I learned years ago that guys like them a girl who can talk some sports. Once upon a time, I was heavily involved with recruitment for my company, and I found sports to be an effective icebreaker during the elevator ride. It worked 99% of the time. (There was one guy, a geeky type, who couldn’t be engaged by either sports or the weather. He didn’t get the job.)
Anymore, I say things that most husbands would be all, “wait a minute – how did you know that?” but my husband barely blinks. Like, I’ll blurt out, hey – didn’t Curt Shilling used to play for the Phillies? or, what’s Joe Torre doing in a Dodgers uniform? Or today, the one I didn’t say to him but wanted to: What kind of town is DC, that the first page of the Washington Post sports section was dedicated to a huge feature on the Redskins regular season win, but Tampa Bay Rays’ game seven, epic, nail-biter win over the come-from-behind Red Sox was relegated to the left column with the tiniest, below-the-fold photo???
Most wives don’t say these things. I, however, do.
Anyway, here are several sports-themed thoughts (all of which are keeping my mind off of the fresh, seeping gash in my three-year-old’s forehead, the acquisition of which I witnessed three hours ago but could not prevent, and you parents know how wonderful THAT feels):
MEN OF STEEL UPDATE: Good news and bad news. The good news is, my husband’s ice hockey team won their division championship last winter. The “bad” news? In exchange for their expertise, they’ve been doomed promoted to a higher level of play within the league, thereby ensuring more vigorous, um, “checking” (this is a “non-checking” league) (yeah, right). But wait, there’s more! The MOS elected my dear husband, Curt, to be the team captain! In addition to wearing the coveted “C” on the front of his jersey, he now gets to do some very exciting things, such as set lineups, keep stats, and make sure everyone has paid their fees (yes, these men actually pay cash money to get beat up after 10pm each week! They could probably accomplish the same thing by driving down to some of the less savory parts of DC. Or, simply crashing into each other in my front yard).
Seriously though, Curt is excited and flattered by this, and I love that he loves playing hockey, so why don’t you all grab your pom-poms and join me in a cheer (Ready? OK!):
GIMME A “MEN OF”!
GIMME A “STEEL”!
WHAT’S THAT SPELL?
MEN OF STEEEEEEEL!
Wait. Did someone say PHILLIES? Because you know what, the Phillies are going to take down the Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series! I grew up a Phils fan, spent my 20s as an Orioles fan (one reason I can talk sports: the husband was rabid about the O’s), but lately have been trying to follow our home team, the Nationals. I’ll just say this: It’s great to have baseball in DC, and it’ll be even better when we can field a winning team.
My grandfather was a big Phillies fan… so big, in fact, that in 1950, when the top team in each league met for the World Series (there were no league playoffs), my grandfather decided he needed to shuffle off to Philadelphia to see a game. I had to ask others for their recollection of the story. My mom remembered the story this way:
…he decided to go to Philly to see a game, but without a ticket. I think someone told him he wouldn’t be able to buy one there on the day of the game. Undaunted, he left. When he got home, he said he saw the game and he produced a ticket stub…someone suggested that he saw the game in a bar and picked up the stub off the street outside the stadium.
And my aunt (his daughter) added this:
The only thing I can remember is that he wouldn’t tell Mother how much he paid for the ticket. He carried that stub in his wallet for years.
It’s a mystery to this day! Now, bear in mind, this wasn’t like hopping on the subway from the ‘burbs and heading into the city. My grandfather lived in rural south central PA, and to drive to Philadelphia then would not have been something embarked upon lightly. Still, I love what a devoted (and stubborn) fan he was, that he would have gone to those lengths, in early Fall when there’s plenty yet to do on the farm, to see his team try to win the Big One.
Go, Phillies! Do it for Soup’s grandfather!
Speaking of women who know from sports: I hesitate to mention this one right now, but what the heck, we’re all friends here: I HAVE A FANTASY FOOTBALL TEAM. I drafted it with no help from my husband, and I am currently 4 and 1 with the potential to beat my opponent tonight (sorry, Howard!) and take the lead in the whole entire league!
But, before you start sending me fan mail get too impressed, I will confess that this is a beginners’ league, comprised of many first-timers, including some kids, and it’s a small league, with only 11 teams.
But, tonight? if Matt Cassel (my opponent’s QB) throws to Randy Moss (my WR), I will win, but if he throws to anyone else, I’m likely to lose, because Cassel will rack up points that Moss can’t counter.
See, the kind of stuff I say that other wives don’t say? See what a value-added wife I am? Matt Cassel! Must throw to Randy Moss! Because, you know, Randy is one of my Wide Receivers! On my FANTASY FOOTBALL TEAM!
I told you guys dig a girl who can talk some sports.
Now, pass me a beer, and the remote. I have a football game to watch.