As I’m sitting here on Sunday performing my weekly ritual of watching Sunday NFL Countdown, followed by whatever NFL games I can and checking my fantasy football team, I began to ponder a very monumental question. I wondered why men have this intense fascination with women who love sports.
Is it the lure of having a woman in a man’s domain? Or is it just the draw of having a woman know her sports? On the other hand, is it just so rare that it is something to be cherished?
I personally watch ESPN every day, and I haven’t missed Sportscenter in months. Now, does that make me a freak of nature because I’m female, or does that make me more attractive because I'm female?
I'm not ashamed of my love for sports, nor am I afraid to back down from a man who seems to think he knows more about sports than I do, especially when he doesn't even have an opinion on who should win the Heisman or be No. 1 in the BCS rankings.
(By the way, the Heisman should go to Knowshon Moreno and No. 1 in the BCS should be Alabama, although Texas Tech is making a very strong argument.)
From a man’s perspective (although granted, I’m obviously not a man and thus am just speculating), I’m wondering if this is solely because they feel threatened and thus must defend their manhood.
Honestly, I’m not much of a threat to your manhood. Although I may follow football and college basketball religiously, I’ll never know as much as the big time, obsessive sports fans. So feel free to be secure in your masculinity.
I've also wondered if, perhaps, just because diehard female sports fans are such an anomaly, that it's the equivalent of getting to open your presents early for Christmas: so rare that you just have to get excited.
From my own personal perspective, however, I can see why the fascination occurs. For the vast majority of recent history, football and other sports have been the man's domain, his sanctuary from the "Honey do" lists and the nagging needs of his sports-hating significant other.
Men have forever doubted the women that will spend their Sundays with him, or alone, watching football, and know exactly what's going on. I can personally attest to this, as I cannot begin to count the number of times I've worn my ESPN shirt to the gym and had people express their disbelief.
We are not the women who watch baseball and football for the men in tight pants. We are instead the women who bring a feminine touch to the sports world.
There is a fine line for men between a woman who loves sports and a woman who can make him feel like less of a man because of her love for sports. I was the most popular person in my all-male (minus me, of course) fantasy football league, until I wouldn't stop beating them, eventually winning the league title.
Women shouldn't be relegated to the level of busty cheerleader when it comes to sports. To these men, I say, don't be afraid of women who know their sports; it just means we have interests in things that actually matter.
Instead, embrace us for the exceptions that we are, and ask us our opinion on the BCS, why the Lions are destined to go 0-16, or why Matt Ryan is the most impressive QB this season. We have answers, and we're not afraid to express them.
I leave you with the slogan on the ESPN shirt I've worn to the gym many times: "Yes, I'm a woman; yes, I know the game; yes, I watch ESPN."