After a short, humid summer, September has arrived. The College of Charleston campus is flooded with awkward freshmen staring intently at their schedules as they blindly walk into traffic. The hipster clothing stores on King Street are unpacking their new fall collections of short wool jackets, and my favorite watering holes are suddenly packed with loud, obnoxious fan-boys gearing up for football season. Ugh.
I appreciate enthusiasm, but sports is one of those things I don't get. I enjoy going to a hockey game now and then and getting wrapped up in the excitement. I like playing a friendly game of basketball with my friends in the park on a mild Saturday afternoon. I'll even turn to a Sox game on ESPN for background noise as I write. However, when it comes to religiously watching every game, memorizing random stats, and arguing loudly about defense strategies in a bar, I just think all that energy could be put to better use elsewhere.
I can see why men are into sports. It's raw, competitive, and glorified. Impressionable little boys see their favorite athletes on TV being praised for their athleticism, rubbing elbows with Hollywood celebrities, and hocking $200 pairs of ugly sneakers — no wonder they want to "be like Mike." That feeling sticks with men through adulthood, as they live vicariously through those lucky genetic mutants who beat the odds to make it to the big leagues. But women who are really into sports have always caused me a great deal of confusion.
This is horrible, but anytime I see a female sports reporter on the sidelines at a big game, I think, "Someone's daddy didn't pay enough attention to them." I can honestly say if my father was into sports, I probably would've painted my face red and screamed, "Let's go, Wolfpack!" at every opportunity. Luckily for me, he enjoyed Broadway musicals and shopping for man-purses (no, he's not gay). I still know all the words to "Rainbow Tour" from Evita.
Girls I've known who claim to be sports fans always seemed to have a hidden agenda to their masculine interests — to impress men. If they were so into sports, why don't they pay more attention to the WNBA? At least with that there's a certain level of relation, and you're supporting your fellow sisters. But no, these women prefer to banter about NFL draft picks with a particular air of smugness. I'm not trying to pigeonhole sports-loving ladies. In fact, I'm sure there a few out there who genuinely enjoy the games. But for the most part, the girls I've seen seem to be playing a little game of their own as they rattle off stats and bat their eyes at the opposite sex.
But hey, to each her own. If you feel like you have to feign interest over the likes of Terrell Owens for male attention, so be it. We all have a secret arsenal we enjoy unleashing on unsuspecting men — I myself have an unusual love for comic books and dirty jokes. If I meet a man who shares those interests, at least I know we have some common ground. But diehard sport fans have always been a big turn-off, so obviously I'm not going to bother educating myself on who won the World Series in '54.
As the football season gains momentum and bars fill up with garnet and black polo-wearing dudes chanting the questionable phrase "Go Cocks!", you'll find me at home on my couch, eyes closed, contentedly singing along with the soundtrack from Cabaret.