On Friday of last week, the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League published a helpful guide on the team’s official blog, designed to assist members of the fairer sex in following the Blue Shirts. Unfortunately, the useful manual was purged from the website after an abundance of negative feedback was expressed through social media. A cached version is still available.
Due to the helpful nature of the guide and its accessibility to the female demographic, one can safely assume that those taking offense could only possibly be upset because the set of instructions wasn’t extensive enough. I understand these concerns. With the NHL lockout finally ending, the Super Bowl scheduled for this coming weekend, the NBA in the throes of its regular season schedule, and pitchers and catchers less than three weeks away from reporting to Spring Training, it seems foolish to focus on one team when there are a multitude reasons for girls to expand their knowledge beyond celebrity gossip, folding sheets perfectly and recipe creation.
Ladies, don’t you worry your pretty little heads. Let a man do the heavy lifting for you on this one. These rules apply to all women, whether you’ve found a man to take care of you or you’re still looking.
The Golden Rule
The Golden Rule consists of a simple principle that should govern all of your actions: Do unto others as you would have done unto you. I know that probably sounds complicated to you, but it really isn’t. Let me explain: All that the Golden Rules means is that you should treat others as you, yourself, would like to be treated.
While the applications of this are vast, when learning how to follow sports, proper etiquette demands that you remain respectful of the man taking time out of his schedule to impart his knowledge and wisdom to you. If you were trying to teach a man about how to do the laundry (just imagine), you wouldn’t want him constantly interrupting your instruction or delaying you more than necessary with your task. The same holds true when a man is willing to help you out with sports.
If you find yourself wanting to ask a question while watching a game with a man, the first question you should always ask is whether it’s an appropriate time to ask a question. If your man says yes, then you may proceed. If he says no, wait until there seems to be a break in the play of the game, give time for any other men watching the game with your man to comment, and then you ask again if it would be a good time to ask a question.
Additional Etiquette Rules
Likewise, while watching the game:
- If there’s only one beer left, let your man have it. You wouldn’t want him drinking your last daiquiri. You look good whether you’re drinking a girly drink (so feminine) or a beer (such a tomboy), so mix yourself something with gin and leave the beer alone. Bonus: Less calories in a gin mix drink.
- If your man predicts something is going to happen during the game and it doesn’t come to pass, don’t remind him of this. You wouldn’t want your man to remind you about how disastrous setting up your sister with his friend from work went.
- If you find something that a commentator says to be ridiculous, don’t mention it. You wouldn’t want your man ruining your favorite little Kate Hudson movie with witticisms about reality.
- If you find an athlete attractive, keep it to yourself. You wouldn’t want your man constantly going on about how hot the cheerleaders are. If he does, perhaps you should note what makes her so attractive to him, and attempt to mimic this characteristic for the sake of your relationship. Bonus: He might end up loving you even more.
The bottom line: Be considerate.
Most of the above rules assume that there is already a man in your life, but if not, these very same rules can apply to male strangers you might meet at a sports bar. That’s right. On game night, don’t be afraid to head down to a Hooters, Wild Wings or TGIFs and introduce yourself to someone sitting at the bar watching the game. Who knows, maybe it’s your future husband.
Or, maybe you have a brother.
Differentiating Sports From Recreational Activities
There are four major sports that you need to be able to tell apart if you want to save yourself from embarrassment. Other sports exist, but a useful way of distinguishing between sport and recreational activity, is to decipher whether the game being played is equally entertaining whether it’s played by males or females. If it is, it’s a recreational activity. If it isn’t, it’s a sport.
For instance, women play hockey and basketball professionally, but it’s incredibly boring. Therefore, those are sports. Women play tennis, and while the men’s game is faster, the women are typically much better looking, so both men’s and women’s tennis are equally entertaining to watch, and therefore not a sport.
Soccer can be confusing in this aspect, but you only really need to worry about this if you’re with a male from anywhere else on earth other than North America. If this is the case, you’ve likely got bigger problems than understanding sports.
In order to help you differentiate between the four major sports, I figured I’d help you remember by associating each sport with wardrobe recommendations.
The Proper Attire For Baseball
Baseball is a sport played on a field. Most of the action occurs on the infield diamond with three bases and a home plate. It utilizes a bat, ball and several gloves. There are nine players on either side of the competition. It’s a summer sport, so it’s best viewed by females wearing a tight t-shirt (bonus points for a relevant shirsey tied into a knot), and skinny jeans.
The Proper Attire For Basketball
Basketball is played indoors on a court. It’s a five aside, and the players attempt to put the ball through a hoop on a ten foot high post more times than the opposition. It’s played in the winter indoors, but in the summer outdoors. I know that might be confusing for some of you, but don’t forget that you can always utilize the slouchy boyfriend sweater to wear overtop of a summer outfit in the winter. Otherwise, skinny jeans and natural makeup will do. Remember, you don’t paint the barn unless it needs painting.
The Proper Attire For Football
Football is a game played on a 100-yard field between teams of eleven players. The object is to get the ball from one side of the field to the other in as few of plays as possible, by either running with the ball or throwing it in the air. If you live in the Northern half of the United States, it gets very cold at football games. In fact, it’s so cold that it’s useless to worry about fashion or what you look like as you lose your dignity in an attempt to stay warm. Don’t go to a football game. There’s no point. If you’re watching at home, consider skinny jeans with a mesh jersey that reveals your midriff.
The Proper Attire For Hockey
Hockey is played on ice, with players on skates, which are sort of like boots with knives. They carry sticks and slap around a frozen piece of rubber. The object of the game is to slap that frozen piece of rubber past the “goalie” and into the opposing team’s net. You might be tempted to wear a hockey jersey at a hockey game, but remember that a hockey jersey is meant to be worn over lots of upper body equipment. Without it, the jersey isn’t very flattering. A better outfit option would be a less urban version of what to wear at a basketball game. Instead of dressing like Beyonce, wear what you think Hilary Duff would, but with skinny jeans.
As a girl, you’re incapable of understanding fantasy sports due to the hardwiring of your brain. When your man speaks of his fantasy team, it’s best to smile and nod politely, as though you’re in a foreign country and the people you’re with are telling jokes. It’s the universal expression for “I don’t understand, but I’m glad everyone else seems to be enjoying themselves.”
All-Star: A very good member of a sports team, whose skills are widely recognized. This is sort of like a brand name laundry detergent in that the term often has a well-earned reputation for getting the job done.
Bench: A metonym that often refers to substitutes in a team sport. Not to be confused with the brand of purses and hand bags.
Captain: The leader of a team. He’s usually a veteran player who is known to have good leadership skills and an ability to motivate his teammates. Often times, the captain will be one of the more skilled players on a team. He’s sort of like a very cute piece of jewellery that makes everything else you’re wearing look better.
Draft: Could refer to the process by which players are dispersed onto teams or the type of beer consumed at a sports bar (spelled: draught). Either way, often leads to the release of much gas. It’s sort of like how a cupcake might refer to the dessert or your best friend.
Exhibition Game: A match between two teams that doesn’t actually count in the standings. It’s sort of like window shopping.
Free agent: A player who is free to commit to any team that offers him a contract. It’s sort of like the expectation you should have of your boyfriend through the first eight months of dating.
Huddle: A quick meeting among teammates to discuss strategy and encourage one another. It’s sort of like when you get together with your girlfriends and gossip about the ones that aren’t there.
Luxury Boxes: A special section of seating normally reserved for corporate sponsors, at modern sports stadiums and arenas. It’s sort of like box seats at the opera or a chef’s table at a restaurant. Your man is unlikely to ever procure seats for you here, unless through work and to a game to which no one else wanted to go.
Mental Toughness: This refers to an athlete’s ability to persevere through difficult circumstances in a competitive situation. This is unlike anything to which you might relate.
Overtime: If the score is tied in most sports at the completion of the regularly scheduled time. The game will go into overtime (or in baseball, extra innings). This is sort of like when you’re baking, and you need to keep a cake in the oven for a little bit of extra time before it’s ready.
Replay: This could refer to playing a game over again, but more often than not is used as a term to describe seeing a play on television over again shortly after it originally occurred. It’s normally used to glean a better understanding of what happened. It’s sort of like a second date after a first one in which nervousness stopped you from getting a proper read on the person with whom you went out.
Sweet Spot: A place where a combination of factors combines to produce a maximum result. It’s sort of like when you pretend that your man pleases you in the bedroom, but in this instance it actually happens.
Third Jersey: An alternate uniform that’s only worn on special occasions and is usually a replica of a past jersey. It’s sort of like new clothing that’s been made to look like it’s vintage for the cynical purpose of making more money for the manufacturer. Actually, that’s almost exactly what it really is.
Walkover: A condescending view of an easy opponent to whom little mind should be paid because their standard of play is anticipated to be lower than one’s own. It’s sort of like what anyone writing a girl’s guide to watching sports would patronizingly assume a woman to be. This is best avoided by rethinking whether or not such a guide is geared toward women, many of whom watch and participate in sports with a complete understanding, or a beginner, who could just as easily be a male as they could a female.