Keeping Score: Watching actively from the sidelines


So, you have some emotions about football, huh? Last week when we asked how you feel about the NFL, your responses ranged from, “Football is the most important thing in the world!” to “If I am chatting up a girl and I find out she watches football, I kick her in the shins and run away.”

If you fall in the first camp (or somewhere in the middle), you might be interested in Erica Boeke‘s new book, GameFace: The Kick-Ass Guide for Women Who Love Pro Sports.

Why do women need a different guide than men when it comes to professional sports? We’ll let Boeke answer that:

Men memorize every line in every movie and women memorize the plot. I think [women] are wired differently. My sports memories are wired to where I was watching the game, the food I was eating, my favorite t-shirt, not the play-by-play or every stat line.

Also, Boeke says that men tend to scream and shout at each other, the players and their televisions.

In addition to the humorous anecdotes about athletes sand fans, Boeke’s book has tailgating recipes and fashion advice. Bloody Marys? Yes. Pink Jerseys? Absolutely not. In fact, one of the common columns on Boeke’s site,, deals with what women should wear to sporting events. (They have particular issues with Jessica Simpson.)

Truth be told, I may love the color pink, but most of my wardrobe consists of the non-colors so typical of a New Yorker’s closet: black, gray, brown and all shades of white, ivory and cream. So why do team apparel manufacturers assume that it must be pink in order for their female fans to buy and wear it?! And if it’s not pink, why is it cut to fit a man’s body, even if it’s a size XS?! Is it that we can’t be taken seriously as legitimate sports fans unless we dress like a man?

Boeke’s book deserves credit for not falling into do-this-and-land-a-man territory, but the focus on cooking chili and sewing your own women’s-fit football jersey is kind of bizarre. Halfway through, I wanted to phone her up and say, “It’s not the pink jerseys that are the problem. If you want to be taken seriously, you have to shout at officials and players. It’s not a man thing; it’s a fan thing. Just ask the lezbos who have season tickets in front of me for the Atlanta Dream.”

Are you a stat-pusher? A shouter? A pink-jersey wearer? Do you really think there’s a difference between the way men and women enjoy sports?

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