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.


Lady Attorney w/ a Man who Loves her SMARTS said...

Dear THIS Sports Chick,

I think its normal for people generally to be intimidated by others whose knowledge is greater than theirs in any area in which they consider themselves to be experts. But any guy who's intimidated (to the point that they label it "unattractive") by a girl who knows a lot about sports, clearly isn't comfortable enough with his masculinity to respect and admire your knowledge (as they should). I have definitely witnessed my fair share of women "dumbing themselves down" in order to seem more attractive to men. As stupid as that sounds, I have also witnessed men being intimidated by not just sports knowledge, but a women's knowledge of politics, current events, religion, the law, and/or science. Given this experience, for educated ladies who wish to maximize their dating pool, maybe "dumbing yourself down" isn't such a "stupid" move after all. That being said, I dare to say that narrowing your dating pool by turning off so-called men when you coyly reveal your experience/expertise in ANY area is actually convenient and useful for you intellectual ladies out there. This is because any dating relationship that you snag with this technique is probably doomed. I mean, how long will you be able to repress your intelligence and give him the illusion that he's constantly cracking an egg of knowledge over your head about everything?? A real man doesn't need to feel intellectually dominating in a relationship to feel like he's fulfilling your needs.

There are definitely *some* guys out there who respect and find it sexy when a woman can hold her own and debate. Its just a matter of finding a guy who can match our own (badass) self-confidence. Now, THAT'S sexy!

Lady Attorney w/ a Man who Loves her SMARTS said...

p.s. you are completely right to be horrified that your friend didn't know who Wes Welker is... i'm not really sure how its possible to have watched more than 1 pats game this season and NOT know who welker is... maybe she watches them soundless at bars??

T said...

amen! it also sucks knowing more about sports (or a sport) when you're trying to get a job. you know me, i'm a big hockey nerd and it's half-impossible to break in as a broadcaster. i still don't buy the theory of my gender working for me. at least i can still keep writing ...