10 Ways to Pick Up a Date While Watching Sports
If you're a sports fan who is looking to date another sports fan because you're sick of having to watch The Bachelor on Monday nights, just take a look around you the next time you're watching a game in public—during commercials and breaks in the action, of course.
Whether you're watching a game at a sports bar or watching it live at a stadium, it's more likely than not that you'll be within striking distance of a few single girls. And those single girls, more likely than not, are going to be legit fans. Otherwise they'd probably be somewhere else.
This is actually one of the best possible scenarios to approach new people. If you're out at a club, approaching a girl who you know nothing about is like a telemarketer cold-calling people—they're working without a net and the potential for success is low.
If you're attending the same game or rooting for the same team at a sports bar, you're not strangers. In a friendly crowd, you're more like friends who haven't met! There's a built-in conversation starter and plenty of outs if things aren't going well.
That being said, it never hurts to have a strategy. You've already got something working in your favor, but unless someone makes a move, that won't be enough on its own. Now, if you've got plenty of game and know where to go from here, that's fantastic. Godspeed.
For those who could use a little help facilitating things, stick around. We've got 10 tried-and-true methods for picking up a date while watching sports. Remember, the more you employ, the more success you'll enjoy.
10. Arrive Early to Assess the Situation
Tickets to sporting events (that aren't baseball games) don't come cheap. So unless you're stupid rich, you really should make sure you get your money's worth out of every ticket. Which means you don't show up late and you don't leave early. Ever.
Heat fans leave games early—you don't want to be like them, right? Of course not. Nobody does. That's why you don't bounce before time expires. As for before the game? Being on time is critical, but showing up early is really the best way to go.
You and the people in your section at a game are basically like soldiers in the trenches for an afternoon. You'll cheer together, scream together, laugh together and cry together. They are the only other people in the world during those four hours.
The roller coaster of emotion you'll be riding together means there is the potential for strong bonds to form very quickly. The more time you have together, the more likely that cute redhead in front of you is going to jump up on her seat after a score and look to you for a celebratory hug.
So be the first one to arrive and scope out the situation as people slowly trickle in. Know where the empty seats are and consider making a lateral move if you see any vacancies next to someone who catches your eye.
Even if you're there with a bro, he'll understand. If he doesn't, he was never really a bro at all.
9. Buy a Round!
If you're watching a game at a bar rather than in person, it's more likely than not that you're going to be surrounded by like-minded folks. Think about it: You're at the same place, consuming brew, and cheering on the same team with a crowd of people who are all dressed alike.
On one level, you're all strangers. But you share a common bond that actually puts you somewhere between strangers and friends. Breaking the ice in a situation like this provides a distinct advantage rarely afforded in nonsports-related bar interactions.
So find a small group of people within the group and when the stars align (a waitress happens by at the moment something great happens in the game), demand a round for all your new friends. Then use your act of generosity as a springboard to a conversation with that cutie two tables over.
Just don't go overboard! Consider your financial situation and be realistic about what you can afford. Any progress you make with someone will be completely undone if you end up being arrested for defrauding an innkeeper. Then proceed.
Before you know it you'll go from like-minded strangers in a crowd that shares a common enemy to whatever romantic entanglement comes next. Everyone's dating life is different, so it's probably best not to speculate on what that next step may be.
8. Look Like These Girls
OK, obviously this isn't something that most girls are going to be able to do, let alone most guys. But if being exceptionally hot is within the realm of your capabilities, it's definitely a card you want to play. Especially if it's the only card you have to play.
If you've got the assets, showing a little skin to attract attention is never a bad strategy for anyone. Although, and this is obviously a serious double standard, when it comes to ridiculously good-looking ladies, you really can't go too far in this department. Hot girls live on their own special planet with their own special rules.
Whereas for the boys, even if you look like Channing Tatum, there's definitely a line that shouldn't be crossed. Less is more, until it crosses a line, at which point it becomes not nearly enough. If you're not completely sure where the line is, it's much better to play it safe.
So think more along the lines of fitted clothes that show off the physique, rather than shedding them altogether. Oh! And never ever take your pants off. You won't be pantsless for more than 30 seconds before security is on you like white on rice.
7. Take Advantage of a Rain Delay
A rain delay usually sends people running for any available exit. Sometimes they return, sometimes they don't; it really depends on the length of the precipitation event and if the game was compelling enough before the delay.
Fleeing inclement weather is a knee-jerk reaction for most humans, but nobody really wants to leave a sporting event. You pay for the tickets, make your way to the stadium and, if it's a baseball game, take the afternoon off work. At that point, you're committed and leaving feels like a failure.
In the event of a weather-related delay, what many people are searching for is a reason to stay. So if it looks like there's a potential for rain, bring your big umbrella along (or maybe a couple of ponchos) and look for someone to share it with!
Maybe take a couple of beers with you too—assuming you're both of legal drinking age.
It sounds silly, but girls really like to have a cute story about how we met someone we're dating. Having some brave young man who knows how to plan ahead for the elements offer to share his umbrella and talk baseball during a rain delay is substantially better than telling your friends you met some creeper on Tinder.
6. Go for the Gold
There's an expression that goes, "Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars," or something along those lines! Basically it means you can't win if you don't try and, even if you lose, something good may unexpectedly come of it.
A lot of guys dismiss cheerleaders and ice girls as unattainable goddesses and just settle for leering at them from a distance. Which means, believe it or not, that many of them end up with far less decent guys approaching them than less intimidating ladies.
I actually know a lot of these girls personally, so trust me on this. Obviously they are doing their thing during most games, but there is usually some chance for fan interaction. If you happen to stumble across them at the right time, take a chance and attempt to strike up a conversation.
They may be ridiculously attractive, but the vast majority of them are actually pretty normal people. And if you're still not quite sold, ask yourself: Is your biggest fear that she'll shoot you down? Or are you more afraid that she won't...
5. Break Up a Fight
Warning: Bleacher Report does not actually endorse fighting. This advice is intended to promote pacifism, happiness and the all-important goal of impressing the object of your affection.
Drunken buffoons fighting in the stands can ruin the day for everyone around them. Nobody pays to see the people around them beating each other to a bloody pulp. Even if you're at a hockey game, you paid to see the players fight, not the idiots a few seats over.
The fellas around you may be amused by the situation, but most of the ladies are going to feel uncomfortable. So if you want to impress a girl, breaking up a fight before things get out of hand is a surefire way to walk away the hero.
This is assuming you have the physical capability and mental wherewithal the situation requires. If you're unsure, it's best to lay low and not chance it, unless you've got an extremely mismatched fight which requires immediate intervention.
Here are a few things to ask yourself before committing:
- Have you ever been in and/or broken up a fight before? This isn't an ideal situation for rookies.
- Are you prepared to take a punch (or a lot of punches) if both parties turn on you (which is a real possibility if alcohol is involved)?
- If you're stepping in just to impress the ladies, have you identified a target audience? Remember you can't impress them if they're in the bathroom or on a beer run.
- Have you considered everything? If the situation is bigger than you, this could backfire. And if you are a male in his 20s or 30s, only police your own. Getting in between old dudes, underage dudes, or any fighting females—way too risky.
If you can answer yes to two or three of those questions, proceed with caution. All four and you're golden. The unlikely hero who swoops in and saves the day is going to attract the gaze of every woman within a 30-yard radius—minimum.
4 (a). Console a Devastated Fan
Most real sports fans are looking for other real sports fans to share their lives with. If you have any male friends who are in relationships with women who spend every Sunday during NFL season shouting at everyone to "calm down!" because "it's just a game!" you know how important this is.
So if you're actually looking for a lady to bring into your life, this is something worth considering. As you know, sports fans tend to take things very seriously. Spending all night partying on the city streets is the only proper way to celebrate winning a Super Bowl. Whereas rage or devastation are the only appropriate reactions to a loss.
The silver lining to a bad loss is that it's a perfect opportunity to spot the girl of your dreams. Next time you experience a tough defeat in public, try to shelve the rage and hold back the tears—at least for a while. You can always cry yourself to sleep later.
Instead, scan the crowd for damsels in distress. You're likely to find at least one girl struggling with her emotions, lingering in her seat as she tries to come to grips with the reality that life will never again be the same after her beloved Steelers lost to the Packers. (I speak from experience…)
She's probably looking for someone to commiserate with her; someone who understands what she's going through. So go be that shoulder to cry on. Just remember not to be a dirtbag about it. No cheesy pickup lines or vulgar insinuations about how you could cheer her up—try to be human.
4 (b). Celebrate with a Stranger
This is the happier, less manipulative version of consoling a devastated fan. Instead of swooping in with a shoulder to cry on, you're there to share in the joy of victory!
This will give you a similar emotional bond, but without being associated with a tragedy. It may not be as intense initially, but ultimately it's probably a good thing. This way you won't forever be associated with the negativity of a soul-crushing loss.
To employ this method, strategic seating is absolutely crucial. Proximity is your friend. So before you commit to a location, look around and ask yourself if the people surrounding you are suitable for human contact.
If the answer is yes, awesome. Sit your butt down and keep your eyes peeled for ladies looking to connect on a high-five or, better yet, a hug. If the answer is no, abort. Keep circulating until conditions improve—a good seat will open up eventually.
3. "Is This Seat Taken?"
It doesn't matter how high-energy the crowd at a sports bar is, nobody wants to spend four hours on their feet. You need a place to leave your coat, set your drink down and perhaps have some nachos delivered to at some point. So having a home base is critical.
This is where the "is this seat taken?" riff comes into play. It actually works in two different ways; which direction you choose to go depends on your personality and overall social strategy. This is assuming you frequent a crowded urban bar, so keep that in mind.
If you feel comfortable that you and your bros have the physical attributes necessary to lure in the ladies, arrive early and make sure you get a table with two extra seats. Other bros will probably feel weird about approaching you, but girls looking to get comfortable will not.
The good thing about this approach is that you get a seat no matter what and there's no chance of rejection. The bad thing is that you are putting your future in someone else's hands, rather than being proactive and going after what you want.
If you're more of a high-risk, high-reward type of bro, you might want to consider showing up right at game time. This puts you in the driver's seat and allows you to approach any girls that find themselves at a table with one or more empty seats.
And if you don't have any luck early, try again after halftime when everyone's got a buzz going. Alcohol is your friend and serves as social lubrication in group situations. Sure, you might get shot down, but if at first you don't succeed, try, try again.
2. Host the Tailgate Party Everyone Wishes They Were
As long as you know what you're doing, tailgating is one of the easiest and most casual ways to meet female fans. If you're hosting (or co-hosting) a kickass tailgate party, you're holding all the cards. It sounds very high school…but life is very high school.
People who are at nearby, lesser tailgate parties, kids under the age of 21 looking for a brew and a buzz, and pretty much anyone walking by is going to secretly wish they were there too. Even confident hotties with self-esteem to spare are going to be flattered by an invitation from the cool kids.
Which means you have to look like the cool kids for this to work. A kickass tailgating party should have good music, reasonable seating (no dirty couches), a nice selection of snacks and, of course, cold beer. A fun game of touch football is a great way to attract attention.
Tailgating is a pretty exact science. The key is to have a nice-sized crowd, without it being crowded. You want to use your crowd to attract a crowd, but remain exclusive. Nobody is going to want to buy the whole ice cream truck if you're giving all the friggin popsicles away for free.
Basically, what you want to do is look at this photo and do the exact opposite. If your party looks nothing like this, you're definitely on the right track.
1. Don't Be a Wallflower
Both women and men are drawn to confidence. It sounds cliché, but that doesn't mean it isn't true. Which is why you should make the most out of every opportunity in which you find yourself in the spotlight—particularly among strangers.
Making a spectacle of yourself in a humorous way (not a sloppy drunk way) won't always get you the girl, but it can't hurt. Even if you fall on your face, who cares what a bunch of idiot strangers think anyway? On the other hand, shying away from the spotlight is 100 percent guaranteed to get you nowhere 100 percent of the time.
Take Celtics fan James Fry (see video), for instance. At a home game in 2009, he danced his way into history (and into my heart) with an impromptu performance to the tune of Bon Jovi's '80s classic "Livin' on a Prayer." Fry isn't a stud by conventional standards, yet I've been absolutely obsessed with this kid for five years.
Seriously, if you know him—or are him—you can find me on twitter: Follow @blamberr
So the next time you find yourself in the passing spotlight of the cameraman scanning the crowd that's displayed on the jumbotron, just remember this: Fortune favors the bold.
As you were...