Ever since I was a wee one I have loved all things sports. In fact I think I came out of the womb yelling things such as “And 1,””that’s a foul,” and “pass interference!” But that has not been confirmed (or denied) for me.
When I would spend the night at my best friends house I would wake up in the morning and read the Sunday sports page while consuming a large glass of low fat milk (my mom only bought non fat so going there and drinking that yummy fat was like a tall glass of
I played all of the sports growing up. Soccer, tennis, softball (insert lesbian joke here), and volleyball to name a few. I loved playing sports and the social aspect of a collective team unit (the team and social aspect more than the actual playing) but I also loved watching them. I could tell you every player, where they went to college and their stats on any given day (still can). My parents loved to show me off and tell their friends or family to ask me where so-and so-played, where he previously played, what college he went to and what his current stats were. My favorite players for baseball were Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio, much to the disappointment of my dad who loved the Padres and was friends with Tony Gwynn. My dad’s friendship even allowed me to get to meet my favorite players Bagwell and Biggio (and of course Gwynn, Caminiti and others) when he concocted a pre-game on field outing with my best friends family and mine before a Houston Astros v. San Diego Padres game. Bagwell and Biggio came up and hung out with us, tickled us and signed lots of autographs and I told my dad I was never going to wash the hand that Bagwell held. (Spoiler alert: I have since washed that hand).
I loved it. All of it. I loved sports so much I ended up being a sports reporter after UCLA (albeit for a small paper in Santa Barbara until the economy tanked in ’08 and I was 1 of 10 people laid off but then again I also got to live in Santa Barbara and get paid to write about sports right out of college so there’s the fucking silver lining).
I would (and still do) prefer watching ESPN over any other cable television show and to this day prefer having some sort of sports (minus hockey) on the TV. I dated a guy in college who also loved sports. We would sit on the couch (in boxers… hmmm) for endless hours and watch March Madness or football or basketball. We would go to games together. I went to South Bend twice with him to watch Notre Dame games (one of which was the infamous “Bush” push) and we would go to UCLA football and basketball games.
Fast forward to now. I no longer date men and the woman I am with doesn’t like and has never pretended to like any sports. In fact she hates them. All of them. (Except running which I always tell her isn’t actually a real sport). It is babe. It is a real sport. (I want her to cook me dinner still tonight). She used to moan and groan whenever sports were on at all and claimed it made her depressed because it reminded her of her time with her dad. (I didn’t know how long the relationship was going to last). I was not not going to watch sports so I started watching the games without the sound because well I am an amazing human. I will say however her utter resentment and hatred for all things sports has gotten better. She now
allows tells me I can have a little sound on while watching the games because well, compromise. She also yells “And 1” randomly on some nights I’m watching basketball (she has no idea what it means) and it makes my heart a little happy.
But most days there will be a huge game on and she’ll say ‘we should go to the beach’ or ‘let’s go to a movie’ and I have to tell her ‘babe there’s a game on’. But relationships are again all about compromise and sometimes I opt to go out and spend the day/night with her (and relentlessly check my phone for in game updates and/or put my phone in front of something – something she can’t see – while I stream the game and
pretend pay attention to her). She’s caught me twice.
But she still doesn’t understand that oh I don’t know the Super Bowl is a big deal. I even try to get her into the Super Bowl commercials but she doesn’t care. I try to care to pretend about Chicago sports “look babe your team is on” but nope. Nothing. However, on two occasions she tried to pretend she cared about sports (just to spite me). The Cubs were playing the Padres and we went to the game and she said she was going to root root root for the
home team Cubbies. I told her she couldn’t come with me if she did that. She cheered one time for them when they got a hit (I was surprised she knew that was a good thing that just happened) and I refused to talk to her the rest of the time. On another occasion in which she tried to spite me she bought me tickets to the Chicago Bulls v. Lakers game for my birthday (girlfriend of the year and see that compromise again!) last year and said she was going to cheer for the Bulls. I asked her she could ONLY if she could tell me ONE current Chicago Bulls player and she replied with “Derek Jeter?” Wrong sport. She ended up cheering for the Lakers that night and told me she had a good time. Tear. Lot’s of tears. I recently told her since she had such a great time I was going to buy her tickets to the Lakers for her birthday. That one DID NOT go over well.
The very last time I coaxed her into going to a Padres game with me when the Cubs were playing she didn’t say she was going to root for the Cubs but I proactively bought her a cute Padres sweatshirt and some organic health food in order to ensure it wasn’t going to be like the other time and BOOM just like that she folded into turning against her home team. Clothe her and feed her and she’s good to go. Her family (all who like sports) called her a traitor and I, well I sang her praises that glorious night.
In order to keep her engaged in sports I recently promised her lululemon shorts (man I have never seen her perk up so fast) if she could tell me (in three tries) the college Steph Curry went to. I then digressed and said she would never ever guess what college he went to but I would still buy her said shorts if she could tell me the state he went to college in within five tries. Her first guess: Montana. Uh… what colleges are in Montana?! I said “think Michael Jordan.” She still couldn’t guess. Ten tries later she still hadn’t guessed. (He went to Davidson which is in North Carolina). It was a sad day as are most days in which I ask her any sports trivia.
In fact she just asked me what time the football game was on tonight. Basketball babe. Basketball. Face palm.