by Maggie Lofboom
All right. Things have officially gotten out of hand. It's time for an intervention. We need to stop the ever-growing legions before they overwhelm us and destroy everything we've worked so hard to build. Their numbers are great, but our will is greater. This is a call to arms for female sports fans everywhere: STOP THE PINK.
What IS it with pink sports gear? I don't understand. The pink shirts, the pink jerseys, and the worst: the pink caps. Ladies, why are we choosing to support our team with a cap that doesn't include even ONE of their colors? Fellow Twins gals, are we worried that the menfolk might forget we're women if we wear a hat in the standard navy? Are we worried that we'll plop a navy cap on our heads and, POOF!...our femininity will vanish and instead we'll be a bunch of ogreish hags? Rest assured, I’ve worn my trusty navy wool cap for YEARS and I'm pretty sure the males around me are still aware that I'm a woman.
And girls, if you think that pink cap makes you look like a sport-savvy gal who really knows her baseball team, you are sorely mistaken. A pink hat is pretty much the kiss of death for anyone who wants to be taken seriously at a sporting event. A pink hat says you're there for Johan Santana's charming smile and not for his changeup of doom. A pink hat says you know one stat and one stat alone: who on our team is married, and who isn't. A pink hat says you are someone who doesn't understand the count. In short, a pink hat labels you as a fawning, clueless, nitwit girl.
And even if you aren't really concerned about baseball (which begs the question: why are you at the game?), do you really want to be thought of as a nitwit? It's very aggravating for those of us who take the game seriously, because there is nothing in life more vexatious to the spirit than the clueless girls opening their mouths and making the rest of us look bad.
That's the real tragedy of Pink Hat Nation: that the rest of us (you know, the ones who wear NAVY Twins caps) suffer as a result. The tiresome task of proving I know as much (or in many cases, more) than most men about the game and this team is made more arduous by the fact that the Pink Hats are the most vocal among us, and when they lapse into transports of ecstasy over the players, think they speak for the rest of us as well.
Now, as a heterosexual woman, I can admit that some players are better-looking than others. For instance, I'd be lying if I said that I don't take a good, long, thirsty look when Jason Bartlett is up to bat. But, I also happen to know the he's our everyday shortstop, his average is .256, he has 17 stolen bases in 18 tries, he's very quick in the field but is starting to throw sidearm which irritates me, but on the whole is an improvement over Cristian Guzman. So if I happen to admire his lanky frame while he's airborne and turning a double play, I think I am allowed. But if I want to do nothing but stare at men, there are plenty of other places where the men are less than half a mile away and may potentially come talk to you.
And that's my suggestion to the women at baseball games who don't really care about what's happening on the field: go to the bar, or at least just be quiet and don't embarrass the rest of us. I go to baseball games because I love watching the game live, played by professionals (I can say that now that we’ve gotten rid of Sidney Ponson.) And holding your own as a legit, knowledgeable FEMALE fan is hard enough without the Pink Hats sitting three rows up, gushing about the possibility of Joe Mauer siring their children while simultaneously asking how the other guys got on base.
So please, my fellow women, let us leave the pink and all its stigma behind us. Nothing says class like the navy wool cap (or whatever other colors your team dons when they take the field.) Also classy: learning your team. If there's something more fun than knowing what you're talking about and being able to discuss the finer points of your team with anyone, I don't know what it is.
If I may invoke the words of Benny 'The Jet' Rodriguez, from the immortal film The Sandlot...
"You got a fireplace?"
"Throw that hat in there."
Couldn't have said it better.