Understanding Men’s Love for Sports: A Playbook for Women
Can a man love sports more than he loves his woman? I feel compelled to say no. At the same time, it’s very safe to say that he can love both passionately, and find a way to help them coexist. The only problem is that many women still don’t get why sports continues to render them invisible to their man. To them, is jes sports!
It’s universally accepted that you do not, under any circumstances, disturb a man during a match. Some women can’t understand this. They say they do, but they’re the same people who will go to ask the man trivial things during a game, try – without much success – to steal his attention with some sexy lingerie, or call a fella they’re interested in “just to say hi”, during a big match between Barcelona and Real Madrid, and then get upset when he grunts or snaps at them. With sports and men, it’s all about timing.
Men love women. Men love sports. But somehow, men and women in the same room during a game do not make a good combination, unless the women are just as into the game, or have vowed to be absolutely silent. Ladies, doh take it personal.
During the Premier League or NBA playoffs, some couples ‘get away’ because the woman just can’t understand the man’s obsession with not missing one second of the game. So she feels rejected, he feels like you’re disrespecting him and his sport, and he’ll normally say something like what these guys told me, when I asked them about this scenario.
“Well we wouldn’t ignore you if you watched it with us… and liked it,” said Jeremy.
Another guy said: “Lemme put it like this. A true football fan analyses (the game), so you need to remember everything so you can put that game in full perspective when talking/arguing/toting about it to others. You can’t say what you didn’t see. Therefore, you lose analytical power and will lose out in the overall battle in support for your team. ”
“Most women act like sports is crap an doh give a bro some time to get his competition on.”
“Most women act like sports is crap an doh give a bro some time to get his competition on,” Jeremy added. “By the way, I know girls who are hardcore about sports too, and we get along fine cuz they understand the vibe. The thing about sports is that it is very intense. You can be mad, glad, depressed, crying, resentful and in love all within two hours… it’s all about emotional commitment… a lot like a relationship with a woman.”
On the other hand, some women are extremely supportive… like one of my friends. For her wedding, there was the wedding cake, and a Barcelona cake for her hubby. Her husband happily posed next to his cake, complete with a Barcelona flag over his head. He loved footie so much, he had it at the wedding. And his wife was in full support. Note too that she’s a Manchester United fan, but not a hardcore football fan like her husband, who takes his work holidays for important, world events, like the start of Champions League or World Cup.
Men love sports for simple reasons. They always have. Maybe it has something to do with most of the popular sports, football, basketball, baseball, cricket, golf, and even rugby, having something to do with… balls.
Seriously though, in ancient times, men had hunting and warfare. In modern society, they have to go to the office, the supermarket, or the drycleaners. They don’t get to do much hunting. Plus we know the average Trini man does not go hunting, unless he grew up in ‘country’. So sports is the ultimate replacement for them to get their testosterone on.
It gives them excitement, intensity, aggression, and competition. It gives them something to focus on other than their stressful lives. It gives them a channel to release emotion. It’s also a stress release thing.
It’s a natural expression of masculinity. They also respect athletic ability and the hard work that it takes from any sportsperson to master their game. Plus, they get to go pretend to be Kobe, or Messi, or whoever, when they’re taking ‘a sweat’. At the end of the day, most men love sport for many different reasons, but they always tie into two things – entertainment and fulfilling some sort of psychological need or desire.
“Doh ever say, ‘It’s just a game’”
If we look at sports as a social phenomenon. It gives them something to talk about with friends, and even strangers at a lime. It’s a social tool for them. It helps them bond with each other.
“I wish that women could appreciate the fact that sometimes what makes a man the way he is are some of the activities he likes doing, even if they are activities she doesn’t like,” one guy said.
Still, some women see it as he chooses to do that vs. be with me. It’s really an ego thing, if you ask me. He’s not putting the game ‘in front’ of you. He just likes it.
My friend’s Barcelona-loving hubby said: “My advice to women would be to pick a side to support. Ideally his side or his greatest rival! If not… plan a margarita lime or tea party with the girls. But this cannot be in the same room as the TV. So… to sum up… find a side to support, find a hobby, or find another guy”.
One of his friends, Stefan, added his two cents.
“Men like effort,” he said. “Even if they know you don’t care and not interested really. Watch one or two games and pretend. And we go take dat.”
“But you don’t have to do it always, right?” I asked.
“Nope,” Stefan said. “But doh trivialise it like it is not important. Doh ever say, ‘It’s just a game’.”
“And if a woman tells you it’s just a game,” I prodded. “How would you explain that it isn’t just a game?”
“I would explain the skill level required and the global impact. And when dat doh work, hope dat she sees it is important to me and dat should be enough.”
And that should be enough actually. But most women, unless they’re avid sports fans themselves, continue to get this sports obsession thing wrong. A man gets upset because you know he likes it, but you still act like it doh mean nuttin – and he’s reminded of that every time you step in the room to tell him about something other than the game that’s on at the moment.
One lady, LaToya, an avid basketball fan, gets it.
“Love of sport is just indescribable,” she says. “You either understand… or you don’t. In the grand scheme of things, a game is not that long. So don’t take it personally if you’re getting ignored. People hate being disturbed when ‘dey side playin’, but if you must… wait until there’s a commercial break and please don’t try to discuss anything serious…it’s just not the right time. Also, after the game… give them ample time to celebrate or mourn accordingly. Doh study it too much. It’s not you… it’s the game!”
“Like LaToya said, is either you understand it or don’t,” Jeremy adds. “It’s really an identity thing. There is a sense of belonging to a ‘big side’ that cannot be explained easily, especially when your wider circle of friends are ‘in de game’ too. Is a real passion, and I think that most women resent it because they want that type of expression from their guys all the time.”
Of course, a man would understand if you just don’t get football, the same way he doesn’t get how you could watch ten episodes of “Sex & The City” or “Girlfriends” back to back. So, while effort is appreciated, he doesn’t expect you to go all out pretending that you love the game, when you don’t. But chilling with him once in a while is appreciated, and it’ll make him more willing to go to Pennywise, an art exhibition, or a chick flick with you.
Sometimes, sharing your partner’s interest, or at least understanding what he’s passionate about, is the rule of the game in learning to understand him a bit more.
Check out the rest of this week’s issue (2/05/11; Issue 55):
- April 28: The Day Facebook Took Over T&T
- Planned Parenthood: Does it make life easier?
- 5 Ways to be Loyal to Yourself
- Traditional Roles: Slavery for Women, Lordship for Men
Look out for a new issue of Outlish.com every Monday!