I grew up as a daddy’s girl. I wanted to do everything with him, all the time. He was my world in my early years, and he still is today. He’s shaped me into who I am in so many different aspects of life, and for that, I am ever so grateful. The one thing my dad did for me that has impacted me the most, however, was introduce me to my very first love, the love of my life that will never break my heart–the beautiful world of sports.
I cried when the 49ers lost to the Seahawks in the NFC Championship last season, I curse Justin Verlander for sending the A’s packing in the playoffs every year, and I’d rather cash out on Warriors tickets than Jay-Z and Beyoncé tickets. I’m on a mission to attend a game at every Major League Baseball stadium in North America, and I’m in college studying to fulfill my dreams of becoming a “SportsCenter” anchor. I can talk about sports like most girls talk about labels, and I’m always up for a not-so-friendly debate on whether LeBron is better than Kobe (yes, he is). Most girls think it’s awesome that I have such a passion for a world they don’t know much about. My friends love that I will gladly watch their boyfriends’ games with them, so when the boyfriends ask, my friends can act like they understood what was going on. Guys, on the other hand, aren’t always as supportive.
Being the outspoken person I am, I’ve gotten into my fair share of tiffs about sports with men. I admit that I can definitely be wrong at times, maybe because my statistics were off or simply because I was not as educated on the topic as I originally thought. However, much to most guys’ dismay, I can assure you I’m not ever wrong because I’m a girl.
If a guy feels threatened by my knowledge of sports and knows that his argument is going nowhere, he will throw in something along the lines of, “What do you know about football? You’re a girl.” Nothing makes me more furious or disgusted than when a guy tries to tell me I cannot be nearly as educated about sports because I’m a pretty, heterosexual girl with lipstick and pink nails. I’ve probably watched as many games or “Around the Horn” episodes as most of the male population. I read ESPN The Magazine by the pool and my favorite books are all sports-related. Everything I don’t understand, I am eager to learn more about. If anything, I have tried to make myself more informed about sports than the average male, because I know people will doubt the extent of my knowledge solely because I am a woman.
It’s unfair that my opinion is slightly less appreciated, and it is unfair that people think I pretend to love sports because guys think it’s hot. It’s unfair that it’s assumed that I like to watch baseball because of the tight pants, and it’s unfair that when I say my favorite NBA player is Steph Curry, I’m immediately accused of liking him because he’s attractive. I’m a girl who loves getting my nails done, the color pink, and makeup, but I’m also a girl who loves an afternoon at the ballpark and screaming at the 49ers with my dad. And I’m not the only one. Because of sportscasters like Erin Andrews and Bonnie Bernstein, women are finally starting to feel like they have more of a chance to have their voices heard in the sports broadcasting world. Watch out, men–soon sports-savvy women will show you up left and right.