"Stacey, you're young, attractive, you've got a great job, you've got so much going for you and you're a girl who knows and loves sports." Now here's the clincher: "I can't believe you, of all people, don't have a boyfriend! Are you a man who wants to be left alone during your sports viewing?
She has entered the neutral zone and made illegal contact with his manhood.
What men really mean when they say, "I like a chick who's into sports," is that they like a "chick" who will tolerate their own sports watching.
Oh yeah, and if you can make a tasty bowl of guacamole on Sunday, you're a goddess. 55 Junior Seau jersey a la Bachelorette Trista Rehn, well that's an added ... Men couldn't care less if the objects of their affection can actually tell the difference between a flea flicker and a reverse, differentiate between a blitz and a dog, or identify the soft spot in a zone defense.
In fact, when and if they can, it scares the crap out of them. It's slightly embarrassing when the boys are discussing the 4-3 defensive scheme that they think the Steelers run and a woman stops to question, "Doesn't Pittsburgh run a 3-4?
" And yes, she does know that means committing seven men close to the line of scrimmage except substituting a D-lineman with a linebacker, who will hopefully give the defense more speed.
Guys can accept questions, corrections and explanations relating to the intricacies of the game from other guys.But there is very little patience, even slight annoyance, when a woman adds insight that extends beyond the color of the uniforms and the basic you've-got-four-chances-to-go-10-yards fundamentals.This past fall, I was out with a couple of buddies who were discussing the surprise performance of Eagles' third-string quarterback "Jay Feely." I was quite surprised to hear it, too.So with what I thought was great delicacy and just the right touch of light humor, I politely said, "I didn't realize the Falcons kicker had now become Philly's new quarterback." These guys didn't even get it.(I suppose I ought to forgive them, though, since most fans outside Atlanta would be hard-pressed to name a Falcon other than Michael Vick, let alone the kicker.) Granted, I've screwed up my share of sports references. As a woman working in sports, the repercussions of such a misstep by a "skirt" can be career-damaging.And, in journalism, the only thing of value is your credibility.