Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Fans are born in all sorts of ways

Today when I was driving home from lunch I heard Evan Roberts on WFAN (that's the sports radio network I listen to) talking about how he used to go to Orioles games with his ex-girlfriend and how she was a huge Red Sox fan because she thought Jason Varitek was cute, and he called that a garbage reason for being a fan.

Welcome to our world, Evan Roberts!

(By the way, I mostly enjoy listening to him on the radio, but I found it funny to hear someone in the real world, in the real sports-related world, address something I've talk about, that being the thing that is a huge reason girls become sports fans...)

Unlike young boys, young girls can't watch Mariano Rivera pitch and think, "He's a great athlete...I want to be just like him when I grow up." Well, they can, but eventually they realize that our professional sports prospects are extremely limited compared to our male counterparts.

We might not have the chance to like the teams our fathers liked if our fathers were more likely to take our brothers to sporting events or talk to them about the teams their own fathers liked growing up.

A lot of women see professional sports as just another way that men refuse to grow up and continue to act like boys...and since most of us have to deal with the "boys" in our own lives, we don't necessarily have time to devote to those who get paid millions to act that way.

That being said...I had a mother who played sports. My parents let both my brothers and my sister and me play sports. We would always watch the World Series together. Our professional athletic options are constantly expanding (albeit at a snails pace). And sometimes we just enjoy the excitement of a game well-played.

Personally, I tend to pay more attention to a team once they start doing well. But good-looking guys with great bodies in form-fitting uniforms? What girl wouldn't at least be tempted to watch that? (Hello, Joe Mauer!) How many guys watched beach volleyball during the Olympics because of the skimpy uniforms? Quite a few, I bet. It's not about how you're drawn in. It's about the fact that you are. You come for the cute guy, you stay for the game, and you actually end up learning about the sport.

Fans are born in all sorts of ways.

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