Monday, January 28, 2008

Is there such thing as a happy-medium?

I've long been told there is a happy-medium for men, between a woman who knows too much about sports, which apparently can be intimidating (whatever), and a women who knows absolutely nothing about sports (annoying).

So if I know all of the rules of football then I'm intimidating or somehow less feminine? Here's what I have to say to that - get over it. Just because I'm a woman and can't actually play football doesn't mean I can't like and know a lot about it. I'm sure very few of the men who watch their team actually played in the NFL, and they can still appreciate the talent, so what's the difference?

I get the latter -- trying to watch a game with someone who knows nothing about football can be frustrating. Like today - I was talking to my best friend, who is of course from Boston and considers herself a Patriots fan, and I mentioned Wes Welker, to which she replied "who is that?"

I'm not kidding, I nearly had a heart attack. I can't even fathom how someone living in Boston can not know who Wes Welker is, especially someone who considers herself a Patriots fan.

Granted, I know she's not a huge sports fan or super knowledgeable about football, but how can you have watched any Patriots games this season, and have to ask who Wes Welker is? It literally blows my mind.

I know that most women aren't as into football as I am, but I still can't understand how you can watch a game and not remember who the leading receiver on the team is (and yes, I know Randy Moss had more touchdown receptions, but Welker led the team, and the NFL in total receptions).

Then I tried to think of it from her side - she probably thinks I'm a freak and can't fathom how I know, or why I care, that Wes Welker's 112 receptions this season is an NFL record for a receiver in his first year with a team.

I've long ago realized that I can't sit around with my girlfriends and talk about football, because after about three minutes their eyes glass over and I realize I've lost them - so the only people I can really discuss football with are men (if you are a woman who likes football too, don't be offended, we just haven't met).

Some guys think it's cool that I know as much as they do about football, but I'm sure there are many who think I should shut up and get back in the kitchen. I've read from a lot of sports writers, including my favorite columnist Bill Simmons, that a woman who knows to much about sports is suddenly less attractive because women are supposed to be feminine or something stupid like that.

Clearly I'm not the woman to sit on the couch during a football game whose only comments coming are how hot Tom Brady is -- not that I don't think it. Don't get me wrong, I can appreciate Tom Brady for his chisled features, but I also appreciate his rocket arm, and I'm proud of that fact - if you can't handle that, you can't handle a real woman.

edit: I was just told that I don't have the male perspective quite right - that it's more that the guy is emasculated if the girl knows more about sports, not that the girl isn't feminine enough. To that I also say -- get over it. Just cause you're a guy doesn't mean you have to know a lot about sports, and just cause you're a woman doesn't mean you shouldn't.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Real fans don't wear pink

I am a woman, and I like sports. However, I do NOT like pink jerseys... or pink hats... or pink t-shirts, or anything that is pink when it is supposed to represent your team.

The pink paraphernalia thing has gotten out of control, made even more ridiculous by Jessica Simpson wearing a pink Tony Romo jersey to a Cowboys game. All of a sudden women think its not only OK, but that it's actually cute to wear pink team jerseys. Ladies, I'm here to tell you that it is NOT.

Here's why -- your team's color's aren't pink.

I have a lot of Red Sox stuff, and I have a lot of Patriots stuff, but you will never, under any circumstance, find a piece of pink sports paraphernalia anywhere in my house. And it's not because I have a problem with pink as a color - I just have a problem with pink representing your team, when their actual colors are green and gold, or orange and black, or blue and white.

Here's the other major problem with pink jerseys: they are all the same. The Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys do NOT have the same team colors, so why are Annie and Sally wearing almost identical jerseys, but cheering for opposite teams?

I don't care if you are a Cleveland Browns fan and hate the teams awful brown, orange and white colors -- team spirit should always, I repeat, ALWAYS, trump fashion. posed this question in a poll: Are pink jerseys acceptable?The overwhelming answer (71%) was No. And what is the majority that reads Men, or women who like sports. So, therefore, if you're trying to impress a guy who is into football, he most likely does NOT think you look cute in your pink Colts jersey -- he thinks you look stupid, as do all women who like sports.

I would like to quote an article I read about a year ago by's Mary Buckheit:
"I'm not one to stereotype -- OK, maybe I am -- but a pink jersey shows the world that you are not actually a fan, since you either don't know your team's colors, or worse, you just don't understand the importance of wearing them." Here, here.

So, you can be a fashionista from NY, but come gameday, I want to see you in the Jets green or the Giants blue and red (well actually, I don't ever want to see anyone in a Jets jersey, but that's a whole other story).

I posed this question to a couple of my girlfriends, including C., who is a HUGE sports fan, and also a HUGE lover of the color pink:
"Yes, I love pink... but I believe that if you are supporting a team, that you should wear said teams' colors. Especially when it comes to a jersey."

Let's move onto S.:
"That's as lame as getting your own name on a football jersey."

There you have it: Just because you are a girl doesn't mean you need an extra dose of stereotypical femininity when you sport your team.

So, ladies, if I can give you one tip, here it is: if you want people to take you seriously when it comes to watching or talking about sports, put down the pink jersey and purchase the authentic one.

Let me know what you think -- take the poll in the top right corner of the page.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Those Hated Patriots

In 2001, the Patriots won the Super Bowl and were touted as "America's Team." Remember how everyone cheered when the Patriots were announced as a single team in New Orleans, instead of as individual players? And how entire country celebrated when Vinitieri split the uprights to defeat the "greatest show on turf."

How much has changed in six years.

Now 16-0, the Patriots are the most hated team in football, the evil empire of the NFL.
What the heck happened?

The whole "Spy-Gate" thing causing such an uproar really bugs me. I get it, they did something they weren't supposed to ... but what team doesn't? Every time a player is elbowed at the bottom of a huddle, or when Fox airs a team's audibles (I'm not bitter at all), or when a coach calls a time out as the kicker is about to connect with the ball, or when a certain team pipes in extra noise to their stadium during a game, or when the sound for the visiting quarterback and his coaches is mysteriously not working (yes Indianapolis, I'm talking to you) ... these are all acceptable forms of getting an unfair edge. And yes, even YOUR team does it.

And what about those other "cheaters" such as Shawne Merriman. He has a Nike commercial, and is flown to Honolulu for the All Pro team after being suspended for using steroids (ie CHEATING) , then his teammate, LaDanian "cry baby" Tomlinson can whine and whine about how the Patriots are the cheaters ... well, that just bugs me to no end.

But yeah, I can see how the Patriots are the most hated team in the NFL: really unlikeable players, no work ethic, no competitive spirit, no team unity, and clearly the players can't stand each other or their hated coach.

Oh wait...

I guess Tom Brady is apparently too perfect. I can see how he is annoying -- just completed the most prolific touchdown season of any quarterback; won three Super Bowls before the age of 30; makes millions upon millions of dollars; dates one of the most beautiful women in the entire world. But, deep down he is still a 7th-round draft pick with a chip on his shoulder -- and don't you forget it.

Bill Belichick, admittedly, is pretty much an a-hole, and difficult, if not impossible, to like. But he is also a football genius, and will go down as one of the greatest coaches ever. It's too bad that this incident will taint his reputation, because there is no way that any unallowed activity that he has done with the Patriots has effected any game enough to change the outcome. I honestly believe that.

But look at what the team has done -- they turned Randy Moss, prior to this year, one of the greatest "what could have beens" in the history of the game. Well, with the help of Belichick and Brady, we now know what he is capable of - having one of the best receiving seasons in NFL history (no one will top Rice's 21 TD in 12 games).

The linebacking core is defying nature - and not in the steroid-using, Roger Clemens kind of way - by keeping up with the younger players they are attacking, not by taking illegal supplements, but by using their heads and their hearts to out-think, out-hussle, and out-play their junior opponents. Junior Seau, just two years after nearly retiring, is a starter on the best team in the NFL. Tedy Bruschi came back last season after suffering a stroke in 2005. If those aren't feel-good storys, then what are?

It's a team that every veteran wants to play for; that players take a pay cut to suit up for; that has an owner who spares no expense, on his players and coaches or on their facilities.

Yeah, you really gotta hate these guys.

Instead of hating them because they're so good, perhaps other teams should take a page from their book. Then maybe someone else would win a Super Bowl once-in-a-while.

But not this year.