The other week, I waxed on about why parents don’t watch a lot of television. This is an off-shoot/continuation of that thought.
Of the television that parents get to watch, fathers typically watch more sports than mothers. That may not be a big revelation, but have you thought about why? It’s not because men are mindless apes who like to wear jerseys, fart and eat potato chips. No, it’s the children that make us wear jerseys, fart and eat potato chips.
Dads watch sports for much simpler reasons.
Here are four reasons that fathers tend to watch more sports than mothers.* (See below for note)
1. Don’t need to hear it. Face it: kids can be loud and obnoxious and make you question their genealogy. As the number of children increases, the noise increases exponentially. It’s hard to watch a crime drama with all that noise. Sports can be watched without sound. We’re already used to watching muted sports in restaurants — and since our houses tend to be as loud as a sports bar anyway, why should watching at home be any different?
2. Know the plot. Part of the reason dads can watch sports without sound is because we already know the plot. Most dads can not only name the city/state of any team from the three major sports (football, basketball, baseball), but they can also identify the mascot. This also goes for colleges. In addition, most know which teams are traditionally “good” and which teams aren’t. We know the Browns aren’t supposed to win, so when they do, we’re interested. (If you think about it, this is what makes watching European professional soccer so difficult for most U.S. males. We don’t know the backstory.)
Men also know the “plot” of the game itself:
- The one with the most points wins.
- Baseball: runs, no swinging on a 3-0 pitch, and brushbacks.Most of us can argue pro or con for designated hitters.
- Basektball: three-pointer, dunk, rejection. Most men can also point out the difference between a charge and a block.
- Football: a touchdown is six points, an extra point is one and a field goal is three. And Brett Favre will always try to play one more season.
3. Easy to slip in/out. Since we know the plot, sports are relatively easy to notice and not notice. Many a Monday night game can be interrupted by an episode of “Olivia” (or, a personal favorite, “Phineas and Ferb”). But once the little munchkin is trotted off to bed, it’s back to the game, where it’s relatively easy to catch up.
4. News coverage. It’s easy to catch up because there’s so much sports “news” coverage. I put “news” in quotes because everyone knows sports are really just entertainment. Very. Serious. Entertainment. We know it’s serious because sports gets its own section of the newspaper, its on time slot on the 6 o’clock news and, even, its own network(s). Therefore, if we miss something, we can usually find out what it was (and watch it) very easily.
There’s your four reasons. I’m sure there are more, and you can put your reasons in the comment section.
Let’s face it: sports make good television because, even though they try, children have a hard time ruining it.
And when they do, we’ve always got instant replay.
*Note: I realize that these four items could be extrapolated to most men, regardless of their offspring and to a large number of women sports fans. Sheesh, just allow me the gimmicky set-up, will ya?