I am a woman who loves sports. It seems obvious enough to assume that men would love a woman who love sports, but – here’s the catch – men don’t want to marry women who are obsessed with sports. It may sound sexist but it’s true. At one point I could count dozens upon dozens of guy friends who would have no problem watching the big game with me and they would be impressed by my knowledge and they would tell me I’m their idea of a perfect girl… but I was single. Because the truth of the matter is most men may say they love a girl who knows her sports, but they really want a girly-girl.
These guys saw me as their really cool female friend. The keyword here is “friend” and the lack of the word “girl” preceding it. We would spend all day Sunday and after work on Monday nights during football season at a sports bar. I received the mass text all the guys got letting us know where to meet up to watch the World Series games. I felt accepted into the exclusive boy’s club and therein laid the problem: I was now one of “the guys.” No girl wants to be one of the guys because then they stop seeing you as a girl. And if you’re a single girl, that’s not a good thing.
The tables finally turned a couple years ago when I had the audacity to leave during the sports version of Mecca: football and the World Series at the same time – because of Yom Kippur. That’s when I realized there are other things in life besides sports and that included religion and dating. I could still be that sports-savvy chick but I needed to prioritize. Who wins the Red Sox-Yankees game is not a matter of life or death, living the rest of my life single and dying alone is.
And then I met Gabe. Gabe had tons of traits I was looking for, including loving sports, and loved that I loved sports but still saw me as a lady. It sounded perfect… on paper. Gabe took having a sports-knowledgeable girlfriend as a challenge. Whereas I was trying to tone down the tomboy in me, he was trying to compete in a “who knows more?” game. He would reel me in with trivia and then argue the answer running to his computer to prove me wrong. He was “the man” and there was no way a girl could know more about sports than him. He liked that I knew sports but he liked being right even more, even if it meant making me feel dumb. This side of him was such a turn-off that I had to break it off. I didn’t want to be that sports-crazed person anymore and I didn’t want to date one either but I also wasn’t willing to completely give up something I loved to find a man.
My husband loves the NBA and the UFC and doesn’t care for much else sports-wise (he likes to say he is bored to tears by baseball). I love the NFL. So since we don’t have a common sport, we found other hobbies to enjoy together. I go to football games with my Dad leaving my hubby to do his own thing and no longer let a game on TV interfere with a meal together or taking advantage of a beautiful day outdoors. It sounds weird, but I feel like by not letting sports rule my life, I’ve let love in its place. I no longer have the urge to talk smack to the guy in a Raiders jersey, and I don’t feeling like I’m missing out on anything. In fact, by realizing that sports isn’t everything, I’ve actually gained even more.