Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Nut Cup vs. Sports Bra

While on the road last week for work I was sitting in an Applebee's getting dinner and I found myself watching a portion of a women's college softball game between Tennessee and Arizona. Apparently, these two teams are playing each other as we speak in the finals of the tournament. As I sat there eating my Chicken Brocolli Pasta Alfredo, I learned a few things about women's softball that I had not been aware of before. Granted, this was due largely to the fact that I'd pretty much ignored the sport* outside of Jennie Finch when she got all the hype with the USA women's Olympic team won the gold medal in '04.

Anyway, from what I could tell, there are several surprising aspects to women's softball that stood out particularly for me.
  • First, it seems that women softball players are a lot tougher than men. I saw one batter get hit by a pitch, but unlike in baseball she didn't get to take her base. It's almost like the umpire looked her and said "Don't be a wuss, swing the friggin' bat"*. Also, almost none of the players wear baseball caps, apparently because they are so tough that staring directly into the sun has no effect on them. Sure, some of them wear eyeblack, but even that's uncommon.
  • Second, lots of the players wear makeup. This just seems weird. I saw one bench where 8 of the players were at least wearing eye makeup. In fairness, maybe eyeliner and mascara combination does the same thing as eye black and helps fight glare from the sun. I have only worn them on stage (where it didn't help me with the stage lights at all) but perhaps the lady readers can ring in on this one. Alternatively, maybe they knew the game might be on HDTV and wanted to "even out their tone" and "eliminate blotchiness" in their "oily T-zone"**.
  • Third, maybe it was just this game (that apparently featured two of the really good pitchers in the game) but it was *really* boring. I mean, there's nothing exciting about watching player after player strike out. From what I've read since there were some other games where actual points were scored. But from what I saw, the game itself was dull.

All told I only watched about 3-4 innings before deciding I'd rather hit the pool before the families with kids showed up for "Pee in the Pool-fest" after dinner at Grandmas.

* This is unusually similar to what I've witnessed in college Lacrosse, where the men wear hockey gloves, pads, and helmets while the women wear ponytails and skirts. Of course, male lacrosse players pretty much strike me as the popped-collar, Lincoln Park Chad, pretty-boy working for Deloitte sort of character. And I know lots of women who are way tougher than *those*.

** There, I've now used all three phrases I can remember from makeup commercials. That's it, all the rest slid off my long-term memory like an egg off a new non-stick skillet.

5 comments:

The Phoenix said...

Great observations. Don't forget about Field Hockey. You got girls in nothing but skirts with shin guards wielding huge wooden clubs while striking a little white, hard ball.

Did you also notice the "huskiness" of the softball players?

grrrbear said...

You know, I thought I'd see more huskiness than I actually did. This also surprised me a little, since my previous experience with softball players in high school was quite high on the husky scale. But this was not the case at the college level, in fact many of the players seemed quite petite.

I liken it to the extinction of the dinosaurs, with all the large husky players being replaced by smaller players due to the fact that the smaller players had an easier time adapting to the new environment of rush week, keg stands, and 8:00 am morning classes during freshman year.

Grafs said...

I think women have to act tougher because they are trying to keep up with the guys. Remember a League of Their Own? "There's NO crying in baseball!" (or softball)

KC said...

One of my husband's nieces got a softball scholarship to a university. She's husky. More like super-husky. I've always wondered why she stayed husky because that girl worked her butt off training all the time.

Rice said...

I agree that any kind of softball can be boring. I am such a damn spaz that I am jealous of any athlete.