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adventures of a half-chinese yalie in hollywood

Take Me Out to the … What Game? (Pt. 2 of 2)

Take Me Out to the … What Game? (Pt. 2 of 2)

It’s been a while since our baseball-playing, scrotum-draining, “Taps”-bugling childhoods, but a truism endures: I am the least sports-savvy of my sisters. Yee and Quin went to Southern schools, and were in sororities (ΠΒΦ!). These facts, along with their general temperament, mean they learned to competently hold forth on popular athletics as a social necessity. (Yee was on the homecoming court with Chris Paul, and Quin has some tenuous connection to fellow Vanderbilt alum Jay Cutler. In contrast, I went to 2 games my entire Yale career, and once mistakenly cheered for the wrong team’s winning play.)

Here I was ages ago, preparing for one of the 2 football games I went to. In case you can't tell, I'm the one who's going to a Yale game and not wearing any Yale gear.
Here I was ages ago, preparing for one of the 2 football games I went to. In case you can’t tell, I’m the one who’s going to a Yale game and not wearing any Yale gear.
No photos from the actual matchup, but here's a photo of the band accusing our rivals of not having an alibi.
No photos from the actual matchup, but here’s a photo of the band accusing our rivals of not having an alibi.

Contrariwise, I don’t share their conversational ease. When I try to follow a discussion about ball-requiring athletics, I sound like Cher Horowitz as she watched combat coverage on CNN with Josh, finally digging deep to make the clueless (ha) comment: “But I thought they declared peace in the Middle East.” (Yes, I’m going to quote “Clueless” every time.)

"OMG. What do I say?"
“OMG. What do I say?”

My mom covered this phenomenon in one of her tome-like Christmas roundup letters one year:

V ended up at Yale in a suite with four blonde Amazonian athletic women. V, in addition to being neither Amazonian nor blonde, is so athletically oblivious that she said of her varsity squash-playing suitemate: ‘She enjoys it, but she’s afraid she’s the worst one on the field.’

To continue telling tales out of school, literally, here’s my mom’s account of my ill-advised stint as Sports editor of the school newspaper (story for another blog):

Putting aside the ‘squash field’ solecism of freshman year, this was the kid who explained her team loyalty at The Game thusly: ‘My way of watching was not to look at the field, but at the scoreboard, and will the clock to go faster while we were still ahead.’ The apogee of her Sports editor tenure was when she let pass a field hockey picture captioned, ‘Two seniors execute a fill in play’ because she figured ‘fill in’ was the name of the play, not an instruction to her from the layout staff.

Chuckle Barkle and I met my sister Quin for dinner one night. I played it cool, congratulating him for his many grand slams on the gridiron.
Chuckle Barkle and I met my sister Quin for dinner one night. I played it cool, congratulating him for his many grand slams on the gridiron.

At this point in the game (ha), I have two choices. One: I could bring myself up to speed on a steady diet of SportsCenter, assiduously absorbing all the players, rules and references that less athletically oblivious people use. Two: I could dig in my heels, and keep making purposeful malapropisms.

He taught me everything I know about sports. Unfortunately, he is cardboard.
He taught me everything I know about sports. Unfortunately, he is cardboard.

Neither choice feels natural. The former, especially, feels uncomfortable because it reminds me of when the contestants went to Australia on “America’s Next Top Model” and had to make a Cover Girl commercial using authentic Aussie slang. I still get a kick out of the way the hilariously endearing Russian mail-order bride contestant, Natasha, gamely proclaimed, “He thinks I’m the most beautiful Sheila he’s seen in the bush!” in a voice that was an unholy cross of the Foster’s Beer voiceover and Yakov Smirnoff.

In Australia, runway works you.
In Australia, runway works you.
Production still from when the ANTM girls terrorized the poor Aborginal people.
Production still from when the ANTM girls terrorized the poor Aborginal people.
This was Natasha, a.k.a. Nata. Her acting was just as evocative in motion as it is on this sheet. Move over, Jennifer Lawrence.
This was Natasha, a.k.a. Nata. Her acting was just as evocative in motion as it is on this sheet. Move over, Jennifer Lawrence.

I’m pretty sure that’s what I’d sound like if I started throwing around phrases like “call an audible” and “batted cleanup.”

photo-7

Do I look like a fraud? Do I look like I'm a real, organic part of the action?
Do I look like a fraud? Do I look like I’m a real, organic part of the action?
How about now??
How about now??
Nearly pulled a muscle researching what "the football game" meant. Texted my boyfriend my jr. Erin Andrews analysis, to absolutely no reaction.
Nearly pulled a muscle researching what “the football game” meant. Texted my boyfriend my jr. Erin Andrews analysis, to absolutely no reaction.

From now on, I’m sticking to reality TV references.



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