Confessions of a female sports fan

Posted: July 2, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

Hello, my name is Deirdre, and I am a female sports fan.  Phew, I’ve admitted it, it’s out there, and like they say in every twelve step program, the truth will set you free.  Let’s be clear here, I am not a fan of female sports, as a matter of fact, I couldn’t find them more boring, (pause here for angry muttering from my fellow feminists) I am a female fan of the least feminine sports there are, football and hockey, with a healthy interest in Baseball as well.

This wasn’t always the case, at the ripe old age of 44 I can only truly claim to have been a fan for two full seasons.  Although what I lack in longevity, I more than make up for in enthusiasm.  Never one to do anything halfway, I have taken to being a sports fan with the same dogged determination and A type personality that has shaped my entire life.  I pride myself in being able to speak intelligently about players, games, drafts, trades, and yes I even tried my luck in a football pool this past fall; consistently placing number one among female participants, not to mention more than half of the men as well. No, I did not choose by uniform color or cutest players, although I would be lying if I did not admit that I have favorites in both those categories (Saints for uniform, Wes Welker for player, sigh, he’s dreamy)

In addition, despite considering myself a rational person, I have dove headfirst into the pool of sports superstitions. You know where you believe that actions taken or not taken by you, single handedly effect the outcome of a game, a championship, perhaps a whole season?  I have many of them but most recently I have become convinced that there is power in my pigtails.  When I wear them, teams win, when I don’t, they lose, simple as that.  By the wayBostonfans, you are welcome for the recent Stanley Cup Win.  My attendance at four playoff games sporting the magic pigtails was the Bruins ace in the hole.  Ok, the pigtails AND Tim Thomas, it was a team effort.

For those who still doubt their power, please take note of this picture of me with four of the Red Sox, the game after this shot was taken, not only did we win, but each player standing with me hit a home run.  In fact it was the beginning of Carl Crawford’s turn around; although his recent injury may require additional pigtail time.

So where did this newly found sports love begin you ask?  How does a Theatre and Communications professor with an over developed sense of feminist outrage climb on the sports bandwagon?  Well, it began innocently enough with the development of my present relationship.  I had a new boyfriend, simple as that, and he had a season ticket to the Patriots.  We were in that giddy beginning stage where you pretended to be interested in each other’s hobbies and past times.  This meant he would attend plays with me, and that I was invited to my very first football game.  This invitation was not without stipulations; however, the coveted Patriots ticket came with a list of do’s and don’ts.  The do’s included; drink beer, burp, swear and bring something yummy to the tailgate.  The don’ts were simple, don’t complain about the weather and don’t ask to leave early.

I showed up on that cold Sunday morning wearing layers, armed with a huge pot of chili, and feeling a little out of my element.  Nothing like a horde of hungry men complimenting my cooking to make me feel right at home; there is nothing on earth that makes me happier than people liking my food. I settled in, tried not to think about the fact that I was drinking a beer at 11 am,(how else was I going to work up a good belch?) and focused on my swearing. My new guy was very helpful, “come on baby, you can do it, say fuck those fuckers!”

By the time we entered the stadium I was feeling good, belching with ease ready to let the f-bombs fly at the first sign of controversy. Going through the gates was like nothing I had ever experienced before; the sheer number of people, the palatable excitement, the shouting and cheering, my heart was literally pounding in my chest.  Going to a play is nothing like this! I felt like I was swimming in a sea of testosterone, and god help me, I kinda liked it.

This was not at all in keeping with my liberal feminist agenda, I should have been disgusted, annoyed, perhaps even a little frightened by this over the top display of male chest pounding. Instead, I was, hmmmm how should I put it, well, I was…….excited.  When the game began and I witnessed up close and personal all those big muscular men in tight pants alternating between displays of athletic grace and shows of brutal strength, the unexpected happened, I got unbelievably horny.  I even found myself thoroughly enjoying the cheerleaders with their skimpy outfits and perky pom poms.  I was swept away by the sheer display of physical beauty and primitive behavior displayed on the field below me.

I became addicted to way I felt when I was a part of this world and my guy became addicted to capping off a great football game with a slightly drunk, unbelievably horny girlfriend.  It really was a win-win situation and it is no surprise that I became a regular fixture at Gillette stadium for the rest of the season.  It was only a matter of time before he introduced me to hockey and I discovered how much I liked the sound of bodies slamming into the boards, and that horn they blow when we score a goal, oh man.  This stuff was better than porn (not that I would know anything about that) How the hell did I miss out on this for all those years?

This does not mean that I have abandoned all my feminist roots.  I still get mad over the glass ceiling and unfair pay scales.  I will always fight to protect woman against domestic violence and sexual assault.  I will teach my daughter to be strong and independent.  But I would be lying if I didn’t say it feels good to occasionally let go of my righteous indignation and be part of something bigger than me.  I like the collective feeling of being a fan, sharing a love of our teams with complete strangers and rooting for the good guys.  Its fun, its exciting, and it appeals to my most basic instincts.  There are some that may call me a fraud, a band wagon fan, a johnny come lately.  My response to that? Fuck those fuckers!

  1. David says:

    Well done Di. I enjoy reading about (and strongly relate to) your cognitive dissonance. Keep writing.

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