Thursday, September 23, 2010

I’ll take embarrassing moments for 500 please…

I’ve had plenty of embarrassing moments. There was the time that I hit myself square in the face with a door in high school (I actually thought I broke my nose for a second there) and better yet the time that I started eating my brother’s nachos only to take a closer look and realize that the boy next to me wasn’t my brother, or when I told a girl that she wasn’t adopted when she actually was, and how could I forget freshman year when a boy yelled out in front of the entire class that he could see my “panty line” (his words not mine, I prefer unmentionables) and best of all  the time I accidently blew up the microwave at my elementary school. Oh the memories!

One would think that with all these mortifying and potentially emotionally scaring experiences, I would be able to handle any future embarrassing situation with a comfortable ease – that’s what I would think. Yet nothing, absolutely nothing, prepares me for the match making comments and attempts from my loving, big, Italian Family. Nothing. All it takes is one comment and I’m turning a darker shade of red then a cooked beet, and trying to back pedal my way out.
I mean, really, is there anything as embarrassing as everyone thinking you’re a complete loser and trying to salvage your reputation by finding someone you should date?  I’ve got my mom announcing my relationship status at Bunco nights, and trying to set me up with her friend’s son with the catchy tag line “We think you guys should date. He doesn’t date either”. Perfect.
If only it were just my mom concerned that her only daughter is going to turn out an old maid, but that’s not the way my family works. As the saying goes “We’re in it to win it”, meaning everything is a group effort. Which is why this past summer on a family vacation where 16 plus family members are jammed into one beach house watching Isner v. Mahut at Wimbledon, I shouldn’t have been surprised by my aunt’s comment:  “Hey Sarah, he (Isner) is cute! What about him?”
I shouldn’t have been shocked, but I was. And as my adoring family members’ began to swivel their heads towards me, I attempted to convincingly stammer: “uh. Yeah. He IS cute. He… uuum…seems like a really nice guy… doubt I’ll ever meet him though…”
And just when I thought I couldn’t possibly sink any lower than having family members propose random celebrity athletes as dating material, I was proven wrong.  
A few weeks ago at an Italian family reunion where nine women of varying ages were sitting around a table conversing, my aunt casually inserted into the conversation that she was talking to her chiropractor about me and would you know it, he has a single son! Not only does this young man like football (always a plus), but the most promising thing is that, “he likes Italian food” and I’m Italian!
I don’t know what unsettles me more, the thought that we have dating potential because I can cook for him or that my aunt is talking to her chiropractor about me. Apparently, my “situation” has progressed from intimate friends and family to anyone who might have a son of marriageable age.  My romance life is like danger warnings- I’ve progressed from yellow to CODE RED, and the family is getting nervous.
Don’t get me wrong- I ADORE my family. They are without a doubt the absolute best thing about me. They’ve just got me living in terror of the day, and it could be any day now, that they decide to write me off. It could happen.
So, I’ve decided to be proactive and have done some thinking in preparation for the day that my family gives up, and the biological clock begins to reach potential detonation and I have to say, I’m pretty excited about my chances on eharmony.
I mean, who knows… I might even get picked to be on a commercial! I can just see myself dancing around with that white back drop saying “You know my family had given up on me, and truth be told I handled awkward situations better than the subject of relationships. But (insert cheesy smile and thumbs up sign) that’s all behind me now”.  

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Wait…Since when has pink been a team color?

I love football. I really do. Football is wonderful to watch, even better to see replays of, and I’m pretty sure the only thing that can beat a football tailgate is Krzyzewskiville (and that’s debatable). I love walking into a stadium hours before kickoff, when it is only the grounds crew, and being overcome with the tremendous feeling of peace, serenity and excitement because in a few short hours battle is going to ensue. The only thing that can displace my game day euphoria and inner calm is the sight of PINK jerseys.

Part of me (a very small part) wants to thank the person who came up with this idea because they are making an effort to recognize the existence of the female football audience. The other part of me (the majority) dislikes everything about pink jerseys and more than anything wants to yell, “Be a fan wear the colors!”

At this point in time I would like to say two things:

1) I freely admit that I don’t know what team revenue looks like on pink jerseys, obviously if they sell like hot cakes more power to you.

2) I’m okay with babies and the 65+ crowd wearing pink jerseys- they’ve reached retirement they can do whatever they want.

I really could devote a nice long column to my hatred of pink jerseys, but I’ll spare you. The main issue for me with all of this pink jersey, and rhinestone, bedazzled attire is that I think the sport industry has the potential to miss the boat on the changing psychographics of female fans.

With this said I understand that I may not be the average or typical female sport fan but I do firmly believe that there are more women out there like me. I’d like to provide some examples:

Case 1) Friend A, is a die-hard San Francisco Giants fan. Player stats, who needs to have a longer session with the team shrink, you name it she knows it. Yes, this friend grew up as an athlete and played in college but take a look at…

Case 2) Friend B, grew up doing musical theatre, did not play organized sports, and fanatically follows the San Diego Chargers. She practically lives on and I was with her when she discovered the then new Jared Allen interviews regarding his now famous mullet- he will forever hold a special place in our hearts, mostly due to the hysterical laughter that ensued, but I digress. 

These experiences have left me wondering if the market is really ready to capture this generation of committed female sport fans and their incomes. It is not a straight forward task- these are women who watch ‘Sex and The City’ or ‘Project Runway’ marathons and then plan their weekends around UFC fights, College or professional games. They are not a myth; they may be a minority, but their passion for their teams has an infinite potential to reach and convert other female fans. This potential is what I firmly believe needs exploring, and is why I have such an issue with pink jerseys.

For me, pink jerseys take women out of the role of fan or supporter and instead place them in the role of groupie. They do nothing to further the image or presence of women in sports or as serious sport fans. What it ultimately comes down to, is respect. When I click on “Shop 49er merchandise”, I don’t want the first thing I see to be the pink studded Reebok sweetheart jersey.

Yes, I’m a woman but please respect me for the fan I am. It takes me back to grade school when I would play basketball with the boys and would get guarded by the worst player because I was a girl. That quickly changed when I started to score and my team started to win. The point I’m making here is that female fans are just as competitive and strong willed as their male counterparts; but they are different, which is why the industry has not been able to zero in and effectively reach them.        

I don’t think that the next generation of female fans will settle for a stereotype or a pink jersey.  This new generation of female fans are competitors who have played on teams, cheered for teams and don’t view sports as a “guy thing”.

They need to be marketed to and reached, but they don’t need to be told what a female fan should look like. I’m reminded of the phrase “Real men wear pink” and I’d like to add to this that “Real sport fans wear team colors” and the last time I checked, pink was not one of them .

How it all began...Introductions are in order

Naming a blog is a very difficult and delicate task. Especially because I know firsthand how a nickname can dictate your future.  Take for instance the story of ‘Cinnamon Shrimp’. ‘Cinnamon Shrimp’ is the nickname of an unfortunate boy who yelled “shrimp” while playing a drinking game in college where the goal was to name “cinnamon” things. Not only did everyone hysterically laugh at him (embarrassing), and he had to chug his beer (there could be worse things) but no one (or maybe it was just me) knew his real name for months.
Do you see where my apprehension concerning the name of my blog comes from? The wrong name could seriously and negatively impact my future.  This is why after careful consideration and deep contemplation I decided to name my blog ‘Life in a ‘95 Honda’. The deciding factor in this decision was the revelation that if the blog doesn’t work out, a girl can be known for worse things than driving a ’95 Honda.
With the blog name reasoning set aside, let me now provide you with a visual of my car. To begin, the left front light is vacant and accumulating rust- a loving memento from a younger brother who rear ended a truck. The right car mirror is missing, a battle scar from my college days at UCSB (Ole Gauchos!). The front, right light is held in place with clear tape, the AC doesn’t work, the antenna is permanently upright and snapped in half (well, more like two-thirds), and there is a loud clicking sound before locking. The latest development is that my radio has decided to sporadically stop emitting sound, leaving me with copious amounts of time to contemplate life while I sit in Los Angeles traffic. It coincidently was while I was sitting on a busy freeway that I decided upon the name, and thought that vegan bumper stickers ought to be outlawed for their stupidity.   
 Welcome to my life and thoughts in a ‘95 Honda. I promise it will be an interesting ride.