I love my job. And you have to realize, this is my part-time, labor of love job. I work full-time in an industry completely unrelated to sports writing [minds out of the gutter, thank you]. I come home some nights completely burnt out and exhausted, but I still try to sit down and write a story, edit stories from writers/interns, engage on social media, watch some sports-related TV [generally PTI and Around the Horn - I can't take much of the boring stuff], maybe shovel some allergy-friendly dinner into my face, and then drag myself to bed.
I think about sports, dream about sports, cry over sports. I’ve lost friends over this job. And that’s okay. I am proud of how far I’ve come. Only 12 short years ago, I was embroiled in an incident forever known as the “yellow-line story.” You see, it was 2001, and a bunch of us had gathered at my friend Rizzo’s house to watch a playoff football game. I had always loved the game of football, but didn’t watch much of it on television. I lived in the same house as my English teacher and well, any moment of idleness was met with, “Don’t you have a nice book to read?” So, anyway, back to the story. There I am, sitting in one of those comfy circular papasan chairs, paying rapt attention to the Chinese food that had been plopped down in front of me, and basically stealing peripheral glances at the game. I happened to look up several times and saw Tom Brady passing over the yellow line. Confused, I asked [out loud, my mistake], “So uh, why does Tom Brady keep passing over midfield?” From the looks on my friends’ faces, I knew I had said something horrible. Terrible. Unforgivable. I sank into the chair and continued to munch on my chicken fingers. “Jess, that’s the first down line.” Fits of laughter. I shrugged, and continued eating. I mean, when had they decided to get all fancy with a computerized first down line? I thought the guys just ran along with the poles and draped some yellow caution tape over the field every few plays.
My point is, I’m not some all-knowing sports guru. Far from it. I can’t rattle off stats at rapid-fire speed, nor can I name every NBA player ever. But, most people don’t know everything about everything sports-related. So, why the sharp criticism against women in sports? It’s unsettling.
So much so, that I dusted off my MS Paint and drew you some [rather inappropriate pictures] (NSFW!). Enjoy.
It seems that every time I tell any guy what I do, their first reaction is to come at me with some useless sports trivia.
“Oh yeah?! You think you know sports?! Well, how DO you pronounce Lincecum then?! You don’t know SHIT!”
“Yeah well, how many home runs did Mickey Mantle hit, multiplied by Tom Brady’s 2012 quarterback rating? Huh?”
“Uh, does anyone know that?”
You know what asking a question like that makes you? A whistledick.
This is what you look like, to everyone.