Gather round, ladies, as I take yet another journey into the minds of men everywhere and expose some of my gender’s dirty little secrets. Please use this powerful information responsibly. My goal is merely to enhance understanding between the sexes and I do so at great personal risk.
With baseball season underway, hockey and basketball heading to the playoffs and the so-called March Madness coming to an end (thankfully), you may find yourself overwhelmed at home and at the office with endless sports chatter. Perhaps you’re feeling excluded or ignored. Maybe you’d like to join the conversation but are afraid of saying the wrong thing.
Fear Not! For the truth is that men don’t really know anything about sports! It’s all just a clever ruse designed to drive women away from the conversation. And then we talk about clothing and celebrities and food – the exact same things that you talk about!
See, following professional sports is really just a soap opera for men (with beer). We talk about which players we like and which players we don’t like. We talk about who’s fighting with whom and why. It’s completely personality-driven and has nothing to do with the actual intricacies of the game.
Most men stopped playing sports in middle school. Some played in high school. Hardly any played in college. And while men pretend to be experts in sports they’re absolutely not! The typical man’s sports knowledge is a mile wide and an inch deep.
Think about it. If you were in a play in middle school do you think that would qualify you to be an expert on Broadway? Of course not! Yet these overgrown little leaguers try to pass themselves off as baseball savants all summer long.
A man’s sports knowledge actually comes from reading blogs, listening to sports chat radio and watching SportsCenter. They take all of that secondhand data, rehash it into ‘original thinking’ and make generic observations or idiotic predictions.
You could easily do the same thing (and don’t forget about wiki for the basics). The key is to talk about sports with authority…like you really believe what you’re saying!
Here’s a personal example. Matt Light is an offensive lineman for the Patriots. His job is to protect the quarterback (Mr. Dreamy himself, Tom Brady). Light is a decent but not great player. A few years ago I heard a lineman described as a “turnstile”. I liked the line so I filed it away for future use. This year whenever Light had a bad game I’d come into work the next day and start spouting off to the boys about how much Matt Light sucked and how he was a ‘turnstile’. I didn’t even know what it meant! But it was funny, it sounded good and I said it with conviction. Game, set, match!
If you’d like to destroy the frail egos of the men around you by embarrassing them with your superior sports knowledge, there are a couple of options for you to consider:
An effective (yet work-intensive) approach is to focus on one sport or one team and really study up. Lay low for a while, wait until the office big mouth is in front of a big crowd and spouting off some generic nonsense (i.e. Matt Light is a turnstile) and publicly challenge him with some real facts and data. Did somebody say humiliation?
The second (and much easier) option is to just be like the average guy. Occasionally read a few sports blogs, every now and again watch a few minutes of SportsCenter and just start saying the same hollow platitudes as everyone else. No one will challenge you on it because they don’t really know any more than you do. Believe you me, I’ve been doing this for years and I rarely get busted! Next thing you know, you’re in the club.
I have one final warning for you, though. Stay far, far away from anyone that is involved with “fantasy” sports. Most likely, the fantasy sports guy in your office is married or far too nervous to talk to you, but he’s very, very dangerous. The fantasy sports guy is obsessed with statistics and really knows his stuff. That’s a no-win situation for you and me both. Always avoid fantasy sports guy.
Ladies, men are simple creatures. They like girls, sitting around, drinking beer and talking about things that they don’t really understand. So don’t be intimidated when the conversation turns to sports. With few exceptions men are no smarter about sports then they are about any other subject.
You can thank me later.