Which Color Are We Rooting For?

There is a great deal of testosterone in my world. I am the only female in my home and in my office, a fact I tend to forget about until something odd happens to remind me.


Such an incident happened to me just this week, when I came in to the office on Monday morning and was told my colleague Nick had a tragic weekend. My alarmed queries about Nick’s health, family, livelihood, etc. were met with: “No need to worry; he’ll just be super upset because the Broncos lost yesterday.”

What the heck?! These people have no compassion for my poor nerves.

Upon reflection, however, I have seen this kind of thing before. If you ask my husband how his weekend was, he’ll frame it all in light of how U of M did relative to MSU. My colleagues Joe and Matt get all wound up about the Fighting Irish and the Cubs, respectively, and many of our staff meetings have meandered briefly into the realm of the NFL before they seem to remember I’m there.

This week’s Broncos disaster made me realize I must do my part. I should use my position to help translate these sports issues—apparently an enormous quality-of-life matter—for my half of the U.S. population.

  • We must watch our teams all the time, even when they are being humiliated on the field.

This is one area where my husband differs. He refused to watch U of M against MSU this year, because three innings (DANG IT quarters) in he could see the Wolverines weren’t going to spend any serious time on the game so neither was he.

Joe tells me this is a faux pas for the sports fan. “You’ve got to put the time in,” he says. “You want to be there during all the dark days, even when you know they are going to lose, because then when they win the victory is kind of yours too.”


Okay. So by adopting this form of logic, I could argue that my willingness to sit through Fast Times at Ridgemont High TWICE means that one of Sean Penn’s Oscars belongs to me now. Cool.

  • If there’s a game on, it should be watched. It doesn’t really matter who’s in at “as long as they don’t suck.”

Matt says, “If they’re good teams, then yeah. You want to watch.”

You just put it on and see what happens, I guess. Like turning on the news and waiting for some random high-speed chase to occur, maybe?

Joe actually pays for some streaming service that lets him watch all sorts of sports anytime, anywhere. And somehow, he is able to invest some portion of himself into the viewing, so he can pick a side and get whipped up about the outcome.

You’ve got me there. I can’t even begin to explain that.

  • The Olympics count as sports. But not if you watch them on network TV.

Getting Bob Kostas’ back story on the Russian skater who drank seawater to survive while she paid for skating lessons by selling her grandma’s gold teeth is not cool. You have to watch the “off” events online so you can get the sports unfiltered by junk.

To this, I say just three words: Nancy Kerrigan’s knee. That was the ONLY reason I watched any sports at all during high school.

 These are the things I have learned so far, but I have much more to figure out, such as:

  • What is the proper mourning period when your favorite team loses? And how can I, a valued colleague and friend, respond appropriately? Prayers? Flowers? Donation to favorite charity?
  • When your favorite team wins, are gifts expected?  I mean, you’ve hung in during the dark days, and now your personal Sean Penn has won his Oscar. That should be commemorated somehow, right? Is there a dollar value associated with your personal achievement? I would like $35 for suffering through Fast Times, for what it’s worth.

I’m still learning every day. I might even try to take in some sort of televised event at some point.

Think I’m going to start with the orange and blue football people. Those are nice colors. When do they play, again?