There is a thing called “growing up” that many of us go through…although not all of us reach that grown up stage.
How many times have you believed that you knew it all only to find out that you’re still not the sharpest tool in the tool shed? For me, it happens about every six months.
While we will never know it all, we mature and become more weathered individuals of society. This is what I like to call “Becoming a Woman” or “Becoming a Man” or whatever boot fits.
This maturing step applies to developing sports fans too.
Starting with the initial chant we cheer or the first team shirt we put on, we eventually feel the sense that we know ALL about our team and its sport. When we look back later, we realize how little we knew when we were first exposed to the world of sports.
Some followed a team because of the elders around them were already dedicated and loyal fans. Others researched teams in search of the perfect fan experience.
Either way, every fan at some point or another has said something silly, stupid, or immature. We watch, We learn. We develop as sports fans.
I am about to take you down a road defining one element of what makes you a grown sports woman (or man too, I suppose). This is a simple, obvious characteristic, yet I have seen grown women violate it many times.
What Your Wardrobe Says
Our closets go through dramatic changes many times throughout our lives, which in my case is a good thing.
Eventually I became a woman and started wearing business suits and work dresses.
I swear I do wear professional clothing to work though. Unless it’s Halloween…
We begin to dress the way we want society to view us. I wear dress pants and nice tops or sweaters, skirts, and sometimes dresses five days a week. People at work view me as a professional because that is how I WANT to be viewed.
Look Like You Know Sports
The same rule applies if you want to be known as a true sports fan.
Something about a pink jersey just doesn’t scream “I CAN RATTLE OFF THE PAST 3 YEARS OF DEFENSIVEE STATISTICS FOR THE CHICAGO BEARS AND EXPLAIN TO YOU WHY WE NEED TO FIRE LOVIE!”
If you want people to have an intelligent sports conversation with you or actually show interest in your team choice, you need to look like you know what you are talking about. Pink and bedazzled team apparel won’t make that happen. Pink and bedazzled looks great on an adorable little girl who will cheer for whatever team has the ball next.
Just to clarify, I’m not talking about the Pink apparel the NFL rolls out during breast cancer awareness month, but the pink shirts, jerseys, hats that are made JUST for girls. I can’t emphasize the word GIRLS enough here.
A true, mature sports fan wears attire that exemplifies the character and colors of their team. Have you ever seen pink cheese? Me either.
Now, there may be some very intelligent sports fans who love wearing pink jerseys. Will they be viewed as a woman of sports? Initially, no. Maybe after they strike up a conversation and prove they know what they are talking about. But the first impression has already been made and can be hard to overcome.
When someone sees me wearing my fresh-out-of-the-Chinese-factory Raji jersey, they’ll think, “Hey, I bet she can tell us how many sacks Raji has had in his career with the Packers.”
Why yes, yes I can. Since Raji joined the Packers in 2009, he has had 10.5 sacks and 65 tackles in the 52 games he has played.
And they’ll say, “DAMN, that woman knows her sports.”
If you’re going to walk the walk, you better talk the talk.
No, that phrase is not backwards. It just applies differently in this situation.
If you wear any snarky or team-colored apparel that could start a potential conversation with someone about that said team or sport, you better get ready to defend or educate.
Whether it be bejeweled and pink or a crazy Oakland Raiders death costume, you will immediately lose credibility if you have no idea what you’re talking about. Don’t leave them with the “This girl knows NOTHING about sports” image! You do a disservice to all of us.
Even if you’re not a sports expert and you just want to show that you support your team, you can start a meaningful conversation by wearing the appropriate team apparel.
If you’re going to wear a jersey, I suggest you know something about that player and why you picked his/her number to sport. Jerseys are expensive, so knowing why you think that player is credible enough to be plastered on your back will make you woman (man) enough wear it.
Otherwise, stick to a simple t-shirt or sweatshirt, and talk about the reason you cheer for your favorite team. (Ex: The Packers were always on TV and I have just grown to love watching Jordy Nelson long yard plays)
If you’re going to go with snarky, just make sure you can back it up.
7 sacks. 4 interceptions. That’s all I need.
If you want people to view you as a mature sports professional, it’s time to woman up and put on your big kid sports shirt.