I'm A Female Sports Fan—Why Is This A Turn-Off?

woman with basketball
Love, Self

A female sports nut wonders why a perfect March Madness bracket doesn't translate to dating success.

It was an afternoon in late November, just after the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry football game, and I had a date. A first date.

I sat, turning my latte in my hands as I waited for him to show up at the coffee shop, still reeling from my Wolverines' seventh straight loss to the Buckeyes. I'd normally be put off by a guy's tardiness, but I was too distracted thinking about Michigan's inefficient pass game and the gaping holes Ohio State had exposed in our defense. I was positive Bo Schembechler had already rolled over in his grave at this point. Three years into the Rich Rodriguez era, and I was ready to give up and declare myself a fair-weather fan… 

But I couldn't think about that right now. You're on a date, I told myself. Ten minutes later, he finally walked through the door.

We proceeded to get the normal niceties out of the way. We asked how each other's weeks went, about our jobs, about college and where we grew up. And eventually—unsurprisingly since he was wearing a Michigan pullover—the game came up. I'm A March Madness Widow

"Did you happen to watch?" he asked.

Like, duh. I bleed maize and blue. "Of course. Wouldn't miss a Michigan-OSU game. I'm still not over it."

He leaned back in his chair, and a small smile spread out over his face. It seemed to say: Oh, that's cute. She tries to like football. Demeaning, yes. But I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe I read his expression wrong?

"Yeah, we have got to learn to tackle," he said. "There are so many drills they could run in practice to alleviate the problem."

"Well," I started, "yes. The tackling is a problem…"

I looked from my coffee to him. The emotions I had worked on repressing suddenly came bubbling to the surface. Oh, shoot, I thought. Here come the floodgates

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