Women Who Love Sports: Amanda’s Story

Hi guys! My name is Amanda and I’m an avid sports fan. Oh wait, what do you mean this isn’t a support meeting? I’m just kidding. Really though I am a sports fan and have been for as long as I can remember. I’ve been a fan of nearly everything it feels like over the years but currently, I’m about baseball and hockey. The teams I find myself rooting for are typically the underdogs whether I mean to or not. By saying that, once I am a fan of a team I will remain a fan in some capacity until the end of time (like my hometown teams in Cleveland). My current teams are the Philadelphia Flyers, Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers. The story behind why I became a fan of those teams is a story for another time and I will share it if anyone is interested in hearing it. Until then though I will tell you all about how I became a fan of sports in general.

Sometimes I try to think about the very first time I watched a game of some sort. When it comes down to it though I can’t seem to do it. It is probably due to the fact I was born into a sports-loving family. My grandfather has had season tickets to the Cleveland Browns for thirty-five years before the team moved to Baltimore and then some even after that when the team was brought back. My first real sports memories involved knowing Sundays were for football especially when it involved the Browns. I was taught early on that you always rooted for the Browns and booed the (Pittsburgh) Steelers. It’s still something I do no matter what. What can I say I am loyal not only for who I cheer for but for who I boo against.

While a lot of my sports memories were filled with disappointment for one reason or another. Do I need to say more than the fumble, the drive, the catch, and the shot? I think not. Some of them though were filled with exciting moments watching my teams doing well or in the playoffs. While it never ended with a win or making it all the way it was those moments and watching them with my family that gave me some great memories over the years. Maybe in a way, it shaped me a little as a person. I wish I could explain it in a way that makes sense but I really can’t do it.

Looking back over the years trying to pinpoint the moment that I would consider my greatest sports moment. Maybe it would be the Cleveland Indians teams of the mid to late ’90s who found their way to the playoffs countless times and the world series twice. While I was born and raised a Browns fan, I took pride in becoming a die-hard Indians fan in 1994 when they moved to Jacob’s Field. I found myself watching games with my dad and asking him a million questions about everything. I took in everything I could as I watched the 1995 team comeback from behind to win 12 games when most teams wouldn’t and would eventually win 100 games. It was never a matter of when would they do something crazy to win but a matter of who would do it. Those games and their outcomes drew me in and kept me hooked. They were probably some of the same ones that drew me back in years later.

As you are probably guessing by now I attended a lot of Browns and Indians games growing up. While each game holds a special place in my heart, the sporting event that holds the sport of my favorite would have to be the 1997 MLB All-Star Game. It was held in Cleveland at Jacob’s field. I remember when they announced on the news (since the internet wasn’t a big thing at the time) that if fans wanted to attend the home run derby they had to send in a postcard for an entry into a lottery. If you were chosen you could buy a ticket to the event you entered in for. My family sent in about 100 postcards maybe more and we were chosen to buy two tickets to the All-Star Game. This game was one of the biggest games I had ever been able to attend for any sport. I remember the buzz and excitement even on the rapid (metro) system and outside of the ballpark. It continued once we entered into the ballpark. I was able to get an autograph from Dennis Martinez who played for us in 1994 -1996. Silly me thought that would be the best part of the game but guess what? It wasn’t. The best part was supporting my hometown boys who were voted in for the game. The loudest moment of support came for Sandy Alomar who hit a home run and won the MVP for the game. I will always rave about this game and suggest if you ever have a chance to attend an All-Star Game to do it.

When it comes to women’s sports I don’t always watch them as much as I want to. I tend to go all-in every Olympics on everything and when it is time for the World Cup to support Team USA but that’s it. I always say I am going to watch more and it lasts a few times after those big events happen but that’s it. I plan to start keeping up with and watching women’s sports once sports come back after everything. When it comes down to it though I consider myself a supporter of it. I want the women who play sports to do well and have all the chances the men have. Most importantly though I want them to get the same pay and rewards the men do because it is what they deserve. 

One of the common misconceptions I have found being a sports fan is that sometimes people, (mostly men. sorry guys, I know it’s not all of you. I swear), question the reasons why I am a fan. They seem to assume that I am only a fan of a player because he is cute or I want to be with them. It seems to be a common thing. Don’t get me wrong, I can appreciate a good looking guy playing a sport I love BUT I appreciate his stats and playing as well. I wish people who act like you can only be about a player for his looks or his stats would realize you can be a fan of both. Like a lot of things in life, it doesn’t have to be an either / or situation but rather it can a both / and situation. Besides the misconception, I mention the only type of negativity seems to come from men (sorry again guys) who feel the need to quiz a woman about the sport she is a fandom. Believe me, I have been quizzed about terms and rules (offside, infield fly rule, hail mary, etc) that go on with the sports I like or to name teams in a league or division. It is annoying but 99% of the time I’m able to confidently prove to the person that I am a fan even though I really shouldn’t have to.

All in all, that is my fan story. If you have any questions about anything I talked about feel free to reply below. You can also tweet me at @amanda522 and I’ll answer anything at all.

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