Monday, October 15, 2007

Sports are for the Guys

Two extremely sexy Olympic Volleyball Players: Ana Paula Connelly and Sandra Pires.I remember in the 2004 – perhaps it was another Olympics, forgive me but they tend to blend together with the Cold War being over and all1 – the coverage tried to include more women in the audience, and it didn't work all that well. Today, I want to write about sports coverage and why it is only for the guys.

Print Coverage
Have you ever noticed how a sports story is written? The structure suits men, not women. Again, I have not read a sports story in a while, but they usually start out telling you what happened in the final minutes, the forth quarter, the final inning. They tell you the teams, the score, and possibly what comes next (if it is a tournament situation).

Sort of wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am. You have everything you need to know in that one paragraph or two. Now I have a hypothesis on this, and no, it is not that men can only read a paragraph or two. The hypothesis is this: men reading the story, probably watched the game. So they are reading the article, savoring or crying over the result.

So, anyway, I can picture a guy, grunting and pounding his hand in the air, in victory over whatever sports event he is reading. "Oh, yeah, baby, walk off homer in the ninth. Sweet."

Then the next paragraph might talk about some record that was set. Or some bizarre fact – like that the entire secondary was injured before the game. Something of interest.

Then the story usually talks about the third quarter, or the first quarter. Maybe even the second quarter. Honestly, if you wrote an article from beginning to end, then took the paragraphs and cut them up, and then rearranged them in no particular order.

For men, I am guessing, it does not matter the organization of the article. If you already saw the game, you know the outcome, then each paragraph has you relive that particular part of the game.

Men can understand this, I cannot.

I want a story to start at the beginning, perhaps have a little bit of back story sprinkled throughout the article and ending with the final score. I don't mind the final score at the beginning occasionally, but not every single time. This, however, must be how sports writers are trained.

And, you know, sports writers are, in general, pretty good writers. I mean, sometimes better than other writers of the paper. Not all other writers, but some of them. And I am not sure that was the case a long time ago.

Running Out of Room
Okay, I try and only write one page per day. And I wanted to explore other avenues of men and sports on other days. Could this be a multi-day post? That sort of would make this a woman's view of sports (men want one, women multiple, er . . . cough).

1It was not just the Cold War that made the Olympics. It was the amateur athletes. Today's Olympic athletes, while highly gifted, are not amateurs in any sense of the word.


Anonymous said...

I'm sure you feel the same way about sports stories as I do about the arrangement of items in a supermarket. Why things are put together the way they are baffles me.


RWA said...

No, no, no...sports are for WOMEN, believe me. Just look at that picture you posted. Think about when Brandi Chastain ripped off her shirt after that big win for the U.S. women's soccer team.

Sports are definitely for women.

T said...

Looking at the picture you posted, I thought you were going to talk about women's beach volleyball and how coverage at the last Olympics brought a new population of guys..... I mean fans.. to the sport. Well, at least until the tv coverage ended.

Enjoy the week. Hope you are all better now.

Sheen V said...

Ok, so I like to watch women's tennis. And I don't play tennis. One of life's guilty pleasures.

Leesa said...

edge: supermarket organization is sometimes confusing.

rwa: playing sports are for women; caring about them are for men.

t: yeah, this was a half-post.

sheen: I like to watch diving, of all sports. And I hate to dive myself.

RWA said...

OK, that's a good point.

QUASAR9 said...

Women's tennis is possibly my favourite viewing sport, second only to women's beach volleyball.

Women's mud wrestling doesn't quite have the same appeal, unless I get to hose them down at the end.