“Grant Hill is looking younger than ever!”
On it’s own, this phrase is absolutely true, but as the woman near me exclaimed it, I gave her an eye roll that skipped all etiquette and continents.
It was Game Five of the series. San Antonio Spurs verses Memphis Grizzlies. Round 1 of the NBA playoffs and one of the closest nail-bitters of a game since the post-season had started. The eighth-seed Grizzlies were 1.7 seconds from eliminating the team that had dominated the West consistently throughout the regular season.
It was as those 1.7 seconds stretched over time outs and commentator analysis, that I overheard the high-pitched exclamation of Grant Hill’s youthfulness. The Hill on the screen was not Tamia’s husband, he was actually George Hill, one of the Spurs’ guards. At 25, he is 13 years Grant Hill’s junior. Additionally, the two also play for completely different teams, as the 38-year-old is a member of the Phoenix Suns- who are not even competing in this year’s playoffs.
A dagger three-pointer and overtime later, the Spurs pulled it out and I was no longer in my tensed up hunch. And if I thought that pointing out that distinction would have added to our group’s conversation, I would have. But her confusion of two of Texas teams and players more than a decade apart in age, let me know clarifying wouldn’t have helped.
See, I knew from the moment she opened her mouth- girl was a faux sports fan.
Women who pretend to be into sports for the sake of sociality get under my skin. Call it catty, but they do. Since I was a little kid, I would sit on my mother’s lap watching her old high-school friend, Patrick Ewing suit up in a Knicks uniform. Even twenty years later, we still bond over ESPN Classics on Sundays. I’ve watched every episode of 30 for 30 there is, adding the series to my DVR along with Tudors reruns and of course, Grey’s. I am a sports fan, not stan so when I see a woman show faux enthusiasm to any game, it just does something to me.
Now is it a little wrong of me to direct this angst toward my fellow women, admittedly yes. But I will say, women are not the only guilty ones. Equally to blame are the guys who drag their feet to Super Bowl parties and then put on the Miller Light cool act when they get to the door. Add them to the list of folks who fill out fantasy brackets for the NCAA tourney using their favorite state names as the rationale for their picks.
Maybe, it’s just my gripe but I had to get it off my chest. In the midst of emotions running high and seconds ticking down- please sports stans, leave the rest of us alone.
Never did I think I’d see the day, when I uttered these words, but a la every American sitcom husband that’s ever lived:
Shh, the game is on.