Men’s Health and the Foam Finger

So this happened.

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The article is short:

The Secret to Talking Sports with Any Woman

The things that interest you are unlikely to interest her, but you can still make a connection; here’s how

Not all women share your passion for sports, in case you hadn’t noticed. The reason? They need story lines.

“Most women don’t care about stats,” says Andrei Markovits, Ph.D., coauthor of Sportista: Female Fandom in the United States. So while you’re enthusing about Dominic Moore’s scoring record, she’d rather hear about how he supported his wife’s battle with cancer—and even took a season off from the NHL at the height of his career. Treat your heroes as people and not just players on a field, and you’ll suck her in.

Just don’t expect her to wear the foam finger.

My gut response is “why are you trying to sell me something I don’t care about? Why are you trying to talk to me if we don’t share any interests?”

I guess the real question is, “Why do we think it’s normal and OK that men and women who are intimate can somehow fail to share interests?” In fact, why do we even think it’s true?

But the worst part of this whole thing is that the advice about bringing a story into it is actually pretty good — the writer just chose an awful story.

Humans love stories.

Male humans. Female humans. Juvenile humans. Adult humans. Story has been a defining passion of humans for as long as we could record … anything.

And that applies to the most passionate statistics-collecting baseball fan. I don’t know a single one who’d claim it was just a bunch of numbers — for them the numbers tell a rich tapestry of stories over generations, stories about struggles and careers and disappointments and triumphs. And that’s no mere asterisk in that table! THAT’s a whole other story!

So tell her a story! Don’t try to dig up some trivia YOU don’t care about but are second-guessing she will. Tell her the story YOU see unfolding. Tell her how you fell in love with the game, how many happy memories you have going to see it played. Tell her about career-high and career-low events you witnessed or followed.

Maybe she’ll even want to know more! She may ask how a game progresses — pretty much no one cares about a sport they can’t follow. Use that opportunity to challenge yourself to think about the big picture instead of getting bogged down in a rabbit warren of little rules. At least at first.

Who knows? Maybe you’ll end up having something in common after all.

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