The Sports Fan’s Girl
How to be a (good) Girlfriend on the Third Row

When I went to college the last thing on my mind was sports. I didn’t care about sports. I didn’t enjoy watching sports. I would rather do pretty much anything other than something related to sports. And then I met this guy. It just so happened that said guy was a “front row-er” at our college basketball and football games. Luckily for him we met during the off-season so he had me hooked before I really knew what I was getting into. Since I was a front row-er’s girlfriend I got to sit third row at basketball games and front row at football games. I am sure you can feel my excitement. It didn’t take long before I learned that sports weren’t the only things with rules and regulations. Through the next two years I was yelled at, taunted, mocked and probably assaulted for the mistakes I made as a new fan and now that I am a pro girlfriend on the third row, I want to pass on my knowledge to you.

Wear you school’s color (preferably the one that isn’t white or black)

We begin with a seemingly obvious matter, but one that many college girls get wrong. Ladies, you need to buy a game day shirt. They cost like five bucks at the school bookstore and it will save you from hours of ridicule. Luckily, I am all for new clothes (even if it is a badly fitted cotton shirt) so this wasn’t a problem for me, but trust me, you don’t want to be known as the girl in the picture randomly wearing the bright yellow shirt.

Don’t talk during important parts of the game

Now this one is tricky because “important parts” is a very vague term that varies between fans. For example, I was at a “blue and white game,” the game at the beginning of the season where teammates face each other and play, giving fans a little taste of what is to come. So lets be clear, there are no winners or losers and this game doesn’t count against any statistic. In all honesty this game is a glorified practice. That being said, I about had my head ripped off and thrown across the isle for speaking during a free throw shot. I have never had so many large boys (not quite men) turn around and scream into my face. Now usually when the team is playing an ACTUAL game this is an important time to be quiet. Silly me for thinking a team practice was the exception to this rule…because it isn’t.

Waiting 3+ hours before a game outside the stadium is a sign of dedication and pride, not a waste of time.

This rule is debatable to anyone with an outside perspective. Not being a waste of time kind of contradicts itself since most of these fans take much longer than 4 years to graduate (because they were spending ALL DAY sitting in a small room doing nothing. Not proven fact, just a girl’s opinion). Lets be clear. You are not to mock these boys. You are to bring your significant other drinks and food and grab his butt in front of his friends. Nothing more. This is a spiritual ritual for them. Just leave it alone.

If an away game is within a day’s drive, expect to attend…even if it’s your birthday…or you’re dying.

Exaggeration? I’m afraid not. On my birthday a few years ago I was hospitalized the early morning of an away game. It was nothing too serious so they let me leave in the afternoon, taking with me a bottle of painkillers. I wasn’t immobile, but I definitely wasn’t about to run up a flight of stairs. My sweet boyfriend came to see me. He was first concerned about my health, of course, but then very concerned about what this meant for him and the basketball game. Being the naïve and stupid girlfriend that I was - and not wanting to be alone on my birthday- I told him I would still go to the game (thus not making him have the decision to go to the game or stay home with me –we all know what he would have chosen). Needless to say I sat in my chair miserable for a few hours and by the end of the night I had taken so many painkillers (the first few didn’t seem to be working) that I had to be carried to the car- no doubt whispering sweet nothings into my poor man’s ears.

Pretend to be sad when the team wins, even if you don’t care.

If your man is as big of a fan as mine, then their team means more to them than at least I will ever understand. These boys worship the players and the game so when it leads to a disappointing end, our men are heartbroken. They will sulk and be grouchy and probably eat their sorrows away. Don’t try to console them or say it will be okay - just let them cry it out. I found that leaving him to his own devices for a few hours after a loss was beneficial for our relationship.

I hope these rules help you avoid some of the mistakes I made as a naïve, yet well-intended, girlfriend. Just remember, eventually your man will grow up, get a real job, and won’t be able to spend all those worthless hours waiting outside the stadium. It gets better –I promise.

1 comment:

  1. haha oh my hilarious. Please send this in to the Statesman or the Herald Journal!



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