If Sports Were Girlfriend Relationships…

NFL Logo

The steady, long-term, daytime girlfriend.  

Very pretty, but not flashy and over the top (both in and out of bed).  We spend the most time hanging out after work and during the day on weekends.  Take road trips just to see in person for a few hours and super comfortable with doing the introduction to all my friends since they really like her too.  And that might be a problem since everyone also gawks at Miss Popular.  However, there’s nothing of a high reward at the end of the day (aka the Buffalo Bills in the SB and every fantasy season).  Although things are steady, except for the occasional disagreement over something trivial that got out of hand (aka forgetting an important relationship date/the referee lockout), they are not surprising and sometimes guys gotta mix it up a bit.

The Wife

I’ve been with her the longest.  We made a commitment years ago (although at the time it was based a lot on Mike Piazza on the Dodgers) and although things have changed dramatically over the years (steroids, Bud Selig, coming and going of childhood heroes like Chipper, A-Rod, and Karros), we’re still together.  Financially, things are going great and her success is something remarkable, although you can’t figure out why other people would pay to spend hours every day with her.  You come home everyday knowing she’s there, but do you really want to hang out with her (or the Baseball Tonight crew)?  I mean, you know all the ins and outs about her and really she’s just boring for 3-5 hours on end.  Home runs, warning track catches, and closer K’s that used to be exciting (in bed?) are now just routine.  The spice is gone.  Hell, even the fantasy aspect isn’t as fun as the sassy, younger football version.  But still, she’s your first love, your everything.  You’ll be by her side and defend her to death.  Her WAR is 15.8 even though she’s batting only .221 this season, and the next, and the next.  And because of that, you’ll defend her to death do we part.

NHL Logo

The Summer Fling

During the 2002-2003 NHL season (back when there were NHL seasons), I fell in love with the sport on ice.  For a few months, I read up on everything there was about hockey.  I poured myself 250% into my fantasy hockey league and rode the likes of Markus Naslund, Matt Sundin, and Jarome Iginla to a league title.  I could rattle off the top goal and assist leaders like I was born and raised in Calgary.  And although this fleeting love wasn’t out of nowhere (I still remember watching the Sabres battle it out with Dallas in the ’99 Stanley Cup only to be screwed over (as always for Buffalo) by the mystery “No Goal” by Brett Hull as if it were the Music City Miracle), like some things this had to come to an end.  You realize that although you had a fun time and want that feeling to last forever, there’s just too much not in common (with NHL, the overlap with the NFL/NBA and the influx of European names that are just too hard to remember; with the Summer Fling the fact that she’s probably going to end up being a chain-smoking stripper with 3 kids by 4 different fathers).  So you part ways, even call each other now and then to see what’s up, but always speaking with that lack of spark you both rode during that summer.  And yes, she did end up getting locked out of her own season twice, so good decision in the end!

The Party Animal/Nighttime Girlfriend

Two words: Dra-Ma.  And that knife cuts both ways.  The NBA is probably the one sport with the highest excitement ceiling.  The dunks, the fast breaks, the 3-point binges.  This girl is flashy, exciting, super-model popular to everyone around the world (see: James, LeBron).  She’s someone that works hard and plays harder.  Any night of the, but especially those weekends, its party-o-clock and she’s headed for the nearest club.  The city is where its at and she’s super chic in the way she dresses, whether its Urban Outfitters during the day, Juicy Couture at the bar or some form of pants with writing slapped on her backside.  This girl brings your life to “new levels of higher excitement”.  But it can wear you down.  She’s totally going to complain about something and start a melee with other girls, (or even spectators!).  Sometimes the effort just isn’t there off the court/dancefloor and she’s totally not trusting in you although its you that shouldn’t be trusting of her (hello David Stern vs. the world).  So, while you might enjoy the highs, remember that weekend nights/the 4th quarter of the playoffs only last so long and you’re stuck dealing with the other 3 quarters of your life to get there.  High reward, higher risk.

The Study Abroad Hookup

This one is simple.  You did what you were supposed to do as a college kid and spent 3 months in a place where there still was running water and satellite TV, but where English sounded like a 24 hour cab ride.  But hey, studying abroad is as close to GTA-esque escapism that a young man can get, so of course its an excuse to go balls to the walls-er more than you have all semester!  And that’s when you realize that being surrounded by a bunch of Europeans who have been doing the drinking/sexing/smoking/drugging/partying thing since they were 13 exposes how far behind Americans are in the “how to have crazy fun” department.  And yes, this is a direct attack on people in their 20s drinking light beer, throwing a bag of beans, and requiring things like “Happy Hour” to get out and drink.  Many might say the same goes for sports fanship on both sides of the pond.  Everyone knows about the soccer induced riots and hooliganism.  But football fans in Europe are really just the blue-balled sports fans of the world.  Only one sport?  Of course I’d go crazy!  And that’s what studying abroad is like.  Only one chance to party out of my skull before returning to the Puritan States of America?  Of course I’d go crazy!  So while Celine, Lorena, or Anika were a good one-nighter, just be prepared for the long term commitment to a people with only one-sport and realize that you’ll always be fighting an uphill battle in fanship.

NCAA-logo

The Rebound

There are three certainties in life: death, taxes, and college girls never age.  This one is most likely (and probably should) to happen after a seriously MLB or NFL girlfriend.  You’ve had your share of posh dinner dates, Bed Bath Beyond runs and awful wine parties with the ex’s friends over the past couple of years that you need another direction…immediately.  She might be barely past drinking age and her ID says “199x” in the DOB section, but hey, you need to let loose.  She’s also probably working for free and taking enough hits (imagine as you may) to make a college football player’s concussion look worthwhile.  Academics, employment, and general adulthood are somewhere near the bottom of the list of an NCAA girlfriend (and the NCAA too), but hey, money is everything.  So feel free to splurge on this one for a very, very, very (VERY!!) short while, because nobody want’s to wake up “red shirted”.

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Filed under MLB, NBA, NCAA, NFL, NHL, Soccer

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