Not a groupie, not a cleat chaser, just a girl who loves baseball

*My original intent was NOT to insult anyone, so let’s try this again and see if my point comes across a bit better, ok? Ok. Here we go …

I realized the importance of the distinction between the type of female baseball fan (but it can go for all sports) described, for lack of better descriptive words, “groupies” or “cleat chasers” or just plain “bandwagon fans” who like the sport because the team is winning and it is the “in” thing to like and a female baseball fan who is actually takes sports seriously, understands the game and strives to learn more about it.

While some insist that there is no distinction, I believe there is and this is my classification of that distinction.

What prompted me to write this now was a guest who was on MLB Network‘s show Hot Stove with Harold Reynolds and Matt Vasgersian. The guest, Jess Ceresino, started a website back in 2013 called TheSportsBrat.com.

While being interviewed she went on to tell the viewers how to dress to look cute for games (to eventually get a husband – seriously!), gave us a lesson on ballpark food and recipes for tailgating, among other things.

Clearly, this was a website that was designed for women who do not like sports. I checked it out it is certainly not for women like me (and I know quite a few others) who take sports seriously, understand the game, know statistics and make sports a part of our lives, our hearts and our livelihoods.

I don’t have a problem with websites like these, the problem I have is they perpetuate the stereotype that sports are for men and that women just tag along to make their men happy or to hopefully look cute if they’re caught by a passing cameraman and get to make their television debut. 

These women do not care about the sport. They, like Ceresino said, are those who are just looking to please their man. Again, there is nothing wrong with pleasing your man but acting like a bimbo, dressing all cute (like wearing heels to a ballgame!) and pretending to like a team is not the way to go. 

When I hear the terms “groupies,” “cleat chasers” or “bandwagoners” in reference to sports I think of those popular girls from high school who STILL have not changed. The kind of girls who are petty, narrow minded, like whatever’s supposedly popular and are often who are shrieking with delight in unison over something. 

I know women like this, I was forced to hang out with them in high school. They screwed me over and I didn’t talk to them for 10 years until I gave them another chance thinking that they must have changed and grown.

edb7f9a64af4bacb5716871745ebc1caAs it turns out they hadn’t. They started harassing me on Facebook during a San Francisco Giants/Oakland A’s spring training game in 2011. Everyone was posting that the Giants were winning and it two of these girl’s idea of fun to start being rude to me about it.

When I mentioned that it was spring training. that the games didn’t count and if they didn’t know that then maybe they should be quiet, they promptly unfriended me (ooooh! such an insult! As if I lost anything by not being friends on Facebook with a bunch of airheads!) and so did every single one of their other friends who were supposedly my friends too. They were all conveniently also Giants fans who had only become fans during the 2010 season.

I use these particular women as examples because they happen to be the type of women who would benefit from TheSportsBrat.com website. Primarily my negative experiences with other fans just happen to be from San Francisco. It’s a product of where I live and the team I root for.

Of course these types of women still pretend they are fans. The Giants are winning (or insert team that has a winning year/streak) and so it’s still the “in” thing to say.

Listening to this “Sports Brat” on television was very sad and extremely insulting. I use MLB Network as a main source of information. It’s part of the way I keep myself up to date on trades, transactions, injuries, signings, everything. I pride myself on knowing, basically, who is on all 30 teams (just don’t quiz me on bullpens, unless it’s Oakland’s!).

I did not need a guest on MLB Network making me feel like I shouldn’t even be watching it (bad move MLB Network! Bad network! lol).

Catering to or treating the women who watch the network as these “groupies,” “cleat chasers” and/or “bandwagon” fans and promoting the “lifestyle” of not caring about the games, is unfair and demeaning to those of us who are there for the baseball knowledge not what to bring to a tailgate. Especially since I can definitively say that 99 percent of the people who watch MLB Network have gone to a tailgate or more likely hundreds of them and actually know how to “tailgate.”

I’m not saying that all people have to like sports to the extreme that I do. It would be a crazy world if everyone was obsessed with the same thing. I am saying that MLB network doesn’t need to dumb down it’s content to appeal to its female viewers.

For one thing we often know just as much as their male viewers and two, we are not airheads that only think about stereotypically girly things. 

I know, you’re probably like what is she thinking because she, after all, is the “Socks Girl.” Well, when I first started this blog in May of 2013 (I began wearing my signature socks in 2012), I wrote a post on my history with both socks and baseball and how the two obsessions intersected. After I finish this post I am going to update that information but the main story will be the same. 

Here’s the thing, my socks are not about “game day fashion” they are about supporting my team in a fun and unique way. In fact half the time they don’t even match or the layered look I choose is weird but I don’t care because it is the baseball spirit that counts.

I don’t think that these “cleat chaser” types care about baseball spirit. They care about being “babes” and while on the one hand some people argue that the term is sexist (and it kind of is) these “babes” like to think it means they’re “hot” or “special.”

I’d love baseball and have the same interest in it if there was no such thing as sports themed socks.

Sites like TheSportsBrat.com that promote the “cleat chaser” mentality and image, and not the intelligent, knowledgeable, passionate and dedicated fans and writers that so many of us are, should not be promoted on a news network. Maybe try advertising them on TMZ?

It was just really disappointing to hear such a condescending opinion of women aired on MLB Network.

Some people may like that sort of thing and that’s their deal but one thing I absolutely know is that I’M NO “Cleat Chaser,” “Groupie” or “Bandwagon” fan.

I respect the game, my team and myself too much to allow MLB Network to treat me like I am an airhead or a bimbo. We are not all trying to land a rich husband, we just want to watch the game, talk about the game and for many of us write about the game.

Shame on you MLB Network. Honestly, would a woman who is interested in a website like TheSportsBrat.com even be watching MLB Network at 8:00 am? I didn’t think so. Maybe they should think about reality when they book their guests. Just saying.

  • MLB Network bringing on guests with a condescending attitude toward their female fans is very serious and shameful. Articles about this topic would normally make me upset, but this one made me laugh pretty hard. I think you encapsulated everything that I as an A’s fan AND a bachelor HATE about Giants bandwagon bimbos.

    Thanks for writing it, it put me in a good mood and made my night! 🙂

    • Jen Rainwater

      Anytime! LOL! 🙂

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