Ah, the joys of fall — you’re back in school (and more importantly, you’re away from the old ball-and-chain parents), your room isn’t a complete pigsty (yet), and you just spied the cute, intelligent and single (learned through copious amounts of Facebook stalking) member of the opposite sex in your section. Things are looking up.
Adding to the carefree bliss of frolics on Old Campus is the promise of sports coming back into your life — the NFL is just around the corner, and college football has already kicked off. Of course, being the good Yale fan that you are, you look up the next football game and — gasp! – the next home game is not until Sept. 26!
Well, my friends, that’s where your trusty neighborhood John Song comes in. When I was making a list of column ideas to pop the article cherry this year, I started off brainstorming a couple of things that I liked. The list looked like this:
After that, I got stuck … until I took another look at my list and was instantaneously hit by a wave of light bulb burning genius. Women’s sports! And that’s my recommendation to you beer-chugging, meat-eating, iron-pumping champions of protein shakes. Coincidentally, women’s sports are also my recommendation for all 99 percent of you who didn’t qualify for the above description.
Think about it. You get your sports fix. You get athletes that put your beer gut to shame. You get sports that are predicated more on flexible formations and passing than on sheer athletic dominance. You get to tell your parents that you went on a date last Friday because there were females within 100 feet of you. OK, that last one only applies to me.
But if you’re still not convinced, let me give you a little taste of what the women’s sports genre is like. Yours truly went down to Reese Stadium last week to soak in the sights and sounds of the women’s soccer team’s season and home opener against Wagner. I was met with a crowd of other like-minded sports aficionados, opposing friends and families, and swarms of mosquitoes. Under the Friday night lights, the crowd had a decent buzz running through it (and not just of the alcoholic variety) as the women on the field warmed up to the vocal magic of Lady Gaga.
As soon as Wagner kicked things off, the Yale women instantly took control of the game and dominated possession, setting up runs into the box, switching the field, and clanging balls off the post in the first 10 minutes. Needless to say, I was up and out of my seat, celebrating each scoring opportunity and bemoaning each barely-missed shot. It was also a great way to keep the mosquitoes off.
Since I felt bad about heckling the opposing team’s girls, I naturally turned my attention to the men in the zebra stripes. Let me tell you: there is nothing more satisfying than screaming at people that have to remain as neutral as possible due to contractual obligations. Whenever anything remotely questionable happened — easily identifiable because our team was the one penalized — I found myself questioning his eyesight, insulting his slight obesity, and pondering the negative consequences of infertility upon his relationship with his wife. In response, he resolutely focused on the game while trying to ignore the tears streaming down his face. Two hours later, we posted a dominant 2–0 shutout, I only counted 15 mosquito bumps, and my voice was gone from screaming myself senseless.
So let’s take a step back and look at the pros and cons from this women’s soccer experience.
1. Heckled the *&%^ out of some refs.
2. Treated to two hours of back-and-forth action.
3. Our team won.
4. Screamed “I love you Becky Brown” when she scored twice, sprinkled in a few “have my babies,” all within a socially acceptable situation that won’t have my lawyers working hard to counter the sexual harassment suit(s).
2. Had a parent ask if I was sober, then quizzically say “and you’re having this much fun?” when I answered in the affirmative. (I’m convinced that this was probably not a good thing.)
I count 4 pros to only 2 cons. I think there are more pros than cons (Mrs. Leslie from first grade would be so proud).
So, to recap: GET OUT AND SUPPORT YALE WOMEN’S SPORTS!! If you’re a socially awkward, nerdy guy (like me) who likes sports and needs an excuse to profess your love within the bounds of social etiquette, you won’t be sorry you tried it.
John Song is a junior in Berkeley College.