It’s nearly October, which means fall is around the corner and closely nipping at our butt cheeks. For many, fall signals the arrival of oxblood nail polish, Ann Taylor Loft cardigans, and think pieces about yoga pants and pumpkins.
Fall can also be considered, “Hey, How’ve You Been?” season when every ex-boyfriend or fuck boy you gave sloppy toppy freshman year of college will casually slide through your DMs.
For me, the changing leaves cue the beginning of basketball season (which starts on my birthday!) and the dreaded influx of suspicious questions and doubts from men whose brains begin hemorrhaging at the idea of a girl enjoying a sport.
Yes, I lead an admittedly heteronormative lifestyle as a fashion and beauty writer, who loves fake hair and fake nails. This isn’t news to anyone. I am also however a loyal Brooklyn Nets fan, and spend many chilly nights sitting on my couch eating quesadillas while watching the Nets lose. (Hey, at least I’m not a Knicks fan).
I started watching basketball about three years ago with my boyfriend at the time who was really into it. When we broke up, I continued following the sport. Why? Because professional basketball is exciting, involves an impressive amount of athletic skill, having pride in a team is fun (especially when they’re the underdog), and cool sneakers are involved.
Also, if anyone is going to watch a bunch of sweaty men run around on a court with their popsicles flapping under their shorts, it’s damn well gonna be me.
So when basketball season starts, I’ll either watch the games from my apartment, or chill at a sports bar with friends. Every so often I’ll find myself in a conversation with a random guy who says something like, “Blah blah blah, do you like basketball?”
And I go, “Yeah, I’m a Nets fan." This, my friends, is where I run into problems.
More often than not, my response leads to me feeling like a suspect in a crime show being interrogated with a fluorescent light shining in my face. Wild trivia questions begin raining down, and suddenly I’m put in the awkward position of proving exactly how much I know about the coach, my team’s record, and which starters were recently traded.
“I’m a Nets fan” is not code for “Please touch my butthole!” so why are you questioning my whole life?
Really… relax, boys.
One of my close female friends who lives for football season totally relates to the awkward unwarranted doubt and pressure to prove she doesn’t wear a jersey to get the D. She said, “It’s frustrating to feel the need to defend a genuine interest, or to feel like a try-hard wannabe bro for just legitimately enjoying something.”
After these condescending interactions I have to wonder -- Do y’all really think sports are that hard to follow? Skincare is more complicated.
If I can understand how retinols prevent free radicals from breaking down collagen fibers in the skin (anti-aging 101), do you really think I won’t be able to remember where the free throw line is on a basketball court? There is no genetically predisposed real estate in the male brain dedicated to the NBA, NFL, NHL or MLB.
The countless stigmas and animosity surrounding women who casually watch sports are what kept me from watching them in the first place, and they’re what keep me from even mentioning that I’m a sports fan to this day.
I’m begging every passive-aggressive man on this planet to please, take a seat and count to 10 before interrogating a girl you see at a sports bar. She’s chilling. Even if she is in fact pretending to know who Lebron is so you think she’s cool, go along with it and stop cock-blocking yourself.
Here’s my solution to the entire dilemma – let’s all learn a lesson in moderation and minding our own business and just shhhhh. Listen men, and I’m going to speak for all female sports spectators here: We do not watch games to impress you. If we want to be penetrated, trust me – we don’t have to try that hard.
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