With the Superbowl right around the corner, people all over the country are wearing their lucky jerseys and making their usual party arrangements, while others are looking up rare diseases to use as their newest excuse not to attend. To those in the second category, the thought of a room full of crazy fans screaming about things they don’t understand is a living nightmare. They see the words “touchdown,” “goal,” and “strike” as nothing more than signs to immediately excuse themselves from a conversation. If you’re one of these people who consider “sports talk” another language all together and are desperate for a translator, we found the expert. Melissa Malamut’s book, She’s Got Game: The Woman’s Guide to Loving Sports (or Just How to Fake It!), guides you through the rules, slang, history and even appropriate apparel for sports events in a way that’s fun and easy to understand. Malamut was kind enough take some time out of her vacation to talk to us about her book via email. See what the accomplished author had to say:
What inspired you to reach out to girls and teach them about the world of sports?
This idea has been in my head since 2004. I grew up very “sports spoiled” with season tickets to many pro and college teams. I thought every kid grew up like me. So while I know more sports than half your guys friends, I’ve also always been very girlie and into makeup, fashion and skin care. My mom is very feminine and fortunately, it rubbed off on me. It was a great balance. I brought most of my female friends to their first pro sports games and taught many of them everything they know about the games. A few girls have gone on to be huge fans. I loved teaching people about sports and I loved seeing them develop a passion for the games. On two separate occasions at two different sports games I was explaining things to a friend in our seats and the person in the row in front of us turned around and asked me if I worked for the team. I wanted to put everything I’ve learned into a book to answer the questions I hear all the time.
What are some topics you touch upon in the book?
The book covers all the history and rules of the major sports in the USA. Then, infused throughout the chapters to break up the text I added things that women would want to know, like what to wear, when the best time to leave your seats will be, when the bathroom lines are shortest, best movies, tailgates, who to know in history, personal stories, and all kinds of quick tips. I interviewed fashion editors from across the country, front-office personnel, sports writers and more.
Was it challenging to talk about sports in such a way that would sound appealing to girls?
No, not at all. I just talk like me. When a good friend of mine started reading the book, she called me laughing and said, “it totally sounds like you.” So even in reading the text, it sounds like I’m just having a conversation with a friend.
How do you think this knowledge about sports will benefit girls when it comes to dating?
I cover this in the introduction of the book. Because of the title, people always get confused and think its a “man getting” book. But the “just how to fake it part” is just a play on words since we females know how to fake a thing or two hehe… They think I’m trying to say, “nab a man by learning sports” which is SO NOT the case. Once you pick it up and read the 300 plus pages of sports info, you realize it has nothing to do with men at all. It’s about learning and developing a passion for sports for yourself.
A lot of guys say they want a girl that likes sports. It is definitely a great way to MEET men. I meet guys in sports bars and at games all the time. But in the end, it has been my experience that being one of the guys doesn’t always translate into then being one of the guy’s girlfriends.
Would you recommend a sports event as a good first date? Why?
It depends on the sport, the game and the guy. I love games as dates (even first dates!). There is plenty of time for conversation. You are pretty much expected to drink because there’s alcohol everywhere (great for calming the nerves). But if the conversation gets dull, at least there is a game going on so you can just watch the game. Lulls in conversation are okay because there is something else to do! But if a guy is an uber-fan and it’s a big game, then I wouldn’t recommend it as a first date or a date at all, unless you are also a big fan and will enjoy it, too. Otherwise, a big game is not the time to be peppering your date with questions about what’s going on. He’d prob[ably] have more fun with a friend that wants to be there for the game and not for him.
What would you say is the most important thing sports has taught you about other aspects of your life?
A lot. I mean, there are probably at least 10 baseball phrases used in every day life by people that aren’t sports fans and don’t even know where the phrase came from. For life lessons, it’s about working as a team and good sportsmanship. For me, it’s about learning that it really is just a game. But I have a really (sometimes nasty) competitive drive that probably stems from growing up playing and watching a lot of sports.
What is the best advice you can give to women out there who are intimidated by sports and sport events?
To just go and have fun! In the end, it is just a game.
Cupid thanks Malamut for her time! If you’re tired of being confused and intimidated by sports, visit Amazon to purchase your own copy of She’s Got Game: The Woman’s Guide to Loving Sports (or Just How to Fake It!). And for more on Malamut, you can follow her on Twitter: @melissamalamut. Happy sports watching!