As a general rule, I feel bad anytime I make a guy choke on his drink. Doubly bad if he inhales the tiny straw in the process. Don't get me wrong -- I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy the look of shock every now and then, but in general, I try not to put people in life-threatening situations ... especially when I'm just showing off.
Before I started blogging about the Chicago Cubs, I mostly had to settle for bewildering men in bars with my sports knowledge (to the extent that they nearly impaled themselves on aforementioned tiny straws).
There was nothing quite like the look on a guy's face when he sauntered over to hit on me and wound up getting bludgeoned over the head with statistics
. (That's what you get for making an idiotic, throwaway comment about one of my favorite players.)
This was entertaining, but ultimately unsatisfying. It also leads to lack of romantic interest from the cute-but-vapid guy who just wanted to buy me a drink and impress me with his limited knowledge of baseball, for crying out loud, not get a lecture on the rise of on-base percentage as a factor in the college draft.
Men who might not have found the perfect woman did find a woman perfect for drunken party tricks: "Julie! Julie! Who won the 1987 World Series? Watch this, you guys, she totally knows it! See? I TOLD you, man! You owe me fifty bucks!"
I firmly believe that I chose my husband because he's the rare combination of man who delights in my love of sports without being intimidated by it. When we're out together and a fellow manly-man walks up to him to talk baseball, he points his thumb at me and says, "You want to talk to the missus, not me," and walks away. How could any sports-loving chick not love a guy like that? And once I started blogging about sports on a large scale, the guy-floodgates opened.
Between my Cubs blog, my three baseball podcasts, and my appearances on sports radio, my professional and social lives are saturated with guys -- and not just regular guys. I'm talking about guys brimming with testosterone, who wear their baseball caps backwards, chug Mountain Dew all day, and like to high-five a lot.
Having a significant other who takes all of this in stride without hiring a private eye to follow me around (as far as I know) has been key. Although, since I've started blogging, I've been inundated daily with requests from guys who want to buy me drinks or take me to a ballgame. Pro tip: If you're a girl who can talk sports who doesn't look like an East German swimmer from the 1970s, you're the perfect life partner for a large quantity of males out there. I imagine they expect marital bliss will consist of nothing but sex and "SportsCenter." (Does life get any better?)
I'm not sure why it still shocks men so much that there are women out there like me: girlie-girls who quote "Moneyball," grew up with posters of Michael Jordan and Walter Payton in their rooms, and read Baseball Prospectus instead of Vogue while getting mani-pedis. After all, we are the daughters of Title IX. Many of us grew up eating, breathing and sleeping sports, just like the boys. So, the fact that our love of sweat, skinned knees and baserunning rules has followed us into adulthood isn't surprising. We love watching professional athletes for the same reasons men do: the competition, the drama, the triumph of the human spirit over adversity.
And, to be honest, the tight pants don't hurt, either.
Julie DiCaro is a recovering lawyer who blogs about the Chicago Cubs year-round at "A League of Her Own." She also hosts three sports podcasts on Blog Talk Radio: Julie & Alex's Excellent Sports Adventure, Wrigley Talk Friday and Throwing Like a Girl. She is a frequent guest on WGN Radio and a contributor to the Chicago Tribune's Red Eye.