“I hate sports!” If you were (un)lucky enough to have attended my 25th birthday party you would have witnessed me shouting this at the top of my lungs in a crowded bowling alley. This was not my finest evening. Other assorted antics included slamming ultra cheap beer from a cloudy plastic pitcher every time Brad (my then boyfriend, now husband) turned his back. I was convinced he thought I was sober. I also managed to pull a Mike Tyson on my best friend, biting his ear for no apparent reason. Don’t ask – it was a rough evening.
While I usually try to fake-like sports, my true feelings and frustrations bubbled forward that evening fueled by way too many cocktails and a bloated belly of assorted hot dish pot luck items. Aside from baseball, I find sports to be boring and dare-I-say: annoying. Perhaps it’s over saturation. If you have cable, you can choose from at least three different sporting broadcasts at any given point, even at 4 a.m. Trust me – I despise the “green.” Our TV guide points out sport shows in green – our TV listings are slimed in green. If the earth was being overtaken by alien invaders, SportsCenter would find some sort of sports related coverage to report. “Those evil venom spitting monsters have mad ups – next on SportsCenter Shaq challenges Alien Invader #367 to a dunking contest!”
Brad and I have one main TV, and we’re very conscientious about sharing TV time, but I still end up watching a lot more green than I’d like, especially during football season. I will never ever understand the allure of football. Dudes smashing into each other in spandex? It seems like it should be hot – but it’s so not.
After years of trying to understand why so many people love sports so passionately I just gave up. It must be a guy brain thing.
Despite my disinterest in all professional sports, I still appreciate living in a city where we have professional teams for all the mainstream sports. While it’s not my number one choice for entertainment, I appreciate the opportunity to watch world class athletes compete. Event though I’ve never really understood the hype, it’s still inspiring to see the fastest, fittest, most skilled athletes battling it out in person. Although watching the world’s most athletically talented men run, jump, skate and dribble – I’ve always felt sort of slighted. I never even got the chance to try and be a professional sports star. All the big leagues are men only…. Or so I thought.
My brother suggested I attend a WNBA game. I’d never even considered going to a WNBA game. I find the NBA to be ultra irritating. Women’s basketball must be even more boring and lame – right? Wrong! According to my brother, the atmosphere was completely different, and the Minnesota Lynx are extremely talented.
From the moment I arrived at TargetCenter, I realized this was going to be a whole new experience. Not surprisingly there were far more women and girls there than at your typical sporting event. The energy was much more positive and supportive. Generally, when I go to Twins games, the standard drunk college students and Yankees fans bring a rough edge to the otherwise upbeat atmosphere. At the Lynx game there was none of that. Everyone was there to cheer the home team, and everyone was respectful. Not surprisingly the stadium was far from full. They don’t use the upper deck at all, and the lower deck was modestly full. This would seem like a negative, but I actually really enjoyed it. There was a sense of community. It was almost like a private party. Before the game – a live DJ spun an awesome mix of new hip hop and older hits. One entire end of the court was transformed into the Lynx Party Zone. HealthPartners’ mascots Petty P. Cup and Pokey the syringe jammed out and danced with kids.
The introductions and video package pieces were on par with the presentation the NBA Timberwolves get. The crowd cheered loudly for our hometown hero Lindsey Whalen and our new star player Maya Moore.
I was shocked to realize this was the first time I’d been to sporting event where the women weren’t overshadowed by the male athletes. It was so cool to see. I even enjoyed the actual game. Usually I’m just waiting for the half time entertainment.
I was excited to find out the Lynx have already clinched a spot in the playoffs. This makes the Lynx the only winning team inMinnesotathis year. They are GOOD! They beat the Washington Mystics by 21 points – and made it look easy. I don’t know much about basketball, but everyone at the game was eager to fill me in on the ins-and-outs.
The “girl power” attitude was undeniable. I was enamored watching young girls root for their favorite Lynx players. Unlike many male professional athletes, it seems the WNBA players take their role model status more seriously. Many of the players danced at center court after their win, and greeted fans with grace and appreciation.
I highly recommend attending a Lynx game – especially if you have a young girl. It’s an inexpensive (I got sweet tickets for $10 a piece) inspirational night out. And in the state of constant sporting disappointments (read: Vikings, Twins, Timberwolves) it’s a team that can actually deliver.
I’ll see you at the playoffs.