How to Get Your Girl Into Sports
I have turned my wife from a casual baseball fan to a frothing, seething, raw-red-meat – obsessed – hockey fan. And this is after she became a frothing, seething basketball and football fan. Most of this coincided with the surge of the Washington Capitals and her obsession with their winning every game. As I write this, you may know the Stanley Cup Playoffs have started for 2010, and the most-hated Flyers (who don’t belong there anyway!!) are representing in the slot our Caps should have occupied and didn’t. My wife is just now getting over it four weeks later.
Guys ask me – DB, how’d you do it? My girl can’t give a box turtle’s plop about sports, how’d you manage to get your girl – a curvy, blonde girlie-girl, to get so freakin’ nuts about sports? To which I say – here’s how I did it: Women are social. They like events. We can watch football in our sweats and eat chips. But for my wife, I said, Hey, stay in your PJs, we’ll eat chips, make a pitcher of bloodies, we’ll lay on the couch, and we’ll read the entire NY Times while we hang out on top of each other.
Sound cool? Yesss!!, she said…and thus it started. Now we sometimes have parties around big games. She’s a New Yorker who became a Redskins fan once she realized that a game was an event that required prep – food and drinks – and a bit of a show. And she was in.
Women are competitive.
Very competitive, every bit as competitive as you are. Appeal to her civic pride in her city, show her a particularly touching article about how the star running back grew up with both parents in prison and was raised by his great grandmother, or the hockey player who defected under cover of nightfall from the evil Soviet Union to – of all places – Portland, or like Sergei Federov. That’s the stuff that my wife really hangs on to – the human stuff about sports. And when she starts getting behind a player or a team, the competitive juices are rolling, and she can only accept winning winning WINNING!
Women like to look good. Just break down, get her a jersey. Don’t give her your oversized DeMarcus Ware jersey. Instead get her the kind that are made for women so it’s snug and cute and looks good with short shorts or great jeans. Get her into it and make it flatter her figure. She’ll wear it more than you think.
Let her fall in “love”.
This is a tricky area guy. See, this is where you have to put your self-esteem and machismo in your back pocket if you want this to succeed. If you want her to follow the teams you love, let her develop a crush on a player. It’s no different than when you develop a crush on Alyssa Milano or last month’s Playmate: you’ve got NO chance with those gals, and hopefully, neither does your girl with the player. But she’ll want to watch sports with you to track how he’s doing, or just to catch a look at her “guy.” Don’t be threatened, don’t act jealous.
My wife’s favorite is Mike Green of the Capitals. F’ing loves this guy. Sure, I have to roll my eyes from time to time when she swoons at the arena when his mug shows up on the Jumbotron, but you know what? She’s at the arena with me (wearing her “Green-er” jersey I got her for a birthday gift last year!), as opposed to naggin’ me for spending the money on the tickets. In fact, she probably went and bought those seats for me! Atta’girl!
Let her fall in “love”, again – Often in my house, you’ll hear phrases like, “I’m so proud of My Guys!” or “Poor My Guys” (in reference to the Nationals) or “Look! My Guys made the cover of Sports Illustrated.” Men love a franchise – the Bears, the Red Sox (ew), the Lakers; women love the players, the whole team, the guys out there battling. Tell her who the players all are, what they do, hell, get her a program and point the guys out to her. There’s so much out there showing clips of “Her Guys” in interviews that let your girl in on the human side of the players.
That’s when you know you’ve got her when she asks questions like, “What time are My Guys on tonight?”
Teach her the rules. This is the final, and the most important part – of your woman doesn’t know what a pulling guard is or what qualifies as “icing” or the difference between personal fouls and team fouls. E-x-p-l-a-i-n it to her. Your dad taught you, right? Well, now it’s your job to teach her if she doesn’t already know. Sports have all kinds of complexities that you know because you’ve been watching (or playing) the game for 20 years. If she’s new to it, the best way to lose her interest is when she’s like, “What just happened?!” and you say, “SHHH! I’m trying to watch!!”
The bottom line is you don’t have to watch sports with your woman. It’s not critical to a healthy relationship. However, I will tell you now that it was a goal of mine, as a pretty heavy-duty sports fan, that I was gonna give it my all to get my wife into it simply so we could watch together and not have arguments over how I spent my time versus how she was spending hers. And it worked. So much so that during hockey season, she’ll spend 45 minutes finding the best deal on hockey tickets for our “family outing” on a Saturday afternoon with the Caps. Beats a picnic in the park any day!