Tuesday, July 26, 2011

More Than Just One of the Boys.



Hi everyone! Kelly here from Dare to be Domestic taking on something that isn't so domestic, sports! I was SO excited when Hutch started brainstorming this idea for this blog and even more excited when she asked me to sign on and help out. I often chat about football on my current blog during the season. I love sharing tailgate recipes and I might do a bit of that here, as well as probably have to defend the behavior of my players the entire year... but let's stay on topic, shall we? While I'm sure most of these here ladies are way more knowledgeable about sports than I could ever dream to be, I will say it doesn't make me any less passionate about the game.

The task here is to tell you a little bit about myself, and share with you the way I stumbled into being a sports fan, so here goes!

I guess the best way to start is from the beginning when I was a wee little girl. My family was never really sports oriented. I am an only child and come from a small family. My father was a very hard worker and was usually only home in the evenings, my mom well she wasn't very sports oriented let's just leave it at that. I never learned how to play catch, or any sport for that matter that wasn't taught in school or on the playground. I grew up seeing dad sit in front of the television on Sundays with a beer and usually not relaxing to a football game. He was a Redskins fan, which I always found odd since he was born and raised in Pennsylvania along with my mother. He moved to the DC Metro area and eventually Maryland and I assume adopted his love for the Redskins during that time. Let's be honest, back then it was an awesome feeling to be a Skins fan, they had street credit and were winning games. I'm not slamming the Skins, I actually like them [root, root, root for the home team], I just sympathize with the die hard fans, it's been a really rough decade and then some. I don't remember ever sitting and watching football with my father but I do remember his trademark yellow napkin. Our dining room linen set was marigold, the perfect shade for a DIY penalty flag in his opinion, but not my mother's. I can remember a long line of words I should not ever repeat until I was much older coming from the living room and seeing that flag fly high in the air and hit the ground with force only a pissed off fan could make. My curiosity was peaked, but I quickly changed my focus to more important matters like the Muppet Show or My Little Ponies. Football after all was for boys. And I was a girl.

While I never caught on to football at that age, I still kept and ear out for conversations about it. Many friends in the neighborhood had parents that were passionate about the game. Most were Redskin fans and thus I learned more about my home team but didn't truly get into the game. The only bit of information I gained from all the parents comments was that the Cowboys sucked... their words.. not mine, at least not at that tender age.

As far as sports go, I wasn't athletic. I didn't have a brother or even a sister to compete with, and I didn't have friends that were into sports either. All the little girls I hung out with in the neighborhood liked to dance, and we all took dance, together. While I was always a tomboy, dirty, in the mud, playing in the woods, and building forts, I never mastered or had the courage to try team sports. Truth be told my parents never pushed it on me either. We had an old basketball hoop on our property that I often tried to play HORSE at with friends, but since the rim was bent and the concrete was cracked it was truly useless. About the only athletic skill I had was the ability to run fast. Well, run fast away from boys, and ride my bike like the wind. Needless to say cycling and track never materialized for me even after winning many of the events at my elementary school's track n' field day each year.

"You wouldn't believe this, but I can run like the wind blows."

Note: I currently have no idea if my lungs or knees will allow me to run... years of dance have given me crappy knees, but I hope to work and see if I can beginning running this fall.

Between elementary school, middle school and 9th grade gym classes I learned two things. I hated balls and I hated them flying at my face..

"There goes your social life"

Seriously... I can vividly remember a few sports I liked, until I had an issue with balls. Third grade, I got busted in the face with a basketball during drills in gym class, DONE! Middle School I got knocked in the shin with a field hockey stick [no pads, it was a county school afterall] DONE! Skateboarding to keep up with the boys I had the hots for, busted knee on the asphalt, SCREW THIS! The only sport I excelled at was volleyball. I loved it! It was the one sport I was able to feel aggressive, and strong but by the time high school rolled around I feared trying out due to the fact that all the most popular girls were on that team, and I chickened out. I always had a fear of ruining a game for the team. Running in the wrong direction, or scoring by accident for the other team. It's a very irrational fear I know but it freaked me out enough to keep me from going out for the team. While I will still play with basketballs, more so the act of getting blitzed at Dave and Busters and just tossing the bball into the hoop for tickets than actual sport. I do fancy myself a great shot in those situations and often in the instance of winning a silly stuffed animal at a local amusement park - but that really isn't skill it all boils down to finding out which rim is large enough to fit the ball - I'm on to you carni-freaks!

Instead of playing team sports, I went with what I knew, dance. With dance you didn't have to worry about scoring for the other team, or running the wrong way. You just had to keep time with the music and make sure you lead with the correct foot. After years of ballet and jazz dance [and a huge obsession with "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun"] I figured I was ready to rock my high school dance team and I tried out my sophomore year. And I didn't make it, talk about ego kill. I was so hurt and upset. Dancing was the ONE thing I was good at, and I couldn't even do that right. After a slump of a year, I built my confidence back up and I tried out again and made the team may junior year. I was OVER the moon. Summer camp was a blast and the start of the school year was king. I had finally gotten off being grounded for life [long story, lots of bad grades] and got my act together and was able to go out and socialize! By my senior year I was captain, yes I'm bragging. I finally knew what it felt like to be a part of not only a team but also be the leader of the team. It felt good.

During this time in high school I started to watch bits and pieces of the schools basketball and football games. While the Dance Team didn't perform at the football games we usually went to support our team together. Basketball half time shows were our time to shine and over the course of two years I started to pick-up on the fact that not only were the players cute, but they had a lot of skill. It was at this time I started to watch College Basketball. When I was in high school one player was king, Michael Jordan. And I was obsessed. I immediately became a huge Bulls fan, Puffy Starter Jacket with a Bull and all, and then went back to his roots to become a Carolina Tarheels fan. At this time a lot of the neighborhood boys were into Michael and the Bulls as well as the Tarheels so it just all worked out for me. Not to mention a few guys I was friends with in high school liked the same teams and it finally gave me that IN to not just be the girl they sat next to in class... but one of the guys. I realized the more you liked stuff guys were into, the more they'd talk to you and less uncomfortable it was to have conversations with them. This later bit me in the ass, becoming "One of the Guys" but this isn't a "dating blog" it's a sports blog so let's move on!

I owe my love for football to a former friends husband. If it wasn't for him I would have never started watching Steeler football. And I've grown to love them more and more! Over the years I've gotten a lot of slack for being a Steelers fan in Raven's territory, and even Redskins territory, but to be honest it's OK. I do root for the Skins and support them, and I support other local teams like the Baltimore Orioles. I have had a huge crush on Cal Ripken for as long as I can remember, and I love the Washington Capitals. I have a great story about them that I will share one day with all of you. I love the Washington Wizards, even though I would rather them still be named The Bullets and while I don't know everything there is to know about sports, I'm learning more everyday. The important thing is my passion, and that eventually I'll know as much as I can about each sport.

The last addition in my long list of mashed up sports team love is my support of the Alabama Crimson Tide football team. I moved to Alabama almost 7 years ago to be with my fiance, Mike [newly engaged over here], and I knew upon moving here I had to choose a side. You're either an Alabama fan, or an Auburn fan, or you're left in the dust. I quickly chose the University of Alabama as my favorite Bama team and I never looked back. Red after all is one of my favorite colors! Fast forward to my 7th year living here and I am all geared up for this season. When I moved here Mike didn't give a crap about sports or football. By our second year living together I had gotten him fully into Steelers football. This lead to us starting to watch and support Alabama football as well.

With the count down to football season looming close, and the agreements being made I look forward to writing about the football season, about great tailgating recipes and possibly getting more into college basketball and other sports along the way! If the other ladies start to pipe up about fitness I may chime in with that too. Sister is trying to work on her fitness now.

Thanks for reading - ROLL TIDE and GO STEELERS!

P.S.
Give me your best Roethlisberger joke, I've probably already heard it.
I want to go on record right now saying that I am Pro-Manning, just putting that out there.
And no, I will not give out my address I already have a subscription to HATER-ADE Weekly, thanks.

7 comments:

  1. YAY for chicks bringing the guys to the dark side of sports!! So, tell me...do you cringe every time you hear a song that you did a dance routine to? Because every time I hear one that we used for Rush, my ears bleed just a little bit.

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  2. Ally, yes! (even though you didn't actually ask me) I still can't hear Highway to the Danger Zone and Intergalactic by Beastie Boys without being taken back to my high school dancing days!

    Manning love!!

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  3. I'm so happy that there is another chick here that is pro-Manning. I haven't mentioned it yet...but my love for Peyton runs deep. Eli...not so much.

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  4. Shana - I'm more of a Peyton girl myself, Eli seems nice enough but a bit doofy.

    You know Ally, I really don't mind hearing the songs we danced too, probably because it's been SO long since I danced to them. I won't lie though... if I hear "Free Ride" I will start doing the kick routine to it without fail.. it makes it hard to watch Dazed and Confused!

    Thank you for reading all that - I thought it might be TOO long and I cut it down lots of times to prevent it.

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  5. Longest intro ever! I thought mine was going to be long but you win. I love it though, you covered a lot of bases! Geez, how many former dancers do we have here? Ballet all the way for me.

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  6. I tried my best to narrow it down but I have a lot of explaining to do for my non-hometeam love and what not ;) hehe And I'm always long winded, to be honest.

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  7. I love Air Jordan and love the Mannings!!

    All kinds of dance here!

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