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19 September 2014

How to be the Best Sports Fan Without Giving up Bravo

Last week, as I flipped channels back and forth between Bravo and Thursday Night Football, I remember thinking to myself, "Whelp, this is a weird channel combo!" But really, it isn't. When I first started my "sports blog" (I use quotations because this is clearly no longer just a sports blog) (also, I know I've had too much to drink when people in the bar ask me what I do and I tell them, "Oh, I write a sports blog" lolzzzzz! #cutoff) I thought I had to totally drench myself in all the sports, all the time in order to claim I was a sports fan.

But that is the difference between men and women. Guys qualify a "sports fan" as someone who knows and regurgitates stats. All of the stats. RBIs, and rushing yards, and ERA, and field goal percentage, and quarterback rating.... yada yada yada. But I (women) think you're a sports fan if you can tell me the latest headlines, or if you can correctly pair a quarterback with his team.

Stats are pointless, who cares. Hey that guy is good vs. hey that guy sucks are good enough stats for me!

For example, the other day, Chalupa Batman chuckled at me when he asked what players my opponent had playing in the SNF game, and I responded with "M. Ball. and E. Sanders."

All I had to go on was reading the person I was playing's roster on yahoo. They weren't even MY players! Sorry I didn't know the first names of the entire Denver offense. (For those interested, M stands for Montee and E stands for Emmanuel. So sorry Montee and Emmanuel, in case you are reading, much respect.)

With all that said, I don't think anyone that knows me would argue that I'm not a knowledgable sports fan. My point that I'm trying to make here is that you can be a female sports fan, without being a dude.

So today, I thought I would bring you some of the sporting-world hacks that I use to keep my sports knowledge up-to-the-minute. And guess what, none of these include turning Bravo off in favor of the 24/7 ESPN News channel. M. Ball will still be playing for Denver when you finish with this week's Real Housewives of New Jersey, I promise.

Ever since they changed twitter to bring old tweets back to the top anytime someone you follow responds to an old tweet, I now miss pretty much every account's tweets that I really wanted to see. So I personally like following bleacher report on facebook, because I never miss a headline. Bleacher Report is a fantastic website because they have a great mix of humorous sports stories, breaking sports news and general sporting-world updates. Their facebook posts include pretty descriptive headlines, so you don't really even have to click over to read the story. 

2. Turn on ESPN alerts
As you probably know, on the ESPN app there is a way to turn on alerts for your favorite teams. But did you know you can turn on general breaking news alerts for all sports, all teams, all players?

3. Mike and mike

Sports talk radio, woof, right?

Wrong. Mike and Mike on ESPN radio is funny, entertaining and you won't feel like you're listening to your grandfather's crackling AM Radio. They also talk about a lot of feel good stories you may not otherwise hear. Where do you think I heard about the Saints buying 100 of Devon Still's jerseys? Until Andy Cohen starts a Bravo radio station, what else do you have to do when you're sitting in the morning traffic? Give them a try, flip over to Mike and Mike on Monday!

4. Read me
The 5 things you need to know before you go posts are intended to give you every story you need to know before the weekend kicks off! Shameless plug, I know. But that post is usually one of my favorites to write because I always end up learning something too!

5. Get ready to sports center
What do you do in the morning when you're getting ready for work? Listen to music? Nothing? Zone out to infomercials? Or God forbid.... watch the news (gasp!). Start getting ready while sports center is on your television. You don't have to actually watch sports center twelve times in a row, like a dude, to get something out of it. Listen, do your makeup, glance up occasionally when they're doing the top 10 plays of the day.... voila, you'll start the day armed with all of the sports knowledge you really need.

Who knows, maybe M. Ball will make the Sports Center highlight reel Top 10 this weekend, and you can come tell me all about him on Monday!


And now I've got a special treat for you, to continue with the Fan Friday spirit! Erin, from South to Southwest, much to my delight is here today with a list of the best college football traditions! How interesting, Tennessee made the list, I wonder why? Because, #GBO that's why! Take it away, Erin!

Go Dawgs!
Me and the Hubs-to-Be in Athens last fall
Happy fall, y'all! AKA, Happy College Football Season! (I think there's also some trick or treat thing and something to do with pumpkin pie this time of year, idk.) Coming from someone who planned her wedding around UGA's bye week this year, you can bet I love watching the game as much as the next fan.

What do I love even more than watching the game though? Hands down, all the crazy traditions, and the ways they make me feel connected to my friends and family. (Also, buying cute football stuff. T-shirts! Scarves! UGA flip flops!)

There's nothing quite like the joy of singing "Hang on Sloopy" with a bunch of people who all know that you're supposed to spell out "O-H-I-O" in the pauses of the song's chorus. OSU is my Big Ten team (even after that embarrassment against Virginia Tech -- ahem) because I grew up in Ohio and my sister went to THE Ohio State University, as well as some of my former students.

I went to Miami of Ohio, which is a big yawn for football, short of Roethlisberger (yep, he was there when I was), but when I moved to Atlanta right after college, I was told I had to choose: UGA or Georgia Tech. The Bulldogs were a clear choice for me, and I'm really glad for that because I am marrying a big time UGA fan. You know those people with an 8 foot-tall Hairy Dog blow-up and flags on all four windows of their cars? We're those people. #sorrynotsorry #GoDawgs #GurleyGirl

Since we moved to Southwest Florida this year, I've been missing the Athens tailgates with my friends big time. We still cheer for the Dawgs each week though -- just amidst a sea of Gators and 'Noles fans. Ugh. :/

In the spirit of college football traditions, I thought I'd share a few of the all-time-best ones. Here are some things you might get to see on Saturdays when you're not watching Gurley run it in for a touchdown:

Script Ohio
Photo via
1. Ohio State - Script Ohio

Probably the most well-known college football tradition, and the Buckeye band seems to have another cool thing to reveal every game! Plus, their mascot is a poisonous nut that can also be represented in a delicious chocolate and peanut butter candy. Go Bucks!
Vols Fans
Photo via SodaHead
2. Tennessee - Rocky Top
I've been to some Tennessee home games (once dated a guy who went there and had amazing seats) and even though the team is freaking terrible, it's pretty cool to hear everyone break into some back-woods country singin' all together-like. Also, many of the guys attending the game have taken to wearing bright orange or orange-checkerboard patterned pants. It's just something you need to see.

Ralphie's Run
Photo via Rant Sports
3. Colorado - Ralphie's Run
So Colorado has a live buffalo run across the field. Yeah, for realz. Hard to top, no? I've never seen it, but it's on my list. I loved CO when I visted there last month, and now I know why: sh$t like this.

FSU Sod Cemetary
Photo via GameDayR Sports
4. Florida State - Sod Cemetery

When FSU wins an away game where they're an underdog (or any ACC game), they steal a piece of that field's sod and bury it in a cemetary back at their campus. How they get away with this I have no clue, but it's for real. Kinda weird but then again, Florida people are weird. Trust me on this one.
Photo via the AJC

5. Ohio State - UGA and Ringing the Chapel Bell
We're now on Uga IX ("Russ"), probably from a little too much inbreeding, but he is so stinkin cute! He doesn't look very ferocious sitting on a bag of ice in his air-conditioned dog house during the game, but I don't blame him there. UGA's other big tradition is ringing the chapel bell when the Bulldogs win. And that's one tradition I'm happy to report I've participated in!

SO how bout y'all? Any great traditions at your alma mater? Ever done/seen some of these?
While you're waiting for Game Day, stop on by South to Southwest and say hey! Lots more good stuff to see! ;)
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  1. I think Georgia people are weirder than the Florida peeps -they wear their Sunday best to the games (pearls and all). That being said, I can say that because I'm from Georgia and live in Florida AND graduated from FSU.

  2. I'm sticking to number 4 and #4 alone, which is reading you. if you think i'm getting alerts on my phone you gotta be crazy!!! I have all alerts turned off except text ones. I hate alerts. ALERT.

  3. girl, I also think you are a true sports fan if you can do an ultimate tailgate too :) I am that person in my group of friends, no doubt.

  4. Let me chime in for my fave college tradition in our state for the Badger...with everyone standing up and jumping to "Jump Around". Shaking the stadium. College Football rocks.

  5. Nothing but love for your posts lady :) ESPN's notification sound is even the SC theme! love it.
    Have a great weekend!

  6. I love fan fridays and your ability to make it all real and "reachable"

  7. Love all these tips, and u agree you don't have to know every stat to be a sports fan.

  8. I like Sportscenter when it's on, but I always seem to forget about it. Maybe I should set my TV to autotune it in the morning.

  9. I've never understood why some people think you have to meet certain "qualifications" to be a fan. Doesn't it just mean that you have to like them and cheer for them?


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