In Q & A, a weekly feature of Fantastic Fangirls, we ask our staff to tackle a simple question — then open the floor to comments.
What’s a favorite sport to watch?
Caroline: You can convince me to watch just about any sport if the social setting is right. Most reliable, though, I show up for college basketball, especially the men’s tournament in the spring — yes, I’m conceptually a supporter of women’s sports, I hope the US Women’s soccer team wins it’s fight for equal pay, but in practice I have the attention span of a gnat and by the time I remember to look for women’s college basketball games, Connecticut probably already won them.
The thing is, it’s hard for me to write about sports fandom without some kind of kneejerk defensiveness about liking the wrong stuff, in the wrong way, or worrying about being implicated on conscious and unconscious levels in deeply messed up culture.
I’m sure there are people who can come at sports with rational adult judgment (aren’t there? Probably?) But personally I’m well aware of the way it grows out of the same irrational love and hate as family and hometown loyalties, and from the lizard brain that loves to win and hates to lose and screw everything else.
Wait, what was the question? NHL playoffs start this week. Go Caps.
Julia:I am a bit of a sports junkie and always have been. I fondly remember watching/listening to football games sitting next to my father when I was growing up. I agonized over the Atlanta Braves’ 1990s era playoffs when I was in college. I always get asked if I went to Alabama for the football, but we were not winning back then at all.
And the Olympics always provide a smorgasbord of choices, winter and summer. I was a gymnastics and figure skating fan growing up and hard core into skating for quite awhile. Judging changes have revamped both sports completely with new points systems and technical requirements.
A current favorite to watch during summer Olympics is volleyball, mostly indoor. I love the teamwork required to win a match, how each position has an specific task/skill needed, whether it’s blocking, hitting, or just keeping the ball in play.
Lisa: Hockey. But only when I can attend, I don’t follow on TV. I used to date a guy who got free tickets (his dad was a goal judge), so I got used to the rules and there’s always a chance of a fight.
Mandy: College Football. SEC college football to be precise. Auburn University if we’re splitting hairs because ball is life.
Ever since the fiancee and I got together, I have turned into a football fan, college and pro. I went from having no interest to suddenly watching four or five games a week during football season. (Look, I have to support the Auburn Tigers and the Carolina Panthers, which means also checking out their rivals to figure out how my teams will play against them.)
Football has a TON of problems, but wow is it entertaining. (Is it the draft yet????)
Sara: Because one of my best friends in med school loves tennis, I hear about it way too often. He convinced me to watch the US Open last summer and that was actually a lot of fun. I’m way more into playing sports (badly) than watching, but tennis is a good mix of fast paced action and straight-foward rules. Also, I get super confused when there are too many people on the field, so tennis is pretty good for that!
So what about you? What’s a favorite sport to watch?