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Sports and Dating, Blah Blah WOO!!!

Julia, Wilbon, and Julia's former roommate Krystal*
*No, you cannot have her number.  Unless you are rich.

The above photo is supposed to "go" with last week's AM New York column, about a subject of which I rarely speak ... that is to say, SPORTS.

Yuck, right?

Michael Wilbon doesn't think so.  And he thinks I'm kinda sorta maybe A TOTAL IDIOT for not realizing their importance in the world.  WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME????  DON'T I KNOW WHO T.O. IS???

In a word, no.  Well, I didn't, at least.  Until I got read a 'Bon column on him, and now I'm super educated.  Quiz me, baby!

I can't wait to start dating jocks ... Psych!

Sorry Mike.  (and yeah, I've been waiting to say "psych" again since 1989)


OCTOBER 2, 2006

To say I’m not a sports fan is a bit of an understatement.  Besides consistently (and predictably) being picked last in gym class, I managed to live in Chicago during the Bulls ‘peat-a-thon and never attend a game, and I didn’t know who Terrell Owens was until last week.  (Does that mean it’s football season?)

In other words, dating a sports fanatic is my worst nightmare.

So far, I’ve been lucky – geeks and nerds are my forte, and they tend to eschew physical activity of any sort (except, you know, that kind).  But such a streak may be difficult to continue forever, and according to a recent survey done by the online dating site True.com, 57% of men prefer that women share their passion for sports.


To be honest, I used to think my complete ignorance on the subject was adorable – charming even.

I was, apparently, wrong.

“Not knowing used to be cute in the 70s,” says my friend Michael Wilbon, longtime Washington Post sports columnist and host of ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption, “but it’s not cute anymore, it’s a total turnoff.  It’s so anti-social for a woman not to know about sports in this day and age.  After war, the biggest stories in the world are about sports.”

They are?  Oops.  Obviously I need to put down “He’s Just Not That Into Me” and turn on Sports Center.  Er, PTI.

Assuming the athletic-knowledge-challenged individual is female, which is a safe – if admittedly sexist – assumption, what’s a gal to do if she has a sports lover boyfriend and she can't tell the Cowboys from the Capitals?

“If she’s a ‘good girlfriend’ she’ll make an effort to get into it,” says Jon, 28, a lawyer, “But the girl who is actually willing to sit down and spend three hours watching a football game is very rare.”

He’d settle for “somebody who follows the major headlines, who can tell me who won the last Superbowl, who has a basic knowledge of how the game works.”

(Hmmm … Googling “2006 Superbowl Winner” right now.)

Whatever you do, says Wilbon, do not walk into the room and scream, “Who’s playing???”   But other than that, men are more understanding than you think.

“We don’t need them to be fanatics,” he explains. “We don’t want them to be.  You can check in at the beginning of the game, then go shopping, get a pedicure, have lunch with the girls.  We want you to know what’s going on, but we don’t want you there all day.”

Whew.  That’s a relief.

Still, says Wilbon, “There’s no girl who gets the attention of guys like one who understand sports.  Except maybe a cute girl who understands sports.  And Maria Sharapova.”

I give up now.

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