everything stored away in my laptop bag, I race out of the press box door, down the stairs, through the doors and out to my car. I sit down, start the engine and check the clock.
9:48 p.m. I know my apartment isn’t far from the ballpark, it will just be a matter of hitting traffic lights.
9:58 p.m.: I pull into my parking spot and jet up the stairs. I get the door open and fling my laptop case onto the kitchen table. I grab the remote, kick my shoes off and change the channel.
10:00 p.m. I’m right on time. “Previously, on Pretty Little Liars…” That’s right. A 25-year-old, single, heterosexual man was racing to get home to catch the encore episode of Pretty Little Liars on ABC Family. Granted, there isn’t much else on during a Tuesday night, but even if there was, my television would still be set to ABC Family.
I list my status and sexual orientation because apparently it’s only socially acceptable to (openly) watch the murder-mystery show if you are: (a) “forced” to watch it with your girlfriend; or (b) gay.
Admittedly, I did begin watching the show after my girlfriend and a female friend of mine forced me and her boyfriend to watch it. However, four seasons and a break-up later, I’m hooked, willingly.
I am a sports fan, but rarely will there be an event or a game on that I would want to watch over an episode of ‘PLL.’ That’s not to say I won’t follow sports for most of the other 167 hours in a week; but for that one-hour block on Tuesday evenings, I choose Aria, Hanna, Emily and Spencer. Oh yeah, and that Ali chick.
Maybe I missed the memo saying that, because I am a guy, I had to love sports above all; or perhaps the “diehard” gene failed to properly embed into my genetic makeup during conception. I’m fine with that. It’s other men — and some women — who seem to have a problem with it.
Whether it’s the light-jabbing of, “Dude, you watch that show?!” or the deeper dig of, “You won’t watch football, but you’ll watch ‘Pretty Little Liars’? What are you, some kind of a f-g?” it has become apparent to me that because of this, I am less of a man. To the men and women who think like that, I say, “I’m sorry you feel that way.” To my fellow guys who empathize with this article, I say, “Aria’s dad is part of the A-team.”
Editor’s note: Let me just say I do not condone that term and I do not use it in my vocabulary; I’m simply using it here to illustrate a point.