For now, I have transformed from the Funny Football Female to the Bawdy Basketball Broad — at least for the next 2 weeks during these NBA Championship Finals. The NFL season is still about 90 days away (sigh) and I long for some “necessary roughness.” And I’m not alone. While 43.2% of NFL fans are women, 37% of NBA fans are women. The cool part is, women make up a larger percentage of the audience in older groups: 40% are women 55+ while 31% are 35 -54, and 29% are 18 – 34. Woo-hoo!
So I’m glued to the NBA, and I’ve noticed in the sports bars and everywhere that women have a different relationship to sports than men. I could do a whole speech on this. Here’s what ESPN’s research shows, and I concur:
Men like detailed statistics and past performance history. Women like basic statistics and personal stories.
For men, watching sports validates them. Women must constantly prove they are real sports fans.
Men and women are both big fans of the NFL. But women also really like figure skating and the Olympics. Men like NCAA football and the NBA more.
Here’s the difference I personally love the most: men are overjoyed when their teams win and devastated when they lose — sometimes for days. Women are happy with wins and disappointed with losses, but move on quickly. Finally! A situation where women move on more quickly than men! Woo-hoo!
In these uncertain times, I’m sure men and women both use sports to inspire and motivate themselves. After the Oklahoma City Thunder clinched the Western Championship last night, my beloved Derek Fisher told a reporter, “Great things can happen when you play for each other.” Thunder Head Coach Scott Brooks said, “We stuck together like families do.” The Thunder had to win 4 games in a row, and last night, they trailed by 15 points at half-time. Do you have the energy and commitment to come back like that? Watch sports! Just sayin’.