By staff writer Nathan DeGraaf
October 18, 2006
Amy: Do you have any emotions that don’t revolve around baseball?
Nathan: A few.
I only read the news when I’m in a bad mood. The news makes me laugh. It’s sick I know, but what can you do? Unlike most writers, I wasn’t blessed with what shrinks call “an inherent or natural sensitivity.” I’m kind of like an animal in this regard. I look out for my family and children and everyone else can fuck off. I’m what I call an inherent asshole. What I know about politeness and sensitivity was taught to me—which is to say, when I act like a decent human being, it is usually just that: an act (I’m gonna make a point here, just hold on).
Believe it or not, women, most men are like me in this regard. For years you said you wanted us to be more sensitive, but that’s not what you want. You want to see a sensitive side that relates solely to how you feel. And you don’t want to see it too often. For this reason, you find typical men to be attractive. Well, I’m gonna show you a little bit about the sensitive side of us. Believe it or not, it shows up because of sports.
Recently I had a conversation with an ex-girlfriend, who stated that the list of things I care about goes as follows:
3. The St. Louis Cardinals
“Sports are one of the few things on planet Earth that just make sense. Men don’t want to accept confusion.”
After careful deliberation (and by that I mean, a few seconds of relatively sober thought before the game came on), I determined that she was right (though she left out the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, receiving blowjobs, and medium rare steaks).
But you know what? I can’t be the only guy that feels like this. There’s no way. And since most women don’t seem to understand why men feel like we do about certain professional sports teams (if you press us, men will admit that sports are nothing more than entertainment that showcases competition—much like *gulp* American Idol), I figured I’d do my part for male/female relationships and let all you bitches know why we love sports.
After reading this, I hope you will understand why you should leave us alone during the games.
The Bonding Experience
Recently, I was in St. Louis (the town from which I hail). My father, a St. Louis Rams fan, asked me to accompany him to his favorite bar, where we sat in almost total silence and watched about six NFL games at once. My sister, who we hadn’t seen in a while, decided to use this opportunity to come and visit with us, which resulted in our collective grunting of about two words for every fifty of hers. She concluded later that this was bad timing on her part, and she was right. You see, one of the reasons that men love sports is because they give us a chance to enjoy each other. We love our fathers, but never get a chance to truly express such love (if you come from a household where you do truly express such love, I’ll bet you know the finer points of interior decorating, weirdos).
Instead of offering us hugs and kisses, our fathers teach us important stuff: how to fight, how to play sports, how to enjoy sports, and whether or not a girl is worth spending money on. We fall in love with our teams in a way that transcends enjoying mere entertainment. This is why I cried at Willie McGee Day in St. Louis and didn’t shed a tear for my late grandma (God rest her soul). This is why Field of Dreams always chokes me up and most chick flicks make me laugh out loud. We equate our favorite teams with love for our fellow men. Which is weird because, as men, for the most part, we basically just want to beat the shit out of one another and fuck each other’s women. That’s life.
Anyway, the main reason why we love sports is because sports provide us with an avenue by which we can connect with our fellow men. Understand this, and maybe you won’t find our love of the stuff to be so stupid and unnecessary (though I doubt it).
The Respect Factor
Say what you will about any professional sport, but the truth of the matter is, that shit is hard as fuck to do. People complain about teachers making shit and athletes getting paid so much, but you know what? That makes sense. You have a one in a million shot of becoming a professional athlete, and all you need to be a teacher is a college degree and a certificate from your state. That’s another reason we love the sports and don’t mind how much money athletes make: we respect what they can do. That shit ain’t easy. Hell, we'd buy spring training tickets if we could.
The Quantifiable Experience
Men are more logical (for the most part) than are women. Because of this, we enjoy experiences that we can easily break down. One of the reasons more men read about sports than music is because sports give us easy answers. Why is Peyton Manning worse than Tom Brady? Just go to the post-season statistics and your questions are answered. With movies, books, popular culture and music, no experiences are truly quantifiable.
This is why Rebello’s writings often piss so many people off: when you write passionately about music or popular culture, you are basically offering an opinion of abstract experiences. (In other words, everyone has their opinions on culture and all opinions have merit.) When you write passionately about sports, you’re basically describing what everyone else already experienced. (In other words, everyone has to admit that they’d sooner bet on Brady than Manning in the AFC championship—statistics don’t lie.)
Because of this, we can digest sports like nothing else. To men, sports are one of the few things on planet Earth that just make sense. Men don’t want to accept confusion. We want things simple. We don’t want drama and we don’t need passion. We just want to figure stuff out, plain and simple, and then move on to the next problem. Sports allow us to do that.
So basically, girls, I’m just asking you to understand this about the majority of men in your life: we love sports because we respect athletic ability, because sports remind us of the men in our lives, and because sports are something we can discuss logically (unlike whether or not “Incubus” is better than “The Killers”). We need this in our lives.
So, now that you understand how we feel, shut the hell up, get in the kitchen, and make us some sandwiches. And if there’s no deli meat, just use the leftover steak.