A Word from the Sports Chick


Two words that are music to my ears. It’s that time of year. Baseball season. America’s Pasttime.

I love sports. Passionately. I’m the chick watching SportsCenter with all the guys at the bar. The one placing bets on games. The one who reads SI.com and ESPN.com daily.

And while I love all sports (save for NASCAR – what’s up with that, anyway) baseball and the boys of summer are part of me. Chalk it up partially to genetics – both my dad and brother played, with Daddy getting drafted while playing college ball but having to change gears due to an ankle injury. And partially an innate affection for a game that’s deceptively simple on the surface and always accessible.

A read of an article written by a Houston Astros fan about his own personal baseball creed inspired me to develop my own similar statement.

Call it Janey’s Baseball Manifesto. It goes well with peanuts and Cracker Jacks, dontcha know.

A good cigar is like a beautiful chick with a great body who also knows the American League box scores.
~ M*A*S*H, Klinger, "Bug-Out," 1976

***I am a fan of the game. Period. Then, now and forever. I’ve been watching baseball for as long as I can remember – Saturday afternoons were all about the ML Game of the Week on NBC with Joe Garagiola. Weekday evenings were spent with tuchuses on rough wood bleachers watching my brother play ball and my dad coaching his team.

This is probably why I love the purity of the Little League game, with its crazy scores and earnest players, as much as I do the nuanced finesse of the Big League game. Give me an afternoon/early evening on a field one step up from a sandlot with a steamed hot dog, a Pepsi and kids engaged in America’s Pastime and I’m a happy, giddy girl.

The other sports are just sports. Baseball is a love.
~ Bryant Gumbel, 1981

***I will always have a passionate opinion about my team:
They’re wonderful!

They suck!

They’re great!

They’re awful!


Damn, they suck!

These opinions will be spewed forth fast and furiously and quite often in the span of a week, a three/four game series, a day or even a game.

I’m a chick. It’s my right to chance my mind. Yeah, that’s right. I pulled the chick card. Nyah.

There have been only two geniuses in the world. Willie Mays and Willie Shakespeare.
~ Tallulah Bankhead

*** I’m going to defend my team’s players – through stupid comments and asshattery and bad behavior. Most of the time, anyway. That’s just how I roll. Love my team, love its players. Regardless. Usually.

However, once a player that dabbles in the aforementioned asshattery is no longer a member of my team, he is automatically Dead To Me and his actions, which I previously ignored or overlooked, become abhorrent.

Spurrier, Steve as a classic example of this. He’s a Jackass. Through and through. Once upon a time, he was My Jackass. And it was OK. His antics and arrogance didn’t bother me one whit. I embraced it. Then he wasn’t part of my Team anymore. Now he’s Dead to Me AND a Jackass.

(Yes, I know that I’m mixing sports analogies here. You know the deal: My blog, my rules. Have we just met?)

Baseball is a ballet without music. Drama without words.
~ Ernie Harwell, "The Game for All America," 1955

*** My prerogative: as a fan, I get to criticize and lambast and bemoan the fate and play of my team. My heart’s with them – nothing wrong with a little tough love and constructive criticism.

However… when anyone else opens their big trap to criticize or lambast or bemoan the fate or play of my team… pffft. Not cool.

Even worse: I really don’t appreciate being mocked or taunted or goaded about my team and their standing, success or otherwise. Don’t do it to get a rise out of me – unless you want to fall into Dead To Me status with Spurrier and Joakim Noah (once a Gator Boy, now a member of the newest enemy of my Boston Celtics, the Chicago Bulls.) I take my sports teams very seriously – thinking it’s “funny” to mess with me about them is the fastest way to end up on my Very Bad Side.

Exception to the Dead to Me rule: Rocco Baldelli. Once a Ray, now a Red Sox. I’ve tried to push him into Dead to Me territory but he just won’t go. He's just too cute and adorable for me to loathe.

Baseball? It's just a game - as simple as a ball and a bat. Yet, as complex as the American spirit it symbolizes. It's a sport, business - and sometimes even religion.
~ Ernie Harwell, "The Game for All America," 1955

*** Let’s be honest: try as I might, there’s no way I can be objective or impartial or benevolent with a wrong call when it comes to my team. Yeah – that ump really does need glasses if he thought that pitch was a ball. And please – Carl Crawford was SAFE by a mile, dude. When I love, I love unconditionally and with a biased, affectionate eye. Suck it, ump.

Don't tell me about the world. Not today. It's springtime and they're knocking baseball around fields where the grass is damp and green in the morning and the kids are trying to hit the curve ball.
~ Pete Hamill

*** Embedded in the fiber of my being and the foundation of my soul, there lies a well-bred, genteel Southern lady who was taught not to say unkind things about anyone (at least in the presence of those to whom she would be referring.)

However – that engrained character trait goes out the window when it comes to the main rivals of my team – specifically the Red Sox and the Yankees. I loathe them. Despise them. Would even go so far as to say I hate them. I heckle their players whenever they appear on the telly, even if just in a commercial. I would root for the Devil himself in a three game stand at Fenway. I have already bet on the first Yankee/Rays series of the year (and paid up on my part of the bet, too. One thing I’m not is a welcher.)

By the way, this venom is also spewed at my other athletic rivals, including the horrid, wretched and vile Florida State Seminoles and Tennessee Volunteers. In case you were wondering.

There are three things in my life which I really love: God, my family, and baseball. The only problem - once baseball season starts, I change the order around a bit.
~ Al Gallagher, 1971

*** I am a true, through and through sports-loving girl. Let's emphasize that "girl" thing for a moment... while I'm going to appreciate the game and the stats and all the things my fellow testosterone-laden fans do, my estrogenical sensibilities are going to come shining through. And I'm going to make comments that reflect that. Like "nice tuchus" or "damn, he's hot" or "Hit the ball long and hard, sweetie." I spent several years in the mid '80s following the Los Angeles Dodgers simply because I was in love with Steve Sax and his outstanding posterior.

I'm a girl. It's what I do.

So there you are – the Janey Baseball Manifesto. Read it. Learn it. Know it.

And I’ll see you in the cheap seats. First dog and draught are on me.

Love is the most important thing in the world, but baseball is pretty good too.
~ Greg, age 8


TopSurf said...

While I am not a huge baseball fan, unless I am sitting at a game, my father and husband are. My Father and I have had many discussions on this sport and why I'm not a huge fan (he desperately wanted me to share his undying love for the sport). Here is what he said to me once and it has stuck with me all these years and I find it to be very true.

"You can say it's the tradition, and it might well be, but what it boils down to is I can watch a game every day and each and every game I will see something I've never seen happen before in a game, and that is what I love about baseball."

Sherrie said...

I really, deeply, truly enjoyed reading this- and found myself nodding in agreement many times. Beautifully written, sports chick!

bronsont said...

Loves, loves, loves that his Janey has two categories, my team, and dead to me! (rofl) No middle ground with her!

You're a true hoot girly!