Archive for January 11th, 2010

The playoffs

I told myself I wasn’t going to post about this, but I’m desperate to do something to cleanse my system of the anxiety and depression and, well, just emotion that I still feel in my heart (despite coating it in Charles Shaw Sauvignon Blanc and lots of episodes of Law & Order).  Maybe writing about it will make me feel better, or at least make me feel less. 

It’s tough being a sports fan.  I have a working theory that it’s actually tougher being a female sports fan, but I’ll get to that later.  The thing is, that with any sport there’s really only one desired outcome: to win.  And only one team can do that at a time.  And in a league like the NFL’s, only one team can do that each season; that is, win the Superbowl.  Anything less than that is, by definition, disappointing, even when we all know that only one of thirty-two teams can achieve this goal.  It’s crazy to let your emotions become so involved in something you (a) have no control over and (b) are extremely unlikely to get the results you want.  Right?  Right?  I think so.  But year after year I invest considerable amounts of emotional (and sometimes finanical) currency in these teams that can’t help but, at least sometimes, let me down.  I mean, I refer to them as “we” for crying out loud.  And I never even think that’s weird until some non-sports fan lets me know it is.

I love the Green Bay Packers.  I’m so proud of this season and so impressed with how they played.  I think today’s game had some major errors — many of which are to be blamed on Green Bay and, specifically, their defense.  Of course.  The defense, actually, seemed to have forgotten to play the game.  And I’d like to blame the officiating, officiating and the blown calls on Fitzgerald for offensive interference (more officiating, I know, but I can’t find a decent link to an article about it yet). And I will to some degree, but the truth is that it doesn’t really matter because the game is over, the season is over and the Green Bay Packers are heading home.  More importantly, though, is something that I know now, even in my disappointed and sad state:  While they may not be Superbowl-bound this year, they still are , as they always will be, my favorite team of any team that ever was and ever will be.

A long overdue word, though, to Aikman, and everyone else on national tv, they’re the green bay packers, or the GREEN BAY PACKERS.  But they are not, and never have been, as far as I know, the GREEN bay packers.  Or the green BAY packers.  Analysts’ emphasis is always off, which seems particularly weird for a fairly well-known team and an easy-to-prounounce town.

As for women.  Here’s my thinking.  Women, in general, are less likely to be sports fans than men, particularly fans of such sports as football and basketball.  I have no statistics to back me up, just 34 years of experiencing life as a female with very few female friends that share my interest.  And I have female friends, so don’t try to get me on that.  So, there are fewer women to talk to about sports, which can be sad because talking to men about sports often gets competitive and aggressive and sometimes you really just want to talk it out.  See, that’s what I want.  As a woman.  To talk it out.  About how I’m thinking and feeling about it.  And not to one-up someone else with different statistics or some writer’s theory.  Well, sometimes anyway.  And without being able to do this as much as I’d like, it’s rather isolating.  In any event, as long as I’m stereotyping myself and my friends (read: accurately describining the way things are), I’ll hit you with my second point.  Women are generally more emotional and more “in touch” with their emotions.  I really don’t dig that expression, “in touch,” but I’ll use it here because it seems kinda appropriate.  Given this (no stats, let’s just let it ride as true), sports losses — and wins — affect women more.  Women take it more personally — should I not have moved on the couch during that last drive? was it my fault?  — and they take it harder.  I don’t just bounce back from a loss like today’s.  I want to talk to Aaron Rodgers and tell him how proud I am of him.  I want to smack the defense on their collective head and say, “Why didn’t you get on the plane to Phoenix?”  I want to say, “McCarthy, don’t give up on us. And excellent work on that onside kick call!” 

But I can’t do any of that.  So I sit here and steam and stir and twitch, and wonder what I could have done differently. And I count the days until August.  Which, frankly, is a weird thing to do in Wisconsin in January.  Except it’s not.  If you’re a sports fan.  And you’re a woman.


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