Newsflash: Some Women Actually Like Sports
By Margaret Lyons in Miscellaneous on Aug 26, 2008 9:00PM
ChuffPo* blogger Bahar Takhtehchian has concluded that because she doesn't like sports, her fellow female residents of Chicago must not—at least not really—either. "Do Chicago gals genuinely care about the fortunes of this city's sports teams? Are they sitting through hour after hour of endless sports for the love of the game ... or for the love of the men in their lives?" she asks. Well, concludes; that's the closing thought of her story, and not one she investigates in any capacity, or substantiates, or even leads us to conclude on our own. Sorry, Bahar, but just because you don't like the White Sox doesn't mean I'm going to games to impress dudes.
"Is throwing back a brew in a dark, dingy bar really more appealing than spending a sunny afternoon tanning along the lakefront or brunching with friends?" Takhtehchian wonders. It is for some of us, what with the conversation, excitement, sense of belonging, and feeling that we're somehow connected to a radically different, more spectacular sphere of existence, plus cheap alcohol—not that laying on the ground doesn't sound fun. To each her own. But I still don't know what this article has to do with women.
Takhtehchian "marvels" that "women [her] age" still like sports, but is apparently unaffected by men her age who still do. Takhtehchian writes that she's "assuming the city's female fans get their first taste of sports at home when Daddy's little girl puts on her first Cubs hat and root, root, roots for the home team." Is that not how she assumes male fans get that first taste? And given what she calls a "disproportionate" number of female sports fans in Chicago, is it possible some fans learned their root, root, roots from their mothers? Nothing Takhtehchian mentions in her story applies more to female fans than male ones—except for her degrading conclusion.
So Takhtehchian doesn't like sports. She seems to find sports boring. That's fine. They are boring sometimes, and so are movies, or crossword puzzles, or stamps, or eating trendy new sandwiches. You know, other people's hobbies. If Takhtehchian just wants to write about how she dislikes things other people like, well, Neil Steinberg, Richard Roeper and Steve Dahl aren't going to live forever. But if she's going to write an article that claims to be about "why Chicago women like sports," it should identify or at least pretend to identify some aspect of sport fandom unique to or typically found in women. Otherwise, this is one big swing and a miss.
*Our friend and yours Scott Smith, whose thoughts on the story are here, is trying to get "ChuffPo" to catch on as the term for Huffington "HuffPo" Post's Chicago edition. Word.
Photo by Thee Erin