Volume 1, Number 2 -- September, 1996

A View From the Cheap Seats

By Dave Lind

 There is a crisis facing us, my fellow sports fans, a crisis which threatens to destroy the very fabric of a society which our forefathers toiled for untold generations to forge.

 Although, perhaps, "crisis" may be a bit strong of a word. "Dilemma" might be more fitting. On the other hand maybe "dilemma" could best be reserved for a more weighty topic. I know, a "problem". We are faced with a problem which threatens...

 Now wait a minute. That still sounds a bit harsh. How about an "concern"? Yes, a we are faced with a concern which threatens to...

 Oh, now that really sounds stupid. "A concern which threatens to destroy the fabric of blah-blah-blah"? How can a concern destroy the fabric of anything, let alone society?

 The hell with it! When in doubt, rip off Andy Rooney.

 You know what really bugs me? (This is where I tell you.)

 Women who think they like sports.

 Oh-oh. Looks like I've offended some of our female readers. To Hell with you! Who needs you, anyway! You women are all alike! First you gain a man's trust and then you rip his heart out and turn your back on him li...

EDITOR'S NOTE: The editors of this column wish to apologize to our female readers for Mr. Lind's current outburst. He's currently working through some very painful divorce-related issues as well as trying to cope with the recent news that his mother, after rejecting him as a child, has continued to breast feed his seven brothers (As well as three cousins, two ex-husbands, his High School principal, and the cast from TV's "What's Happening"). As a result, he's currently harboring some feelings of resentment and animosity toward females in general. We assure you that, when he is properly sedated, Mr. Lind is actually quite tolerable and can even be entertaining to be around. And while his opinions are certainly not those of management (We LOVE women! Really we do!) we nonetheless feel an obligation to provide this poor man with a therapeutic outlet for his aggressions. Thank you for your understanding.

... en all I really ever wanted was to be loved! Is that so wrong?

 Anyway, sorry to go off like that, but the doctor said that sometimes it's just best to let it all out.

 Now where was I? Oh, yeah. Women and sports.

 You see, I've known many women who cared greatly about a wide variety of sports and could even talk a good game with the best of the boys. These women would tune in faithfully each Sunday to watch the games and record the outcomes for their office pools and rejoice when their favorite team won. Yes, to all outward appearances, these women would seem to be as true and blue as any male sports fan.

 But the truth is, I've never seen any woman do any of the following:

  1. Call in sick to watch a pre-season game. (That was me.)
  2. Spend more time and energy trying to figure out who to draft in the second round of a fantasy draft than, say, planning her own wedding, (Me again)
  3. Choose football over her own spouse. (Jimmy Johnson.)
  4. Perform the "Chicken Dance" alone in a darkened living room while trying to watch a scrambled Sharks telecast. (My roommate.) (Honestly.)
  5. Videotape themselves not playing, but WATCHING a football game. (Me again,with an assist from my friend, Dean.)
  6. Purposely schedule child-conception such that the birth will not in any way interfere with the NFL playoffs. (Guilty again.)
  7. Riot. (British Soccer fans, regularly.)
  8. Beat up an Umpire for a bad call. (Dodger fan Frankie Germano, 1961.)
  9. Take the sports page into the bathroom. (Me and every guy I've ever known.) (No, not at the same time!)
  10. Make a solemn vow to God Almighty to devote their spare time to helping the needy if their team could just PLEASE make the playoffs this year. (Again, Me. Except my team is the Raiders, the year was 1995, and my spare time is still my own, thank you very much.)
 My point is, even though women may enjoy WATCHING sports, men LIVE sports. We breathe sports. We worship sports. Hell, men ARE sports! Just as no man can ever truly understand the pain of childbirth, likewise can no woman ever fully appreciate the pain of having to face your co-workers on Monday morning after their team has humiliated yours 55-6. To a woman, it's a shame but hey, it's only a game and we'll get them next year. To a man, their team has beaten your team and now owns them, and therefore THEY own YOU, for the next 365 days. The pecking order has been established, and you are one rung lower on the ladder.

 To be fair, it's not really their fault. It's the way their brains work. They just don't process information the same way we do. Take the following exchange between a female friend of mine and myself during the Olympic Boxing finals this summer.

SHE: I just don't GET boxing.

ME: What's not to get?

SHE: It's just two guys trying to knock each other out.

ME: You see, you DO get boxing!

SHE: Huh?

 You see, her female mind simply could not grasp that two persons could interact on such a base level. To her, unless there was some sort of sharing going on, some sort of exchange of perspectives that helped deepen each other's understanding of each other and, thence, themselves, it was all pointless. She was fundamentally incapable of accepting the notion that two men would climb into a ring and beat each other bloody and senseless for no other reason than to see who would win.

 A man, on the other band, has no such problem. Why do we climb mountains? Because they are there! Why do we pee on trees? Because we can! Why do we beat each other up? Because we like to! That's it. Nothing more complex or esoteric than that.

 So the next time you see that female "Sports Fan" in your life perched in YOUR spot in front of the TV, remember that she is busy picking up on the subtle exchange of feelings between the opposing sides and reveling in the complex relationships being forged between teammates and opponents alike, not just sitting and blankly absorbing the carnage before her as she should. Reflect on this as I do and see if you can resist the urge to whack her with a rolled-up newspaper.

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