It all started out as a normal late Friday afternoon, which is to say I was struggling to just get through the day after my Thursday night
drinking bowling league. As usual, I’m wasn’t really paying attention to most of the conversation going on unless someone talked to me directly or if I happen to notice they were talking about sports. It didn’t take long for sports to come up.
The conversation started with the Bruins, and for those that follow me on twitter or know me in “the real world” I’ve been very vocal on my thoughts about the Bruins and what should happen if they miss the playoffs. So despite them all knowing my opinions I was just as animated as I always am, to the point of drawing a bit of laughter with my slight exaggerations of how they should fire those responsible. (Don’t worry, there will probably be a blog post about that coming up soon.)
Once that died down a bit the subject switched to The Masters, and more specifically, Ernie Els’ spectacular failure on the first hole Thursday. That led to other talk about The Masters, another conversation I took an active role in. Afterward they began talking about a few other games, and then finally ended on UConn’s victory in the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship. I didn’t say anything about it as I didn’t watch the game.
And by not watching, according to one of the young ladies present, I am a misogynist.
As one would expect that quieted down the conversation a bit as many of the guys looked at me, and then to her, and then back to me. Not really in the mood for an argument I went all sarcastic and said something along the lines of, “yep, I hate women, so that’s why I didn’t watch”. She stormed off as we all laughed.
Friends being friends, for the rest of the night whenever I said anything the reply was “You only think that because you’re a misogynist”. Saturday morning I decided to look the word up to make sure I wasn’t missing part of the definition and somehow it would apply. According to The Googles, there is no portion of the definition of “misogynist” that means “doesn’t like basketball”, which is the primary reason why I didn’t watch the game. And it’s not as if I just dislike women’s basketball, I don’t really like the sport at all.
I played basketball a lot as a kid, but even in the heyday of the Celtics in the 1980s I seldom watched them on TV. The only portion of this year’s men’s NCAA tourney I saw was when it was on the TVs at any of the sports bars I frequented. Had they been showing a women’s game I would have paid just as much attention as I did the men’s games I saw, and by that I mean “very little”.
“Misogynist” also doesn’t mean “it was on TV past my bedtime”, which is another reason I didn’t watch. During the work week I’m in bed by nine most nights, and except for my
drinking bowling night Thursday you should never bet I won’t be sleeping soundly at ten. I don’t even watch the New England Patriots when they’re on that late. There isn’t any chance I’ll be watching basketball at that hour, men’s or women’s.
Now I should note that as I’m flipping the channels if I see a basketball game in the waning seconds or in overtime there’s a good chance I’d stop and watch for a few moments. But I’d also do that with any sport coming down to the end of the game with the winner in doubt. I’m a sports fan, and situations like that are what get us going. And there’s no need to know much about the two teams playing, or in some cases much about the sport they’re playing. It’s about the competition.
As I type that above paragraph, another reason for not watching the UConn game comes to mind: the winner wasn’t really in doubt. At tip-off the line was UConn being favored by 25.5. Watching a game where the gamblers have already determined one team is going to dominate the other usually means that’s exactly what’s going to happen, and likely you aren’t going to see a good game. Without a strong rooting interest I’m not watching a game like that.
It probably should make me a lot angrier at being called a misogynist than I am, but I think it’s because I know the thought of it is humorous for those that know me. I’m a huge supporter of women’s sports. Once I discovered the Boston Pride’s game were on NESN I watched a good chunk of them. In fact, once I learned the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) held their finals at a neutral site I sent emails to a lot of folks asking if it was an event we could get here in Worcester.
I watch lots of events from the LPGA, the Women’s Series of the PBA, women’s tennis, and the NCAA women’s softball world series. With the exception of tennis, where I’m much more likely to watch ladies’ tennis than men’s as the ladies’ game is much more interesting and technical than the pure power of the men, if it’s on TV and looks like an interesting contest I’m watching it no matter if it’s men or women playing it.
And that’s not the definition of a misogynist either.