It is not always easy being a girl who loves sports, especially when people do not take you all that seriously when you tell them that. Of course, there are plenty of women out there that share the same passion for sports as me, but there are a bunch of stereotypes that seem to diminish our love for them. I am not an expert on every sport out there and I will not pretend that I am, but I know a lot about the ones that I care about. Sports are something to bond over, but sometimes there is a little roadblock to get over before people will actually respect you as a serious sports fan. The same goes for actually playing the sport, it is not always about looking pretty, there is a lot of hard work that goes into playing women’s sports aside from just picking out an outfit.
1. You are never invited over to your guy friend’s houses to watch Sunday football.
It is so frustrating to watch all of your close friends enjoy Sunday football together while you sit alone at home on the couch watching it by yourself. While of course us girls understand the importance of guy time, it would be nice to be invited over sometimes. Not inviting us over because you do not want to have to explain what is happening on the screen is not an excuse to exclude us, and quite frankly, it is flat out insulting.
2. You always have to prove yourself.
I should not have to explain myself to you every time that I say that I like to watch or play a sport. Just because I am a girl, that does not automatically mean that I am weaker or less passionate about it. I am a kickass teammate and know a lot about professional sports teams thank you very much! I am not going to sit here and justify why I play the sport that I play and show you how much I know about a particular team in the NHL or NBA.
3. People always assume that you only root for the team with the hottest players.
While this might be true for some people, for the handful of girls who actually like sports, that could not be further from the truth. Of course we acknowledge the more attractive players, but they are not the reason why we like the team that we do. And when I am watching, I am more focused on the plays than I am on how cute their butts look in their uniforms.
4. Everyone always assumes that you got your love for sports from your father.
This might be the one thing that makes me the most upset. My father could not tell you the first thing about sports. It was my mother who taught me everything I know. Obviously I am not the only one that learned to appreciate athletics from their mom, and there are tons of people who did in fact bond over sports with their father. However, it is not fair to assume that I was influenced by my father just because he is a man. Chances are, if you ever see me and my mom watching football, we will be among the most passionate fans in the stadium.
5. People assume that your sports practices are easier then men’s.
This makes me mad too, just because my sport does not have as much padding does not mean my sport is any less difficult. My tennis practices are just as intense as the men’s team, and softball is just as grueling as baseball. I have to run and sprint just as hard until I am lying on the field or court about to pass out. Just because I am a girl, that does not mean I am not pushed as hard as you during practice.
6. We have more hair to contain.
Hair is the most annoying thing ever. You can put your hair up in the tightest pony tail ever and it will still fall out 30 minutes later. We have to constantly redo our hair during practice and games because it continues to fall in our face. When we sweat, it sticks to our forehead and the backs of our necks, which then makes our hair twice as heavy. Having luscious hair is not so great as an athlete.
7. We actually have to shave our legs before playing sports.
If you play tennis like me, chances are you are wearing a short tennis skirt. Before any tournament or match, you have to shave your legs. This applies for any sport where the uniform does not cover your legs, and in the winter months, you have to shave more often because it grows faster. It is just one more thing that we have to worry about as talented and athletic women.
8. People do not always believe you when you say you love sports.
As a girl with lots and lots of guy friends, when I first met them, they did not really believe me when I said that I was a huge fan of sports. It was degrading to think that the only reason they questioned me was because I was a girl. They all know me well enough now to realize that I do in fact love sports, but I should not have to prove myself, you should be able to just take my word for it.
9. The sporting gear in the women’s section is not necessarily anything we want to purchase.
Just because I am a women, that does not mean that I want my gear to be bedazzled, tie-dye, or skin tight. I just want the traditional baseball hat, oversized sweatshirt, t-shirt, and the traditional jersey for my team gear! My main goal is not to impress anyone or be sexy, I just want to represent!
10. People assume that your opinions about players and are simply uneducated if they don’t agree with you.
Just because I like a different player than you, that does not mean I do not know what I am talking about. I may like Kirk Cousins and you may like Tom Brady, while Brady may play for the better overall team, Cousin’s started as a second string QB and during his first year as the starting quarterback, he was able to carry his team to the playoffs. He was named most improved quarterback in the NFL for the 2015-2016 season. So no, I am not uneducated, I just value certain things a little differently than you. No hard feelings against Brady though, he’s a great player, and just for the hell of it, I will admit he’s pretty attractive.
11. People try and trip you up.
Usually people’s first reaction to me telling them that I like sports is to start questioning how many statistics I know. I know what I need and want to know, and if you put me on the spot right off the bat, I am not going to be pleased. Just because I may not know the stats for a point guard from ten years ago does not mean that I do not know what I am talking about. What I do know though, is that you are a jerk for asking about something so random just to prove me wrong.
12. We do not just like sports to impress someone else.
This is a huge disclaimer! With that said, I am not trying to impress you or get attention by saying that I am a girl who likes sports, I just genuinely enjoy them. So I am going to continue to be me and let you be you. If you cannot come to appreciate my love for sports as a part of who I am, then you are not worth my time!
13. You can never find any of your girlfriends to watch sports with without having to explain what is going on at least once.
I know I might be contradicting myself with this one, but it is true that not a lot of my friends understand every rule of every sport. I know them well enough to know that they probably would not even enjoy themselves that much if I invited them to a sports bar or over to watch the game against our biggest rival. Although, the few girl friends that I do have who like sports are my biggest blessing. I will always love vegging out on a couch yelling at the ridiculousness of the ref with my best friend, but sometimes that is not so easy to find.
14. You are never invited to play in fantasy leagues.
Who said I do not want to be part of a fantasy league?! I think it would be so much fun to put my knowledge to the test and play with my friends. Not only would it be hella fun, it is a good way to keep in touch with old friends!
15. Bruises on boys are cool. Bruises on girls are ugly.
As a girl who plays a lot of sports, I know what it feels like to get a nasty bruise. Not going to lie, but I am proud of those bruises because I worked to get them. I put my heart and soul into my sport and got a little bruise because of it, who cares. If a boy gets a bruise it is almost like a right of passage or something to be celebrated because it looks tough, but on a girl it is just an eye sore. I would not give my bruises up for anything, so stop staring and move along!
Do you have a female friend who struggles sometimes because she loves sports so much? Comment below and share this article with a friend!
Featured image source: fortune.com, totalprosports.com
Alexandra is a finance and marketing major at the University of New Hampshire. Coffee connoisseur, tennis coach, and expert in the art of witty banter.