I Like Watching Sports Way More Than My Boyfriend Does, And That's OK

I Like Watching Sports Way More Than My Boyfriend Does, And That's OK

"I know that for some girls, a guy who isn't super into at least football is a problem, but honestly, I love being the one who actively checks the ESPN app when we're out just to make sure that nothing too upsetting has happened."

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Yeah, you read that right.

I'm a girl and I like watching sports more than my boyfriend does.

It isn't because he doesn't like sports or that he isn't "manly" or whatever, it just isn't something that he grew up with like I did.

I've always liked watching sports. I went to my first college basketball game when I was like 6. My first MLB game was when I was around 7. It's just how things always were. For me, watching sports has always been a way that my entire massive family connected — college football in the fall, the NFL playoffs in December/January, college basketball in the late fall and spring, baseball in the spring and summer and through the Series in the fall. If we have time, we'll watch stuff like the Stanley Cup and the NBA playoffs. Every person in my family has their team (or teams) and we keep up with them religiously.

I never realized this was weird until I started dating my boyfriend and he informed me that he can't remember the last time ESPN was on at his house.

I was, as you can probably tell, kind of blown away by this. What would a world be like where, even if no one was actively watching, SportsCenter was still on in the background of everyday life? How would it be to not make weekend plans around when teams played? What reason is there to love March other than college basketball? Would I even still be me if I didn't hate my teams' rivals?

He loves to tease me about it, his favorite way being to pretend to cheer for my team's rivals. But, just like I had to question and try to understand how life works when you don't watch sports all the time, he had to learn about my life. I think for the first year or so we were dating, he didn't understand just how emotionally invested I am in my teams and how much I let this be a part of my life. But it's been fun to show him this part of me and to help him understand not just how much my teams mean to me, but how much this ritual of watching sports means to me.

I know that for some girls, a guy who isn't super into at least football is a problem, but honestly, I love being the one who actively checks the ESPN app when we're out just to make sure that nothing too upsetting has happened. I enjoy being the person who knows all of the names of my team's players and other big names. And I love that, instead of being like some guys who might try to pretend they knew more or rub the random facts I don't know in my face, my boyfriend accepts and loves this part of me.

It doesn't make him less "manly" for me to be the one who is more invested in sports. To be honest, the fact that he doesn't try to pretend that he knows more than I do is better, in my eyes, than a guy who knows everything about every sport and every athlete to ever exist (or so he claims). So, ladies, if you like watching sports more than he does or if you follow ESPN more than he does, just keep in mind what a big and fun adventure it could be to date him. Trust me, you should never count those guys out because they're a lot of fun (and they'll already like your team if they don't have one of their own)!

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The Coach That Killed My Passion

An open letter to the coach that made me hate a sport I once loved.
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I fell in love with the game in second grade. I lived for every practice and every game. I lived for the countless hours in the gym or my driveway perfecting every shot, every pass and every move I could think of. Every night after dinner, I would go shoot and would not allow myself to go inside until I hit a hundred shots. I had a desire to play, to get better and to be the best basketball player I could possibly be.

I had many coaches between church leagues, rec leagues, personal coaches, basketball camps, middle school and high school. Most of the coaches I had the opportunity to play for had a passion for the game like I did. They inspired me to never stop working. They would tell me I had a natural ability. I took pride in knowing that I worked hard and I took pride in the compliments that I got from my coaches and other parents. I always looked forward to the drills and, believe it or not, I even looked forward to the running. These coaches had a desire to teach, and I had a desire to learn through every good and bad thing that happened during many seasons. Thank you to the coaches that coached and supported me through the years.

SEE ALSO: My Regrets From My Time As A College Softball Player

Along with the good coaches, are a few bad coaches. These are the coaches that focused on favorites instead of the good of the entire team. I had coaches that no matter how hard I worked, it would never be good enough for them. I had coaches that would take insults too far on the court and in the classroom.

I had coaches that killed my passion and love for the game of basketball.

When a passion dies, it is quite possibly the most heartbreaking thing ever. A desire you once had to play every second of the day is gone; it turns into dreading every practice and game. It turns into leaving every game with earphones in so other parents don't talk to you about it. It meant dreading school the next day due to everyone talking about the previous game. My passion was destroyed when a coach looked at me in the eyes and said, "You could go to any other school and start varsity, but you just can't play for me."

SEE ALSO: Should College Athletes Be Limited To One Sport?

Looking back now at the amount of tears shed after practices and games, I just want to say to this coach: Making me feel bad about myself doesn't make me want to play and work hard for you, whether in the classroom or on the court. Telling me that, "Hard work always pays off" and not keeping that word doesn't make me want to work hard either. I spent every minute of the day focusing on making sure you didn't see the pain that I felt, and all of my energy was put towards that fake smile when I said I was OK with how you treated me. There are not words for the feeling I got when parents of teammates asked why I didn't play more or why I got pulled after one mistake; I simply didn't have an answer. The way you made me feel about myself and my ability to play ball made me hate myself; not only did you make me doubt my ability to play, you turned my teammates against me to where they didn't trust my abilities. I would not wish the pain you caused me on my greatest enemy. I pray that one day, eventually, when all of your players quit coming back that you realize that it isn't all about winning records. It’s about the players. You can have winning records without a good coach if you have a good team, but you won’t have a team if you can't treat players with the respect they deserve.

SEE ALSO: To The Little Girl Picking Up A Basketball For The First Time


Cover Image Credit: Equality Charter School

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Dear Oklahoma, Please Take Care Of Jalen Hurts

He's one of the good ones, we promise.

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Dear Oklahoma fans, coaches, and players, please take care of Jalen Hurts.

When Hurts graduated in December of 2018, everyone in the Alabama fanbase knew that a transfer was coming soon. After showing his distinct character and loyalty to the Alabama Crimson Tide by choosing to play the 2018 season, even though he would be second in line to Tua Tagavailoa, Hurts deserves this chance to make the best decision for himself. The selection process regarding where Hurts would end up this upcoming season was kept relatively private, which of course open the doors to countless predictions from fans and analysts.

However, I can confidently say that I was not the only one shocked at his choice, but I whole-heartedly support it.

Home to two Heisman-winning quarterbacks, Oklahoma is a more than a smart choice on Hurts' behalf. Within that program, he will be given ample opportunity to improve his craft in order to put himself in the best position for a successful career post-college. The Sooners obviously have an incredible program that leads players down the best paths to be as successful as possible, and that is all Alabama fans want for our beloved quarterback.

With all this being said, I, as an Alabama fan, just ask the Oklahoma Sooners to take care of Jalen and realize how special of a player he is.

With Hurts at quarterback, you will never have to question his effort or loyalty to his teammates. He will always carry himself with grace, no matter the situation. If you give him an opportunity to succeed, he will put forth all of his effort in order to take advantage of it.

Jalen Hurts is one of the most special players, and young men, to ever wear an Alabama Crimson Tide uniform. All that we ask is that you support him as we have these past three years.

Roll Tide.

Sincerely,

Every Alabama Fan

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