April 19, 2010

Don’t Wear That Jersey; You Will Be Judged

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The other day I was walking down Tower Road when I noticed a student wearing a 1986 Mets World Series t-shirt. His Stanley Cup playoff-worthy beard and grungy sweatpants suggested he was an upperclassman with no apparent cares other than those for his beloved Metro­politans of course. We were walking in opposite directions on opposite sides of the street, but I can detect a throwback sports shirt from miles away. Megan Fox could be serving free samples at the Dairy Bar wearing only a polka dot bikini in the middle of winter and I would be able to tell you whether or not the guy behind her was wearing a home or away Dallas Cowboys jersey. This might sound weird, but I know I am not the only one who feels a sudden rush of emotion (good or bad) when someone walks by in a Kevin Garnett jersey, or any other sports paraphernalia for that matter.As sports fans, we all have our little quirks. For some of us, we turn into Carrie Bradshaw ogling a new pair of Dolce & Gabbana heels whenever we see someone wearing a sports shirt. We rigorously assess their entire ensemble and then make blanket judgments about their personality. Oh, he’s a Yankees fan … he must be a spoiled brat. Oh, he’s a Saints fan … he must be a frontrunner. Oh, he’s a Clippers fan … he must be confused. Oh, he’s a Patiots fan … he must be a moron. For my friend Dan, his greatest fear two months ago was not seeking employment after graduation, but tripping and accidentally injuring one of the basketball players whenever he saw them buying lunch at Trillium. Three weeks prior to the start of March Madness, Dan stopped using utensils and merely ate with his hands in an effort to preserve the team’s Sweet Sixteen ambitions. My favorite sports quirk has to do with the guy who will use sports as a legitimate pickup line. On three separate occasions during my four years on East Hill, I have heard guys attempt this method. Surprisingly, it worked twice! I saw one girl basically start undressing (okay, she gently touched his arm … tomato, tomahto) because some guy told her Derek Jeter was his favorite Yankee. Apparently, you don’t have to be a player to know a player. The thing to keep in mind is sure that girl might think the Yankees’ captain is cute in his tight pinstripe uniform. However, the real question boils down to this: On a brisk Thursday night in late October as you two are snuggling on the couch, are you watching Mark Teixeira send a “text message” into the left field seats or are you stuck watching a McSteamy and McDreamy gabfest in a McChickFlick television show?Let’s assume the latter scenario prevails for some unknown reason. Let’s just assume you’re an abnormally good guy and you want your girl to be happy, so you tape the playoff game. This is the first sign of trouble. Unless you can view the taped game prior to waking up the next morning, life can become extremely difficult. Avoiding any mention of the score or outcome of the game has become an increasingly difficult task in this new age of media technology. There was a week back in December when I did not watch ESPN or check any sports online for a week because I had taped a Giants home game against the Dallas Cowboys. As I walked to classes that week, I saw several people wearing New York Giants sweatshirts and did not know what to think. Did the Giants win or was this the only sweatshirt these people owned? Avoiding the score became a chore to ensure the integrity of the game as I finally got around to viewing it. Try going to Applebee’s and not seeing the score. Can’t do it. I had to give the waitress my order while staring directly in my lap.I bring these stories to your attention not to alarm you, but to caution you the next time you decide to wear a Philadelphia Phillies World Series shirt. You will be judged. Sure, they are no longer the defending world champions. Sure, the city of brotherly love still remains destitute in the championship department, winning only one championship in the four professional sports leagues over the last 27 years, but go ahead. My high profile banking job at Goldman Sachs has not become official yet, but I am willing to bet the boys on Wall Street are not showing up to work in a throwback Joe Namath jersey. So now is the time to get it out of your system since for the rest of your life these quirky sports habits will be confined strictly to weekends and after the workday is over. So, suit up you Albert Pujols wannabe. Chicks dig the long ball.

Original Author: Matthew Manacher