Ask an Athlete: 10 Questions Women Want Answered
If I could ask a professional athlete one thing, what would it be?
Believe it or not, my answer had nothing to do with the sport. That led me to wonder what other woman thought, and thus, and idea was born.
Let's start at the beginning, shall we?
Running on the treadmill today, I was inspired by one of the several pro athletes who works out at my gym, a Minnesota Twin. My mind was wandering, as it often does while running in place, and I asked myself this question: If I could ask this baseball player one thing, what would it be?
I pride myself on not being a screaming, crazy fan-girl. I'm rational, I love sports, but I don't think that you should walk up to "famous" people on the street and bug them; they are entitled to their privacy.
But then I was thinking hypothetically. Men relate to each other differently, so what would women ask? I gathered the girls, and got quite a few questions, which I narrowed down to 10.
This is not a representation of all womankind, but a diverse group of women of varying ages and walks of life. These are their questions.
No. 10: If you could be anything besides a pro athlete, what would you be?
It's a good question, because the odds of being a pro athlete are so low, most people don't make it. But what is the back-up plan? What was Dustin Pedroia's plan B if he didn't make it in the MLB? Would Kevin Garnett work on Wall Street? Would LT be and actor and Peyton Manning a high school science teacher who coaches football?
When you think about it, everyone has something they'd like to be, even professional athletes.
No. 9: Who is your favorite athlete?
We know baseball players have fantasy football leagues; NFL coaches attend NBA games; and they golf along with doing other things. Most men like sports, and have favorite athletes, so it would be surprising if the pros were any different.
When Steve Nash isn't playing, does he cheer for Joe Mauer and the Twins? And likewise, is your favorite hockey player Sidney Crosby? Do any of them watch the PGA and cheer for Erney Ells? It is certainly something to wonder.
No. 8: What about laundry?
Do you do your own laundry?
Let's face it, some college boys will go to Wal-Mart and buy clothes to avoid doing the laundry. When you are making millions, do you wash your own socks?
Clothes fresh from the gym stink up the laundry, and that's just from a normal person working out. Could you imagine the kind of workout these guys go through? Do they throw their stuff in the wash when they get home or do they have it sent out?
I tell you this, if there was a way to have my clothes cleaned without doing it myself, I'd do it.
No. 7: Do you shop at Wal-Mart?
Let's face it, we all need groceries. And to quote a very funny song by a duo called Rhett and Link, "Where else can I get a gold chain and s'mores
in one trip. Thats it; it's Wal-Mart. Roll back those prices, Ill roll up my sleeves
Where else can I get spark plugs and cheese. At a decent price? No where but Wal-Mart."
So do some millionaire NBA players buy all their Christmas presents at Wal-Mart? Does Drew Brees run into Ukrop's (grocery store) to grab a gallon of milk on his way home from practice?
I think probably so, but if they pay someone to shop for them, I want that job!
No.6: What do you guys eat?
This is a sort of combo question after a lot of food questions. What do you guys eat? Do you ever eat chocolate or fast food? And, of course, one of the great debates of the soda drinking population: Coke or Pepsi?
Here we have Jacoby Ellsbury chowing down on his free taco for stealing a base in the 2007 World Series. But would he be eating that if it was during spring training or the regular season?
I have also seen Kevin Youkilis at Eagle's Deli in Boston, and heard tales of David Wright in Pop's Diner in Virginia. I've also seen Jason Vartiek's personal trainer cooking him oatmeal and egg whites with vegetables.
We've seen plenty of Gatorade, water, champagne, and beer, but what about soda?
It would be very difficult to find out which athlete preferred Coke and which preferred Pepsi, because more than likely, they are paid by one of the two.
The point behind this question was really this: If we eat at Taco Bell, we can gain five pounds. You have to be physically fit for your job, but do you eat it anyway?
No. 5: Are you friends with that guy?
Are you friends with other players, even ones on opposing teams? How does that work?
There are some great rivalries out there. Yankees-Red Sox, Cardinals-Cubs, the rather one-sided Steelers-Browns, and of course, Redskins-Cowboys. Most of these are because of proximity, but sometimes it's something else.
We all know that Red Sox fans hate Johnny Damon with a passion, and in Boston, Bucky Dent will forever have an expletive as a middle name.
The Cowboys bought the rights to "Hail to the Redskins" to force the Redskins to stop blocking them from entering the NFL; they've hated each other ever since.
But does an individual Ohio State player hate an individual Michigan player? Or, is a rivalry on the field just that: on the field? But what do you do if you are good friends with a QB you just spent the afternoon sacking? Is there any resentment there? Do you call and gloat—just a little—or let him have his space?
An interesting thought to ponder.
No. 4: What's on your iPod?
What music do you listen to when you work out?
It's an interesting question. Raise your hand if you have Miley Cyrus's "Party in the USA" on your iPod but don't want to admit it? I've been on the treadmill secretly doing the dance to "Single Ladies" and jammed out to Weird Al's "White and Nerdy."
A workout playlist is usually a random one, with a mix of songs, but what sort of music do the pros listen to? Country? Rap? Polka?
If it helps your workouts, we'd really like to know.
No. 3: Do you feel bad for the other team when you win?
The obvious answer is "no".
But then, you have to wonder. In the Olympics right now, is a figure skater whose mother died a few days ago. Right now she's in medal position. But let's assume she doesn't get one. Don't you think the other skaters would have a tiny moment where they wish she'd won? That you feel bad that she didn't, even though her winning would have stopped you from winning?
It's an interesting conundrumfor fans as well. As a fan of the Americans, I should have wanted the American skaters to crush everyone else, but I find myself cheering for the South Korean girl and the Canadian who just lost their mom. Why? Simply because I admire what they have done and are doing.
It's not as black and white as it seems.
No. 2: Do you ever get tired of it?
Do you ever get tired of the sport because you play it so much?
Let's face it, we all get tired of your daily grind, of our jobs, but do the pros?
You play a game day in, day out, all season long. Is it even fun anymore? Do you think once you are done playing you will watch it on a regular basis? Do you, like Favre, hate the grind of training camp (and wish you could skip it) but love the game on Sundays?
Is this why Michael Jordan wanted to play baseball?
We may never know, though it seems that retired players generally want to get back to the sport somehow...so maybe they don't get tired of it. Maybe it is the greatest job in the world. I don't know, that's why we are asking.
Before we get to the number one question, here a few that didn't make the cut:
What's with the butt slapping?
Personally, I don't think we women are ever going to understand this, but it was a popular question.
Another was: What do you look for in a girlfriend?
We've seen plenty of athletes with the standard model-esque bimbo (note they are not always bimbos, I am stereotyping here) but we've also seen successful relationships. So what do they look for in a girl?
One last honorable mention: do you ever consider the "Will you marry me" signs? Or are they just generally creepy?
Personally, I think they are funny, but I'm not an athlete, I don't know their perspective.
This goes for signs in general. They are clearly a big part of the game atmosphere, you have the "K's" for strike-outs in baseball, priceless gems like these at basketball games, and all sorts of signs using ESPN, FOX, CBS, and NBC to say cheerful and/or derogatory things.
When the University of Virginia banned signs at its games, the students held up blank sheets of paper (not signs) in protest and were in open defiance of the Athletic department (for example, they say wear Orange; the entire school wears blue).
But do these guys even see the signs, much less care?
That's it for the honorable mentions. On to the final question.
No. 1: Gorgeous in real life?
Is Joe Mauer as gorgeous in person as he is on TV?
Now, this doesn't pertain solely to Joe Mauer, he just happened to be the athlete in the question. You could substitute him with Tom Brady, Tomy Romo, David Wright, Kobe Bryant, whoever your heart desires.
I don't think anyone will ever answer this question, it might go against the male code or whatever. But it is certainly one we want answered.
I hear groans from people who think women only watch sports because there is a hot guy on this team or that. Lets get this straight: For a lot of us, we love the game. If we have an attractive player to look at, it's a bonus.
But you never know until you see them in real life. For instance, one of the baseball players that goes to my gym, I thought he was average size until I walked by him and realized I could fit seven of me in him.
This concludes the ten questions burning in the minds of women. Well, some women anyway. One day, maybe someone will answer them, but until then, we'll continue to ponder.