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1st September
2013
written by LS Girl

I am illiterate.  I am underexposed, and over oblivious when it comes to female youth team activities, aka – girls sports.  Attending and graduating from a middle class high school with over 600 classmates provided excellent camouflage for my complete ignorance.

Somehow, I managed to get from kindergarten to cap and gown (we only wore those once when I was young, and that was to graduate from high school) without ever swinging a baseball bat (at a ball), bunting, blocking, fouling, kicking, shooting, swishing, losing, winning, or being benched.  I have never been to first base. I have never run down a soccer field, and I have never tossed, jumped, run, slid or spiked.

I did try golf once.  My father sheared off some old wooden clubs and let me loose in our backyard with six practice balls and one real golf ball.  Glenn, I’m still sorry about that window.  I think my hysterical guilt got me out of paying cash from my allowance to replace the double pane storm glass. I cleaned up his dog’s poop for a few weeks, and we called it even. That might have been the closest thing to a win I’d ever felt, right up until the sound of smashing glass.

The Baton.  I twirled one.  One day, I was practicing in the front yard, and the rubber balance tip flew off and made a direct hit with the neighbor’s rear view mirror. Why did he park there anyway, he had a garage. Again, it ended in tears.

Frisbee.  This I was pretty good at, but not great.  The Yo-Yo was probably my biggest hobby and accomplishment, until my parents took me to a bluegrass festival and I learned to play the spoons, but that was short lived.  I still have my custom bent spoons in their ratty little eyeglass case.  Any accomplished musician knows you must take care when transporting the tools of your craft. In sixth grade, my orthodontist advised me against playing the clarinet, thank God. (Dr. P, you did me a solid)

play the spoons

When I look at my senior class yearbook once every blue moon (right on schedule this month), I see photographs of sports teams.  Apparently, my school had girls soccer, basketball, field hockey, a swim team with no pool, and a team for gymnastics.

Having successfully avoided all of these, I prided myself on my ignorance and lack of team spirit – until today.  Today I saw girls fast pitched softball on television while searching for the little league game.

Wow. It was amazing.  “I would have done THAT!” I said to the nobody sitting next to me (I was alone).  This surprised me. Not being alone, but being so impressed by a girls sport.  I stood up and mimicked the pitcher.  Incredible.  How do they do that?

After watching with amazement for several hours, I came to the conclusion that what was missing all along wasn’t girls sports, it was girls sports ON TELEVISION.  I never SAW girls play sports. Not girls like me. My choices growing up were Billie Jean King, Nadia Comaneci, and Dorothy Hamill. (Thanks Dorothy, it took me three years to grow out that haircut) These magnificent ladies were SUPERSTARS.  These weren’t people I could practice with, or sit next to on a bus.  They were each “one in a million”.  What if I could have watched, or better yet, watched and watched and watched, on YouTube or a DVR?  What if I could have googled “girls sports” and seen millions of girls just like me participating in a game?

Yup.  I know what you’re thinking.  It wouldn’t have changed anything.  I was a draft dodger, and exposure through TV, radio, or excessive force wasn’t going to change that.  My ability to completely eliminate the possibility of participating in any team sport rivaled Nadia’s uneven bar routine. My talent, was to avoid being talented, at least on the field. My English teacher Mrs. S would argue that I was gifted in other ways.  “You’re funny”, some might say.

I said I know, everybody funny, now you funny too.

-George Thorogood (original song lyrics by Rudy Toombs)

 

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2 Comments

  1. Vandalay VanNostrand
    05/09/2013

    My favorite GS’s (Girl Sports) have always been Roller Derby, Mud Wrestling, Competitive Pole Dancing, Uneven Parallel Bars, Ladies Dressage, and, of course, Bake-offs. (not necessarily in that order). Fast pitch softball is exciting to watch, but they pitch that ball so fast, ” You could put somebody’s eye out.” Safety first- in sport and in personal relationships. Also, the female form is so appealing from a purely aesthetic point, that watching girls engage in any activity is both a spectator sport and an artistic pursuit. But you’re not gonna see nuthin no more if you get whopped in the face with a hundred mile an hour fast pitched softball and it shatters your eye sockets. Sure, watching fastpitch softball may be more stimulating, but, from a spectator’s perspective, synchronized swimming is a lot safer to watch.

  2. Vandalay VanNostrand
    05/09/2013

    p.s., While watching girls playing sports, or when engaging in sports myself with either boys or girls (or both) I find that the experience is enhanced by the imbibing of at least one bourbon, one scotch and one beer – if not more (and not necessarily in that order).

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