Tag Archive | Women

Talk to me like I am a Five-year old

I don’t get it. I try to make it make sense in my head. Yet, I just cannot rationalize it. This election cycle is crazy. Specifically, some things that I don’t think should be an issue are an issue. So much so that I along with many other women feel under attack.

What am I talking about? Birth Control. Apparently, the GOP candidates for President are hell-bent on attacking the use of birth control. The number of laws that I have seen proposed by republican legislators lately is frightening to me.

Bills requiring doctors to lie to women about how far along in a pregnancy they are to stop abortion. Bills allowing for an employer to FIRE an employee if she is using birth control for a reason that is NOT other than to prevent pregnancy. Bills saying that women should be told that having an abortion will lead to breast cancer.

WHAT. THE. ACTUAL. EF? Call me crazy, but I thought it was 2012. And I also thought that a huge tenet of Republican / Conservative policy was for the GOVERNMENT to STAY OUT OF PEOPLE’S PERSONAL LIVES. Well, except when it comes to what women are allowed to do with their bodies.

I seriously do not understand how this works. You want the government to not tell you what to do and to stay out of your business. Yet, in the very next sentence, you are screaming for the government to be involved in something that is VERY private (at least I thought it was) and personal to a person.

Please explain to me how these two ideas mesh. If you tell me it is about protecting another person, then I have to ask you why does a woman’s rights, feelings, and thought suddenly get pushed aside because she is carrying a potential new person? And I say potential because I am one of those crazy folks who doesn’t believe that life begins at conception. Continue reading

Backhanded Compliments

Was that a compliment? Should I take it as a compliment.

Random guy fan at Orioles game: Take him out of the Game! Can’t you see he sucks. Ozzie he just is killing us and has been bad all year long. He’s got no wins!

Me: Well, the offense hasn’t done anything and you can’t really blame Danks too much right now.

RG: Yeah, I guess so.

Me: Um, hum, especially since he’s pitched far superior than that. Wins aren’t everything you know.

RG: Huh. So you seem to really know a lot about baseball. That’s cool.

Continue reading

New Adventures

So . . . for the past month or so, I have been sitting on big news for me and I have been DYING to talk about it.  Well, I finally can and my big news is that is that I am going to be joining the G9sports.com network of blogs!!!  You can read more about it here, from founder Julie DiCaro. I am really excited to be doing this and I will be covering none other than the White Sox!  I hope you all get a chance to check it out once we launch on February 1, 2011.  Rest assured, I will continue to post things here, such as the long awaited post on sports learnin’ that I have been meaning to get around to.  And who knows, I might even get my fangirl hat on and go to SoxFest 2011 this year.  We shall see.

This is a really cool thing for me because of the purpose behind it, and to be included in the 30 women so far who will be writing about sports is amazing.  I can’t wait for you to read their work in addition to what I have been writing.

In the mean time, keep reading things here and as things progress with G9, I will be sure to keep you updated on what is happening!  Of course, you can always follow me on Twitter for the latest happenings with a girl’s perspective and G9sports.

We are still looking for female writers who know their stuff to cover ALL the teams in NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL.  And it is not just a midwest sports thing, so if you live on the coasts or know some fans of teams on the coasts, contact me so we can bring you on board.  We could really use some Red Sox and Yankee loving ladies (with baseball season fast approaching).  There will also be coverage of the various college teams as well.

Ten 10 Ten

October 10, 2010.  A fun date for many because it is 10.1o.10.  Last time that happened was September 9, 2009.  And the other fun date this year was September 2, 2010.  That was beverly hills 90210 day.   In any event, the big fun with today’s 10-10-10 was that it was the Chicago Marathon.  This is my hometown marathon race and it always happens on columbus day weekend.  I have done it previously (more on that in another post) and it is always a fun time.

As I have done in past years, I went to Chinatown to watch the race.  This year, I was actually up early enough that when I arrived at the welcome gate in Chinatown, the only people around were those who were local to the neighborhood and people who were helping to set up for the events.  I really wanted to arrive early because I wanted to see the elite runners, both men and women.  This year’s elite field consisted of some of the best in the world as well as Sammy Wanjiru and Liliya Shobukhova, who were the winners last year.  Shobukhova set a new Russian record today with her time.  Ryan Hall, who was going to run the race pulled out early due to basically being over trained and his training getting progressively worse before the race.  I was sad to see him have to pull out of the race because he is one of the new crop of elite American men who has a very serious shot at winning some of the marathon races instead of it always being a Kenyan to take the title.  It was super cool to see Joan Benoit Samuelson running as well.  She is 53 and was trying to qualify for the olympic trials.  She JUST missed the time, but in the process set a new American record for the 50-54 age group.  Not gonna lie — if I could run that fast now, I would be so excited.  And when I am her age, I’d probably kill to run that fast.  She looked amazing when I saw her run past me in Chinatown.  For complete coverage of the race with all the various stories, such as the fantastic showing by American Women, the stories of Wanjiru and Shobukhova, the 2:11 time of the first American male, etc., check out runner’s world’s coverage as it helped keep me informed while I was on the sidewalk watching and cheering on the runners.

All of the stuff that I saw today was even more impressive because of the temperatures.  It was extremely warm out for running.  In the mid 70s and only going higher.  And I can hear the non-runners out there saying: ‘but wait, if I were to run, wouldn’t you prefer it to be warm?  I mean, who wants to run when it is cold’?  Well, if non-runners were to ever take on such a feat, then you’d realize that running in much, much cooler temperatures would be the ideal.  As you start moving, you start to heat up and if it is also humid outside, it is much harder to cool off as you are running.  The last few years of the Chicago Marathon have been rather warm of late.  In fact, in 2007 it was the warmest time for the race and it actually had to be canceled in the middle of the race which was the right call given the extreme heat and humidity, but also devastating to so many runners doing their first marathon who could not finish as well as to seasoned runners who were used to the heat and humidity and wanted to finish regardless.

The big question is, why do a marathon when there are so many things about it that are so grueling.  Some other common things I hear about running marathons from people who don’t do them are: 1) i hate running [good excuse because if you don’t like something, you will never get wanting to conquer the “gold standard” distance], 2) do you understand how you are damaging your knees, 3) you’re crazy, 4) you’re insane, 5) it is not a real sport, 6) who wants to watch someone exercise, and my personal favorite 7) you know people die running this distance! even the first marathon the guy died!!  All I can usually say to those who don’t understand why people want to do it is that you probably won’t understand until you try it.  Anytime I mention running a race, (which is usually some distance over the usual weekend 5K) I hear some combination of these various excuses that people have.  When I pry a bit deeper about the excuses, I usually find that people think that running hurts and that is why they don’t like it.  I know that running can hurt, but I find that is usually because of not being in the right shoe for that particular runner and once you get soured on something, it is really hard to get yourself motivated to try again.

As for the whole not being a real sport and it being an exercise of watching people exercise, well that is just crazy talk to me.  Running is a huge sport.  If you are defining a sport by it having competition, it absolutely qualifies.  Or as I like to say, if running isn’t a sport, then neither is golf.  If you ever watch a race and see how the top runners jockey for position to win the race and how they go about it, you realize there is a ton of strategy involved.  This strategy involving the elevation of the race course, the temperatures, and the wind conditions.  It is amazing watching what happens to ultimately come out as the top dog in the race.  Not to mention that if you are at such an elite level, you can win some big money coming in as the winner.

Overall, it was a great day (although any race is always great) for cheering on the runners.  I saw a lot of women wearing running skirts, of which I am a fan of.  I also saw a man running barefoot, which is always impressive to see.  I also saw a few people wearing the vibram five finger shoes, which is a way to simulate running barefoot but not actually be barefoot.  It was super fun to see the wheelchair athletes competing as well.  Those men and women have some amazingly strong arms and to see the various types of chairs they had to get through the race was amazing.  I was most impressed by the double amputee who ran.  Seeing a guy like that always makes me grateful for what I can do and am able to do because I am not limited in some way.  Now, I cannot wait to start training for a marathon that I will do next fall.  But first, I need to get my butt in gear for a 5K next month.  What could be a better race than loads of hot chocolate at the end?

CONGRATULATIONS to everyone who ran the Chicago Marathon on 10.10.10 and any other races that happened today!

ENOUGH ALREADY!

I love animals.  I would love to have a dog, preferably a beagle because I find those dogs to be very cute.  Maybe even a cat, although I am probably more of a dog person.  I don’t have a dog however because I live in an apartment building where the only pets allowed are cats.  (Cue the sad face . . . ) Oh, and there is the whole not being home much.  I feel that if I had a pet, it would be cruel and unusual punishment to never be around my pet and was neglecting it.  And as you probably know from reading this blog, I love sports.  A great deal.

So why would a girl’s perspective on a boy’s game need to talk about animals and sports?  Two words:  Michael Vick.  In case you don’t know who he is, Michael Vick is the quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles.  He also was convicted of federal felony charges (in connection with a plea agreement) for an illegal interstate dog fighting ring.  He ended up serving 21 months in federal prison and then later being on home confinement.  Dog fighting is a disgusting practice (in my opinion) that is big in some Latin American countries as a hobby for some to enjoy.  Those who engage in dog fighting can earn big bucks.  In any event what ever the reasons people enjoy it, I find it deplorable and it makes me enjoy a song even more because I do think most times animals end up suffering because of us humans.

This is all relevant because in week 4 of the NFL season, Vick was given the starting qb job for the Eagles.  Earlier in the young season, Kevin Kolb got hurt and was taken out of the game.  At the time, the Eagles were playing fairly bad and when Vick came in to relieve Kolb, the team went on a bit of a “tear” and started to look good.  In fact, Vick looked really good and the questions came up as to how the team could go back to Kolb if Vick played that well continually.  Especially if the team wanted, to you know, WIN.  In the game against Washington, Vick took a pretty bad hit that left him with bruised ribs.  At first it appeared that he had a broken collar bone and possibly a much worse injury.  When this happened, my twitter time line exploded with comments about Vick getting what he deserved, would he be taken out back and shot, dog killer, dog murderer, etc.

As much as the next person is disgusted by what Vick did, I am extremely annoyed with all of the continued bashing about what he did.  In no way do I excuse what was done, but from what I can see, it seems more people are concerned and railing about what happened with what Vick did than what some other players in the NFL have done to ACTUAL PEOPLE.  If you follow much football news, you probably know that one of the names the NFL has aside from what it actually means is that it is the “No Fun League.”  Roger Goodell, the commissioner tends to come down fairly harshly on players when they engage in conduct that is not what the league wants to reflect to the public.  Personally, some of the punishments he hands down I find downright ridiculous as it seems to do nothing as a behavior modification or deterrent.  Other times, I don’t think he comes down hard enough on players for things. And let’s be honest, the people who tend to play football at the professional level are probably not the most upstanding people there are.

Anyway, if people are going to be vitriolic with regard to Michael Vick’s behavior, I wish they would show the same level, if not more for when there are situations where NFL players have beaten, raped, etc. their wives and / or girlfriends.  I don’t see extreme anger or anyone saying they wish that Dante Stallworth was run over by a semi.  Stallworth was convicted of manslaughter when he struck and killed a pedestrian in Florida.  I also haven’t heard for people calling for Ben Roethlisberger to get a much longer suspension than what he got.  Big Ben as Roethlisberger is known has been involved in a few incidents of allegedly forcing himself on a couple of women.  No charges were brought in his most recent incident due to not enough evidence to pursue criminal charges.  One incident of assaulting women, I could buy that as a woman potentially looking for 15 minutes of fame.  But multiple incidents, then i think says to me that something is very, very wrong.  The latest incident that led to his suspension to start the 2010 – 2011 NFL season combined with the other situations he has been involved in, make me wish people were a bit angrier.  Instead, it seems that when he has done such things, people just shrug their shoulders and figure “boys will be boys” and go about their day.

I realize that there is a huge difference between Vick and Big Ben in that Vick was convicted and did prison time.  But the lack of outrage by people irritates me because it seems that suddenly animals and their well being is FAR more important than women being assaulted.   This thoroughly disgusts me.  As I have said, I love animals and I do think that animals a lot of times are hurt and harmed because of people.  But when it gets to the point where people feel a need to go ape-shit when an animal is hurt and shrug their shoulders when a HUMAN BEING is hurt, then I wonder where our priorities have gotten screwed up.  It is really that much of a stretch to say that punishment for hurting a human by beating or raping the person is LESS outrageous than a dog that has been harmed?  Because when people are more upset about an animal than a person, that seems to be the message sent.

In all honestly, I would really like to see people get more outraged when an NFL player beats the crap out of his girlfriend or wife than if a player harms an animal.  Not to mention, Michael Vick has SERVED TIME IN PRISON for what he did.  If he has repaid his debt to society, can’t people be angry, but realize that the continued trashing is unnecessary?  Be angry, but show the same level or anger for the other stuff!  Especially when humans being harmed are just given a shoulder shrug as if it is as normal as breathing?  When I see people getting as annoyed, pissed off and angry about the humans who are killed, beaten and possibly raped, then I can get on board with being angry with Michael Vick.  Until then, I really wish people would just drop the wishing of Michael Vick harm.  Or at least get just as ape-shit crazy when humans are hurt.

A Female Focused Sports Network?

Yesterday, news broke that ESPN was going to be launching a new landing spot in conjunction with its main site that is focused on women. I first learned of it on Twitter and of course, at that time, all kinds of jokes started flying. Jokes made by both men and women.  I even saw one that said they instead of calling it ESPNW, they should call it LESPN.  I’ll leave it to you to figure out what was being referred to.

In any event, my initial reaction was why is ESPN suddenly being condescending toward women?  Why single us out and potentially “pink” up the network?  Were they saying suddenly that the regular ESPN wasn’t really where women should be watching sport?  So many questions I had and admittedly, a bit of anger because it seems a lot of times when people do this, there seems to be an implication that women just aren’t smart enough to “get” what is usually something highly male dominated and it needs to be “dumbed down” for women to understand and appreciate it.  However, after reading more about what was happening and the reasons behind it, I will hold off final judgment until I see things.

As a female sports fan of sports other than what is considered as appealing to women, such as figure skating, I think this could potentially be good to broaden sports appeal to women.  After all, anytime attention is brought to “the powers that be” that women ARE interested in sports, it is a good thing.  ESPN, to its credit did do some research to find out who was watching their shows and found that some of their lowest viewing by women was where they did studio shows.  The attempt with the ESPN Women blog and the hopefully eventually tv channel is to cater to the female demographic with the focus on hosts being female and having women give their perspectives on shows.

I can see how an ESPN Women could be beneficial though.  When they talk about that many women are not as passive in their engagement of watching sports as men are, I could see where trying to make it more interactive could help to get more women interested in sports.  And if well done, this could also be a learning tool to help women who know nothing about sports learn something so they can better enjoy it with boyfriends, husbands and friends who are sports fiends, but they don’t get it.  (will do a post later on how to “learn” about sports if you are late to the game).  However, personally I think that ESPN could do all of this without needing to resort to a separation.

The concept is all well and good, but what concerns me is whether there will be some sort of push to get female sports in a separate venue, rather than just part of the larger discussion of sports.  Additionally, it seems that the main network seems to have given up on making what the currently do more engaging for women to want to actually watch the network.  In all honestly, I rarely watch ESPN currently and it is NOT because I perceive some sort of slighting of women or the other things they found which prompted the network to try something to cater to women in general.  I don’t watch ESPN because I don’t live on the East Coast and I find it to be extremely East Coast biased in its coverage of sports or its favorite athlete of the moment (i.e., love fest over Brett Favre or LeBron James).  I know a lot of people, both men and women who feel this way.  I have nothing against the East Coast.  In fact, one of my favorite cities ever is Boston and NY is right up there in favorite places to visit.  I just feel as someone who lives in Chicago, I’d like to hear about my town’s teams from the national perspective as well when I watch shows that are supposed to be national in scope.  Ever since MLB Network debuted in 2009, I spend my sports tv coverage time watching that instead of the baseball shows on ESPN because I feel they do a far better job of covering the sport I love.  These networks, in my opinion cover ALL of the teams and not just the ones located in Boston or NY.  I do the same with NFL Network and NHL Network.

Currently, there are plenty of women who work for ESPN who are on air as hosts and reporters.  A few things I could think of to get women more engaged in the studio shows would be to have a WOMAN sitting in the “big chair” i.e. the host chair.  Currently on many of these shows, the woman is relegated to what appears as a token role where she is there to “look pretty” and only add snippets to the conversation had by the boys.  Sometimes the women are just used as a reporter to talk about a story and then it goes back to the boys talking and leading the conversations about sports.  Female sports fans have a lot to say and are more than capable of hosting a studio show and leading the discussion as the men typically do.  That kind of typical set up almost screams to me that the men don’t value the opinion that women have and therefore women can speak, but not really because they are not fully included in the discussions.  I and probably a lot of other women (maybe men? i can hope) would like to see women leading the discussions.  I think just that small little change would make it more of the interactivity that the research showed that women engage in more.  It has been difficult for women to break in to sports coverage (just look up some of the stuff that was said and written about Inez Sainz when she was in the Jets locker room), but I am hopeful that things will start to change where the guys who are doing the sports talking will see women as just another “guy” in the conversation rather than as a pretty woman or someone the men need to school in the fine art of sports discussions.  Just because we may not play them in the same manner that men do, doesn’t mean we can’t understand and appreciate them in the same manner and with the same passion that men do.

So many things

Wow, it has been a busy 24 hours with my White Sox. First there were the comments from Mark Buehrle on the end of this coming season and what he might do after next season. Then, Paul Konerko held a mini presser with media before tonight’s game to discuss his impending free agency. On top of that, ESPN has announced it is coming out with a station for WOMEN. I have so many thoughts on these issues and if I write about them all, it would be one really long post. So, for now, I will give you a taste of my opinions on these things with much more in-depth though in later posts coming this weekend. (because i really am trying to keep up with the blogging and start doing it regularly).

On Buehrle: I don’t begrudge him contemplating retirement, but I did hear some stuff on sports talk radio that he was being a whiny guy for walking away from it if he does given how the economy is right now for a lot of working people.  That was an interesting debate to listen to and frankly those who “don’t want to hear it” from Buehrle, I can see where they may get that from, but I think their irritation is misplaced. Particularly given some of the reasons that Buehrle has given as to why he could potentially hang it up after his current contract ends.

On the Beloved Paul Konerko:  He is such a classy guy on the field and seems that way off the field.  I won’t go so far as to say he is, because 1) i don’t know him and 2) i don’t want to live in a fantasy totally in believing he is a great guy when he just might not be and hides it well.  Please don’t misunderstand that I am slamming him because I LOVE Paul Konerko, the first baseman for the White Sox for the past dozen years.  I just have to be realistic about how a guy may be off the field and how I am not privy to how he may behave otherwise.  His comments on pending free agency are understandable, especially given the fact that no one knows what direction the team is going and if he is indeed tired of the off the field drama that has occurred this season, I can’t blame him for wanting to go to an organization that doesn’t have those issues.  If he chooses to not come back to the White Sox, I would be sad, but completely understand.  I am so thankful for his years of service and the entertainment he has provided me since he has been a member of this team.

On ESPN Women:  Dear 4-letter network buffoons:  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!?!?  Are you now implying that women aren’t smart enough to watch your regular networks?  Are you implying that you need to have a channel focusing on women so you can show stupid commercials, pink up the viewing, etc. to get women to watch?  Am I not allowed to watch your regular stuff and understand?  This has got to be the dumbest idea ever.  I suppose I could “give” it a shot, but really I am just feeling insulted that somehow I need to have my sports catered to me, in the same way that clothing manufacturers figure that if they make my favorite teams’ attire in pink, I will happily buy & wear it.  Never mind that 1) my team’s colors are NOT pink and 2) I want to wear my team colors in flattering sizing!

Those are my very brief initial thoughts on the day’s news that struck me.  In the next couple of days, I will have much longer posts on each of these things and hopefully, I can reconcile my feelings with what has been said and discussed.