Monthly Archives: April 2011

Why Women Hate Sports

All women hate sports.

OK, this is not entirely true.  “All” women do not hate sports, just as “all” men do not love sports, just as “All That” was not all that “all that” (in fact, it was mediocre programming at best).  But, as a writer, I must make sweeping generalizations to stir up fake controversy and drive enraged traffic to this site.1 So, I stand by my claim: ALL WOMEN HATE SPORTS…with a few clarifying points:

  • When I say “all women”, I’m referring mostly to the following female groups: those who get bedazzled manicures, those who know how to bake a pie, and those who own more than two cats.  These groups are mutually exclusive.2
  • When I say “sports”, I’m referring to the three professional sports that the average American male watches most: Baseball, football, and basketball.  Hockey doesn’t count, because it is ruled by Canadians and all women have a soft spot for Canadians because of Bryan Adams.
  • When I say “hate”, I really mean it, guys.  Women do not tolerate sports.  They actively hate sports with an overwhelming rage equivalent to missing a sample sale.  It’s that serious.

So now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to it: Why do women hate sports?  Is it a feminist repudiation against a misogynistic society that unfairly celebrates a jock culture?  No.  It’s actually far simpler than that.  There are  four clear-cut reasons why women hate sports.  If we understand these reasons, then perhaps we can save sports for women.

Jealousy. This is not where I say that women hate sports because they’d rather be spending time with their man.  Don’t flatter yourself, guys.  Women don’t want to spend more time with men. Instead, the thing women are most envious about is how much men actually care about sports.  If Cavs fans in Cleveland were asked to choose between keeping their wives or bringing LeBron James back, how many guys would leave their wives?  ALL OF THEM.  Men can rattle off facts about the Cowboys’ winning percentage on the road, but they can’t remember the date of their anniversary.  They can tell you the name of the Cubs’ fifth starter, but they can’t recall the name of their middle child.  To women, it often seems like men are programmed to cry only at a funeral, a birth of a child, or the aftermath of Game 7 (oh, and Toy Story 3, unless they are robots).  Men care about sports in ways that defy logic: They will develop a routine (the Red Sox will win if I sit on the left side of the couch, but not the right side).  They will chant in unison.  They will scream at the television.  And they will grow a playoff beard.  (And it’s always a disgusting one.)

Obesity. How do you watch a sporting event?  Sometimes sitting down.  Sometimes standing up.  Either way, you’re getting fat.  Yes, it’s ironic that sport inspires men to gouge themselves on beer and nachos, thus turning them into flabby masses that do not resemble the heroes they so admire on the field (unless they are a fan of CC Sabathia).  If we didn’t have sports, would men actually stress-eat a bucket of chicken wings every Sunday?  Hopefully not.  Our sports-watching culture has led to a corpulent male population chock-full of beer-bellied dudes and Type 2 diabetes.  Women, at least, have a good excuse for getting fat (We carry your children, dammit! Let us have our whoopee pies!).  Men have no such excuse.  The reason men are fat is because of sports.  And women hate them for it.

Cheaters. It’s hard for women to like professional athletes because 99% of pro athletes are adulterous cheaters.  Well, that might be an exaggeration… 98% of pro athletes are cheaters, and women hate men who are unfaithful.  Women classify cheaters in the same category of “shitty man” that includes murderers, rapists, and wife-beaters.  On the other hand, male fans have the moral fortitude of a perforated sponge.  Men will forgive their fellow shitty man as long as he delivers in the clutch, but women will never, ever, ever forget that the guy cheated on his pregnant wife.  Sorry, Tiger.  Unfortunately, our sports heroes of today (Kobe, Favre, A-Rod) are all veritable, no-good, douchebag cheaters.  Throw in a Rape-lisberger and a heartbroken Eva Longoria, and women will turn their backs on pro athletes.  All it takes is one bad apple taking pictures of his junk with a cameraphone, and no women will root for this lot of shitty men.

Crotch Grabbers. There is only one thing that women hate more than cheaters, and this is watching men grab their own crotches.  In an average baseball game, crotchshots are shown almost as often as something interesting happening (finally… a single…).  Come on.  Does an extra mini-appendage really need that much maintenance?  Players — we know that you are a man.  You don’t have to prove it to us. And since you have millions of dollars, perhaps you could invest in some medication for your below-the-belt ailments.  Athletes should only be playing with one ball, thank you very much, and that ball should be made of leather.

So, to Roger Goodell, Bud Selig, David Stern, and all men out there, if you want to convince women to like sports, please take the following advice: (1) Players: Soap.  Use it down there.  (2) Owners: Discourage your players from marriage.  Women will put up with philanderers (this is why women still love George Clooney), but they will not put up with cheaters.  (3) Fans: Lay off the dip.  You’re getting fat.  And even though it sounds terrible now, just consider two words: veggie platter. (4) Boyfriends, Husbands, and Fathers: Care about your women as if they were on your fantasy team.  And if that doesn’t work, well, then just trade us. Please.

1. This crappy, “gotcha” headline is an ode to other articles that make ridiculous sweeping generalizations of entire peoples: “Why You’re Not Married” or “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior“.

2. I estimate that these three groups make up close to 60% of all women.  But “60% of women hate sports” is not a good headline.

NB: I love sports.  But I do hate crotch grabs.

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The Only Thing We Have to Fear… is Everything

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1933 Inaugural Address1

I’m always amused by parents who keep their children on a leash.  I used to think that treating a child like a German shepherd was only appropriate in crowded, pedophile-rich places (subway stations, Times Square, Montana2), where one could easily lose a kid in the throng.  But just the other day, I saw a father calmly walking his toddler son in Target. Target! (It wasn’t even a busy Target.)  The kid kept trying to run off to the toy section, only to be bungee-boomeranged back to his dad.  It was actually rather funny to watch a guy play paddle ball with his son… except it was with his son.  However, when I mentioned the absurdity of the scene to my mom on the phone, she immediately leapt to the father’s defense: “If parents don’t keep an eye on their children nowadays, the child will get kidnapped.”  She went on to list several examples from Dateline in which un-leashed children were snatched away from their negligent parents.

(Thankfully, I never had to suffer the indignity of a leash.  I merely have memories of my parents telling me to stay close unless I wanted to be abducted and sold to a Nike shoe factory.  When I got older and questioned the likelihood of this ever happening, my mom was adamant. “They want Asian children because of your tiny fingers.  For the laces.”)

My parents were great at manipulating fear as a weapon.  After all, fear is entirely a product of nurture.3 I grew up fearing almost everything: snakes, spiders, roller coasters, big dogs, strangers, light poles, peas, the deep end of the pool, my own closet… I feared it all.  If you asked my parents, this was a good thing.  They would say it’s better to be fearful than cavalier.  Fear makes you more cautious, and caution makes you less likely to end up dead or with a venereal disease.  If it were up to them, they would encourage all parents to subliminally inculcate fears in their children like this:

Age 6: “Yes, the boogie man is real, and he chops off children’s heads.  The good thing is, he’ll only chop off your head if you don’t eat your vegetables.”

Age 13: “Yes, ninjas are real, and they will attack you in your sleep.  The good thing is, they’ll only attack you if you’ve been drinking or smoking.”

Age 16: “Yes, there really is a serial killer running around town.  And he will kill us unless you take out the trash. So do it already!”

Thankfully I managed to avoid permanent scarring, outgrowing most of my fears as I got older.  But the funny thing is, my parents kept theirs.  Even now, my mom always offers warnings about grave dangers that are immediate threats to my life.  Her long list of “Things to avoid” includes: the beach (tsunamis), the sun (cancer), left turns (inevitable car accidents), men with tattoos (you will get attacked and go into a coma), baseball games (you will get attacked and go into a coma), and drinking bottled water that’s been left in the car (you will die).

Since now I’m living 3,000 miles away in California, her worries have intensified: I’m almost certainly going to encounter a life-threatening earthquake, wildfire, mudslide, or errant Botox injection.  Scumbag LA agents and managers will eat me up and spit me out.  The Hollywood sign will tumble down and leave me trapped in my apartment, forcing me to eat my own arm to survive.  The only thing that could possibly keep me safe out here is marriage. Marriage (and grandchildren) will save me from all such ills.

My mom maintains that her concerns are just the normal fears of all parents.  And I suppose she’s justified, in some way.  After all, parenthood is cruel: having a child is like planting a seed and watching it grow for 18 years into a big, tall tree… and then having the tree ripped out and hurled across the country, fending off wood chippers and paper plants along the way.  So I can understand the anxieties of those parents who put leashes on their kids and who hound you about getting a first aid kit with flares for your car… at least you know they care.

And truth be told, there is a value to keeping a healthy dose of fear alive, reminding us of our own mortality, encouraging us to optimize the time we have on this earth, pushing us to live life to the fullest… because, like my mom4 says, we’re all just hanging on by a thread… a thread that may be contaminated with leftover radiation from Japan.

___

1. With apologies to Frankie D, WHAT WERE YOU TALKING ABOUT?  Sure, your speech went a long way in lifting post-Depression spirits, but if we really think about it, you essentially said the equivalent of: “The only thing we have to celebrate is celebration itself,” or “The only thing we have to eat is food itself.”  Okaa-ay. Worst famous quote ever.

2. Montana is the state with the highest number of registered sex offenders per capita, according to the sex offender registry. Go Montana!

3. Actually, let me rephrase that: surplus fear is entirely a product of nurture. Naturally, all human beings are predisposed to certain baseline fears that threaten our survival, like hurricanes, sharks, and other things that we name professional sports teams after. It’s nurture that separates the notoriously fearful (like Chicken Little) from the notoriously fearless (like Chuck Norris).

4. And Nostradamus. And the Mayans. 2012, baby!… I am terrified.

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