It's that time of year, my masculine friends. The United States Figure Skating Championships are here. Get excited.
I'm not going to bother beating around the bush here. You're a guy, I'm a guy, and us guys have a longstanding aversion to professional figure skating. Sure, it's a sport, and guys like sports, but, well, it's figure skating.
Let's at least try to be fair here, though. The U.S. Figure Skating Championships is going to dominate the airwaves this weekend, and the truth is that there's simply not going to be much on television. The Super Bowl is still a week away, and it's not like you're going to watch the Senior Bowl or the Pro Bowl, right?
So in a very calm and respectful manner, let's discuss why you shouldn't watch this weekend's figure skating action, and why you should.
Here are the pros and cons.
Con: Man Card in Serious Jeopardy
When the lads call and text you today and ask what you're doing this weekend, you need to be careful about telling them that you're thinking about watching the figure skating championships. They're not going to respond favorably, and odds are threats will be made.
You can't just think about your buddies either. You need to think about what your dad would think, and what his dad would think, and what his dad's dad would think. We are raised under the notion that our fathers and grandfathers are true manly men, and they are the ones who teach us to love masculine sports like football, hockey, basketball and baseball.
So you'll be in a pretty lonely place if you broadcast your intent to watch the figure skating championships, and it's possible your fate will be sealed as soon as you turn on your television and change the channel. No matter their age or demographic, the manly men of this world are not going to approve.
Pro: Get In Touch With Your Feminine Side
I have no idea where this expression originated or exactly what it means. I've always translated it to mean: "Stop what you're doing and be a woman for a little while."
But you know what? Being macho can be awfully tiring, and there are times when it just isn't any fun anymore. It's times like those that you need to take a little vacation from machismo, and there's really only one place to go once you decide to take that vacation.
Yup, your feminine side. They say we all have one.
If you think about it, this weekend is a perfect excuse to at least give it a try. It's in between important football games, and you'll have a whole week to recharge your macho batteries before the Super Bowl. You may as well take a chance.
Con: You Could Pursue Other Activities
The fact that there is no important football this weekend is something of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it is indeed a perfect excuse to broaden your sports horizons. On the other hand, it's an excuse to do other stuff.
Like, you know, go outside. If you're in one of the colder spots of the country, you could go out and hit the slopes or build an igloo in your driveway. If you're out here in California with me, you could hit the waves or take part in a Berkeley protest (they're always happening).
If you don't want to go outside, you could stay in and play video games. This is a perfect weekend to get lost in Skyrim or to prestige five times in Modern Warfare 3.
It doesn't matter what you do. It only matters that there's no general rule that states you have to watch sports every weekend.
Pro: Trivial Knowledge Bragging Rights
I don't know about you, but I love being a know-it-all. There's just something awesome about being smarter than everyone else in the room.
Being a know-it-all isn't easy, however. You have to constantly come up with new material, lest people learn all your tricks and become less and less impressed with the passing of time. You must always be coming up with new tidbits to share with others and make them look dumb by comparison.
If you start dropping knowledge about contemporary figure skating greats like Agnes Zawadzki, Alissa Czisny and Mary Beth Marley and about what they can do out on the ice, minds will be blown.
Indeed, any idiot out there can deconstruct Albert Pujols' swing or criticize Rich Rodriguez's use of the spread offense, but people who can talk figure skating are rare.
Con: You Can't Learn This Stuff Quick
Have you ever sat a baseball virgin down and tried to explain what baseball is all about in the span of a nine-inning contest? It's freakin' impossible. It's a sport that takes years to understand fully, and even the most hardcore baseball fans are still learning something new every day.
Figure skating is no different. It's the epitome of a niche sport, and it's a sport that simply cannot be learned in a single day or a single viewing. You have to do your homework.
So all the stuff I mentioned about being a figure skating know-it-all? If that appeals to you, you would have to put in the time to actually learn it all. At the very least, you would have to spend a few hours on Wikipedia and YouTube. Beyond that, you would be wise to consult an expert.
Even then, you'll be lucky if said expert even grants you his/her time.
Pro: Big-Time Point-Scoring Opportunity with Significant Other
You may not know it yet, but your wife or girlfriend loves figure skating. It's science. Or so I'm told.
So all you need to do is propose a quiet afternoon and evening on the couch with the figure skating championships on the tube. You'll need to be patient, but it will all be worth it.
How will it be worth it, you ask?
Heck, you figure it out.