When you tell a guy that you love sports, what is his reaction? The following is a transcript from a recent conversation I had with a stranger at a bar. I have recorded it to the best of my memory, but the script must come from a “Men’s Ultimate Playbook,” because it is one I have experienced numerous times over from the opposite sex. Can you relate?
Unidentified Man: “So, what do you want to do down the road?”
Me: “I love sports, so I’d really like to make my way into sports journalism. My dream job is with ESPN.”
UM: “Oh you like sports? That’s cute.”
He raises his eyebrow and smiles mischievously. Does he think I am “pulling the sports card” to impress him? There are two things I know: 1) My black dress and I do not need to display sports knowledge to impress. 2) He and his Christmas tree tie don’t stand a chance.
UM: “What’s your favorite sport?”
I sip my cranberry and vodka. He takes notice of my Ravens watch. I know where this is headed.
UM: “Really? How do you feel about the Ravens this year?”
The test. Men love to do this. After a woman claims to follow a sport, men launch into a grill session, posing questions that will assess her true knowledge of that sport. How dare we, the “fairer sex,” claim to like a sport, without providing supporting evidence?
Unfortunately for Unidentified Man, I relish this test opportunity.
M: “It’s been an up and down season, as usual. We’ve got the talent, we’re just not consistent enough. We’ll have to find a way to win on the road if we want to make it to the Super Bowl this year.”
UM: “What about Joe Flacco?”
He is clearly unimpressed by my intentionally vague response. Now he is raising the challenge by calling out specific players. Perfect.
M: “He’s having an impressive season. Our record isn’t flawless, but his numbers are high. He has about a 60 percent completion percentage for 13 touchdowns and 2,495 yards. (Thank goodness I just happened to read up on the Ravens’ stats that morning!) I’m happy with him.
The back and forth continues between us. He skeptically fires questions about NFL players, and I answer them between bored sips of my drink.
After about fifteen minutes of this “test,” he sits back and smiles, satisfied with my answers. I passed his test. Unfortunately for him, he failed mine, because I’m much more satisfied with my drink than with his company. I take advantage of the pause in the interrogation and make my exit—champion of another sports scrutiny.
This is something men have yet to understand: once you engage us in these tests, we win.