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Going into this weekend we had two potential options -- there was a…

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Going into this weekend we had two potential options -- there was a neat (I thought) program for George Washington's birthday at this completely random and obscure historic house museum in the city. As much as that whole package appealed to me, when I called to see if we needed to make reservations, the whole thing seemed both under- and over-organized. I had asked a friend if she and her daughter would be interested in going with us, and they were, but then it turned into that thing where they were coming from somewhere else and would be arriving somewhat later than we were, which added another layer of planning (which, not an issue TO ME, but seemed to be confounding to the museum people), so I switched gears.

Instead, we went to the college gym to watch the basketball games, or more specifically, the women's basketball game, because my five year old has about one game's worth of attention to give this endeavor. I think it was a good choice -- much more casual about coming and going, you have to be behaved as appropriate for for a basketball game but overall it's a fairly casual thing, and you can make 7 trips to the snack bar for $1 baggies of popcorn. In a way Lu didn't care about, but was slightly noteworthy to me, this happened to be the last game to be played in the old gym, as demolition starts soon for the construction of a new gym. I had been hopeful it would already look somewhat abandoned and spooky, but it really didn't. The parts that are already being broken down were isolated from the basketball part. Usually at things like this, I am pretty strict about following the rules, but after the game, a lot of kids were running around on the court and in this case, it's not like they can damage it.

The one thing that had me rolling my eyes was a little group of male fans watching the game. This is very small college basketball, division III and the size of the crowd is probably more like a high school game. We're definitely not in any kind of an arena or stadium. This is a gym with the bleachers that roll out from the walls. ANYWAY, these guys were really following the game, they seemed to know some of our players (they would call out players by name with "good shot" or whatever), and they were trash talking the other team, which I am generally okay with, but in this case, it was, I thought, getting right up to the line of what I would consider acceptable. And I know for some people, the whole point of trash talking is that almost nothing is off-limits. But especially for men yelling things at women, a lot of it was very appearance-based. Calling players out as ugly -- so, this could be something they might yell at a male player in a men's game, I guess. There was one repeated suggestion that one of the (other team's) players needs an ass lift. That one I have never heard a man shout at another man while watching a sporting event. The whole thing was stupid. I felt on the fence between thinking everything they said was juvenile, which is true of 99% of things fans yell from the stands at any sport so why wouldn't that happen with women's sports ... and thinking that if the vast majority of what you are saying is about female players' butts, then yes, there is something objectionable about your fan participation.
  • (no subject) -
    • It was that frustrating area where I was almost wishing they would say something worse so that I would have a very clear case for calling them out.
  • In addition to what you said, the fact that it's a group of (I assume) college-aged men yelling at college-aged non-professional athletes makes it more sketchy. Like, if it were a pro game, I might be irritated by it, but feel more like it's to be expected. Not that I go to a lot of pro sporting events. Or college sporting events. There is very little heckling at the soccer games at the YMCA.
    • We will have bigger problems if anyone is yelling at a player to get an ass lift at a YMCA game, I'm thinking.

      I think sometimes too, in a larger arena, there can be a rowdier area that you can avoid should you wish. And in the past (at professional games), I have been annoyed by people who complain that things aren't family-friendly when they have chosen to sit in an area other than the designated family-friendly one. YOU HAD THIS OPTION! In this dinky gym though, you're all together for better or worse.
  • I know UM has relied on families to boost their attendance at non-rev sports, so they try to make it extremely kid friendly. We dragged a younger Kirk to a number of sports, especially in winter.

    Just about all of our small sports have a small group of dedicated student fans, sometimes rowdy ones (to make up for their small number), but I would have the exact same reaction as you around appearance-based insults that cross gender lines. [Actually, our hockey fans are pretty ruthless about other players, but it's usually guy-on-guy insults. Sometimes they start up on "Ugly Parents" chants which do not generally go over great.]. Most of the ones I've attended, it's tamer and doesn't cross lines of acceptability. But it's definitely the guys who are the louder, more obnoxious yellers, and so there is always that potential at the women's sports.

    This year at VB, one opposing player had white-blonde hair that she'd french-braided, and one of the guys started bellowing the chorus of "Let It Go" whenever she served, but that was pretty funny. I also like when they pick an opposing player who bounces the ball before serving, and the entire student section will narrate every bounce, timing it to coincide with when the ball hits the floor. "BOUNCE! BOUNCE BOUNCE!" But I can't figure out the rule they employ to decide which players to do it for.

    Edited at 2016-02-23 03:36 pm (UTC)
    • I am cool with rowdy, too! And I love it when there's an intersection between rowdy and clever, like the Frozen thing. That would have cracked me up.

      I have a colleague in the Athletics department that I see pretty often, and I'm going to give her a quick outline the next time we're chatting and see what she thinks.
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