Why Women Love Sports.

“Name five players on the Giants. ” I can’t even count on my fingers and toes how many times I’ve heard that. As a female sports fan, that seems to be the question that guys think “proves” if you are a real fan or if you just like to talk a big game. Why does it seem gender roles are upheld obsessively in some instances and completely disregarded in others? Women: Does your mom ever tell you that the guy should always pay for a meal? What about when you tell your boyfriend you want to go to dinner, do the same rules apply? I say no.

If I call my boyfriend and complain that I don’t like the meal our chef is making for dinner and ask him to come get Campus Pizza with me, I do not think that it is his responsibility to pay for me. I would bet most guys at Lehigh would be happy with a girl who doesn’t expect them to pay for every single meal, but why is it we are praised for being independent women, but interrogated if we share interests that are typically aimed toward men? Essentially, what you’re saying is: I can be independent and pay for my own meal, but I will face enormous criticism for trying to be a sports fan.

As a New York Giants fan, I seem to have finally convinced my male peers that I am worthy of both watching and commenting on a football game and subsequently analyzing it over pizza later in the evening. However, it has taken me two years to prove that I have been satisfactorily schooled in the game of football itself and more importantly in the Giants. With the Super Bowl just behind us, it is inevitable that a plethora of women felt inadequate at their respective Super Bowl parties. It has taken me a while to determine what it is that makes men assume women are inferior when it comes to sports.

I have concluded that men feel the need to close women out of at least one aspect of their lives, since we seem to have invaded every other. Women have taken over the workplace – they are CEOs, lawyers and top surgeons. I mean, it is completely within the realm of possibility that we may have our first woman president within the next nine months. Sports seem to be the only thing men can still dominate. Have you ever heard of a woman football player? OK, maybe you did in high school, but there was probably only one of them and they were only trying to prove a point.

The fact remains: Men control the world of sports. I am the first to admit watching a women’s basketball game is nowhere near as exciting as a men’s game. However, it does not mean women are second-rate fans. Personally, I grew up in a household where football was the Sunday ritual. If I wanted to ask my dad to buy me something, I knew the best time to ask was during a Giants game. I, for one, know the power a football game can have on a man’s mind. When I got to school, I continued watching Giants football; one of my male friends even had me in his phone as “Rachel Giants. But this is rare and only came about after he quizzed me on the fundamentals of football and I passed his test. So back to this double standard stuff, I again pose the question – why don’t women garner the same respect as men for being passionate about a sport. Even worse, why are women told they are annoying or fake for showing emotion about a sport? Men: It is time that you give up on sports as being “your” thing. It can be everybody’s thing and women are just as capable as being “real” fans as you are.

Although there is no denying men control the actual aspect of playing professional sports, women should be seen as equals when it comes being a true fan. Women should never have to prove themselves as fans by answering never ending asinine questions about their team of choice. Their word should be trusted and respected in sports just as in your professional life and in relationships. Ahmad Bradshaw, Amani Toomer, Sam Madison, Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora. Yup, I think that’s five. And I’ll even bring the pizza. Why do you think women watch sports like baseball, football, and basketball?

Do you think it is because basketball players deltoids are looking so ripped in their perfectly cut jerseys that helps accentuate the shoulder area? Do you think we watch football to check out the tight asses running up and down the field in those oh so fine tight pants? Do you think we tune into the MLB to catch a glimpse of a player with his hat turned backwards? I can tell you, if you are looking into my eyes and you put that hat on backwards, you will have me at “Are you a Cubs fan or White Sox? ” By the way, I am a White Sox fan!

Those are not the reasons why women watch men’s sports. I am sure there are other reasons why men tune into women’s beach volleyball other than the skimpy bikinis and hot legs. I think eye candy and sports go hand in hand. Lets get down to the reasons women love sports, or just the reasons I do! I love athletes that persevere and win their game. I love to see a wide receiver covered perfectly, yet the quarterback executes his pass to perfection, which in turn motivates the wide receiver to jump over two guys to get the catch and roll into the end zone.

That is fantastic! Or how about a running back breaking tackles, spinning, jumping and diving into the end zone. No one did it better than Sweetness. I miss you number 34! I will never forget watching Mike Singletary’s eyes at middle linebacker. The intensity of a smart middle linebacker is like watching a tiger go after it’s prey. They are about to attack, but no one knows where. When they get their prey, the quarterback or the running back or full back or even the wide receiver, the prey knows who they have been taken down by a, fiercer opponent.

Basketball is a pure adrenaline rush! I don’t like Kobe Bryant, but the guy is mesmerizing. His skills are comparable to the best basketball player and athlete walking the planet, Michael Jordan. I would sit and watch Michael shoot a jump shot, dunk the ball from the free throw line, pass by the opponent on a fast break and slam it home, with my mouth open and at times tears in my eyes due to the gift of Michael and entertainment. Don’t even get me started on March Madness! I am ready to hear Dick Vitale again and his voice that sounds like he his part horse and part duck.

Baseball is a game of strategy. I love watching the communication that goes on between a pitcher and a catcher. The batter has no idea what pitch is going to be thrown at him. He only has a split second to figure it out. The best part is when the count is 3-2 and I try to guess what the pitcher will throw next. Eight out of ten times I am right! There is no other game that an athlete fails at more than as a batter in the MLB. It is a given. If you hit three times out of eight you are doing awesome. That means you failed five times.

But think about what you have to do as a hitter. There are five or more different types of pitches coming at you with different speeds and velocity. You have a split second to decide if you are swinging and where will you swing your bat. If you swing too early you better have long arms to reach for that ball and pull it. If you swing too late you better be strong enough to pull it down the right field line. Wow! That is awesome! Let’s not forget base stealing, the athleticism of your infield, and the agility and hand eye coordination of your outfielders.

Or the coaches on first and third deciding who will steal, who will run and who will slide. The strategy of the game of baseball is better than any Scrabble, Monopoly or Game of Life. What about when the game is tied in the bottom of ninth with two outs. Or the fourth quarter with 7. 3 seconds left and LeBron James has the ball. Or the fourth quarter at the two minute warning and the offensive team is on the 50-yard line, 15 yards away from field goal range and it is third down and six! It doesn’t get any better than that