A Savvy Girl’s Guide to Sporting Events

28 03 2014


A few days ago, I went to a professional hockey game with my husband.

We had a great time.

I’m a big fan of  sports, you see, and have spent a good portion of my free time attending professional sporting events–everything from baseball and basketball to hockey and football, soccer and bodybuilding to volleyball and tennis. I’ve even been to my fair share of competitive swimming, cheerleading and dance,  and–oddly enough–synchronized swimming.

But in looking around at my fellow females at said hockey game, I realized something:

There were a lot of obviously clueless women at this sporting event.

Naturally, this prompted me to offer up this helpful blog post for all of you ladies out there who are oblivious on how to handle attending sports functions.

I’ve compiled all of my knowledge into one condensed list for your viewing pleasure.

So here you are, my Savvy Girl’s Guide to Sporting Events:

Rule #10: Don’t Dress Up.

I’d like to point out the obvious, that the people attending this sporting event have paid money to watch a fast-paced game–not to oogle you. The only reason you should ever curl your hair and wear a mini skirt to a sporting event would involve you singing the National Anthem on the field. Otherwise, bleachers and stadium seating and heels just don’t mix.

Is there a time and a place for dolling up? Sure! It’s called “every-other-occasion-besides-attending-a-sporting-event”.

Rule #9: Don’t Wear the Rival Team’s Colors.

You may try this as a diversionary tactic–“Baby, look how competitive I am! I’m rooting against your team!”–or you may honestly think you don’t look good in your team’s colors. Or, sadly, you might just be that clueless about sports. Do a bit of research (or spend some time watching guys at the local gas station) and figure out what colors you probably should be wearing. Be forewarned, too–some stadiums will actually boo you if you show up in the opposing team’s colors (St. Louis, I’m looking at you, my friends).

If you’re neutral on team allegiance, give ’em the old French classic: basic white. Oh, and it’s never “cute” to root for a guy’s rival–even if you want his attention.

Rule #8: Your Purse Doesn’t Get a Seat.

First of all, do you really need to bring a purse to a game? Ok, maybe you can’t condense your stuff down into a small clutch or your coat pockets for one evening…but keep in mind, your precious leather satchel will be sitting in its rightful place: on the sticky, popcorn-littered floor.  It’s not a small child, even if you’ve affectionately named your Louie or Jimmy or Dolce.

At an NBA game with my husband a few years ago...

At an NBA game with my husband a few years ago…

Rule #7: Get Your Own Food.

This principle will save you from endless frustration over the course of your entire life. Here it goes: men do not want to share their food with you. Ever. If they ever do, it means that they’re humoring you or aren’t really very hungry. If you’re choosing to eat at a sporting event, get your own food. And goodness gracious, definitely get your own drink. Asking to share a man’s drink with him is like trying to steal a meaty bone from a hulking dog.

This brings me to another point that needs to be stated–it is never, ever acceptable (or advisable) for you to ask a male to get up from the game and get you a pretzel or an ice cream cone or a refill on your Coke. Get it yourself, girl. You’ve got legs.

Rule #6: Focus, Focus, Focus.

Sorry, darling, no one at a sporting event wants to hear about what Jenny said to you at work today, and how frustrated you are about your sister’s boyfriend saying that stupid political baloney on Facebook. For all intents and purposes, Pinterest does not exist when you’re at a game. Conversation is fairly limited to sports-related topics and players. Be content to actually watch the game and ask questions if you don’t understand what’s going on.

And don’t just fill the void with constant cheering, either. Don’t believe me that it’s annoying? Watch the people sitting around a loudmouth at a game. Their eyes roll more than the dice at a Vegas roulette table.

Rule #5: Don’t Trash Talk.

I’ll give you a pass on this one if you actually understand the sport in which you choose to talk smack. For instance, I played basketball and soccer enough to intimately know both sports–to the point where I nearly got punched by an annoyed Lakers fan in Los Angeles a few years ago because my trash talking was a little too accurate when it came to Kobe Bryant. But in general, it’s never wise to jabber fiercely about something you don’t really understand…especially if you’ve been drinking.

Rule #4: Don’t Draw Attention to the Cheerleaders.

Let’s face it–when have the words, “Oh my gosh, look how short her skirt is!” ever had the intended effect on anyone, let alone any guy? Save your righteous criticism, however accurate it may be, and don’t needlessly point out the skimpily dressed cheerleaders any more than you have to. Besides, some of them are Harvard-bound law students…right?

Rule #3: Don’t Be Cutesy.

Don’t get me wrong, you can hold hands with your significant other while at a sporting event. If your honey puts his arm around you, by all means–that’s fine. But if you go into a sporting event expecting to be coddled and cuddled and hugged and kissed, you don’t really get what sports are all about. People love sports because they are competitive, raw, unpredictable–it’s battle. Unfortunately, smooching and war just don’t go together.

Rule #2: Don’t Get Up From Your Aisle Over and Over Again.

Nothing makes the people around you hate you more than traipsing up and down the aisle over and over again. I figure you get one or two chances to make everyone stand up so you can climb over them and step all over their toes, and that’s it. Push it to three times? You’re getting the evil eye from everyone you’re inconveniencing. Four times or more, you risk getting “accidentally” spilled with beer next time they have to get up. Or beat up in the parking lot, if it’s in Boston.

Rule #1: Don’t Make Fun of Sports Fans Geeking Out.

As you attend sporting events, the ultimate faux pas you can make is to poke fun at those fans who love geeking out. It’s not often that hardworking adults are able to paint their faces, pull on a colorful shirt, and wear a goofy foam hat on their heads while screaming themselves hoarse–so don’t take that away from anyone. Save your caustic wit for your inevitable arguments with your internet provider’s customer service representative, and let people enjoy themselves at games and events.

If all else fails and you’re truly bored to death at a sporting event, go buy yourself a pretzel and silently remember all the times your significant other has spent wandering around a department store, vainly searching for a chair as you try on endless outfit combinations. That should muffle your inner criticism until someone scores another goal and shuts down the game.

Just remember, ladies–if I see you wearing a lacy dress and playing Candy Crush at the next game I’m at, I’ll be lobbing some of these tips your way…