There’s an epidemic that’s been sweeping Michigan for who knows how long now. It’s even more encompassing than the typhoid fever that inevitably sweeps through your wagon in Oregon Trail. What is this calamity? I’ll tell you: college-aged women at Michigan do not like baseball.

I know, it’s a broad sweeping statement, but in my experience it’s true, and I’m going on my fourth year here in Ann Arbor. And to me it’s a huge problem with serious consequences — none more important than the fact that baseball hats on girls are hot. And if they don’t like baseball, they most likely won’t wear hats.

I come from Minnesota, not exactly known for its beautiful, warm weather. But most of the girls I know — including my three older sisters — really like baseball. I know about three girls here (please no jokes about not knowing enough girls) that like baseball and most of them are Daily Sports writers.

With this problem lingering in the back of my mind, I headed to the streets to get the word straight from the horse’s proverbial mouth. I talked to some of my friends and some strangers and got their opinions on why they don’t like Kevin Costner’s favorite sport.

“It’s too slow moving, although the people watching is usually prime, and the tighter pants are an incentive to go as well,” my friend Jenny said. “You really hope they get a hit so you can see the players run around the bases with their booties.”

From that I assume that she doesn’t love David Wells, C.C. Sabathia, or any other rotund major leaguer.

But just like in real life, one girl straight up contradicted what Jenny had to say.

“OK, their pants freak me out,” incoming freshman Brittany said. “They’re weird, they should wear guys clothes.”

So back to the drawing board — I asked some more girls what they thought about baseball. Predictably many of them also said that it was too boring. In fact, a group of girls from Toledo all said that baseball was just too “mellow” and boring. More interestingly, and offensive, a girl who preferred to be kept anonymous said that the players’ pants make them look like a word that rhymes with bags. I was taken aback, but I persevered, moving on and leaving the way-too-open girl from Ohio.

Then it hit me — could it be that the Detroit Tigers constantly crappy play over the past 10 or so years influenced an entire generation of non-baseball fans?

“If (Tigers) were better more people would go to the games and hop on the bandwagon,” my friend Sarah said. “It’s always better when your team wins.”

But as I mentioned earlier, my older sisters all like the Minnesota Twins, and they were gross (and not in the good way) from 1993 to 2001. Even more telling is that the Texas Rangers and Chicago Cubs are often near the top in attendance, and those teams haven’t exactly been world-beaters either. Despite the Cubs deficiencies, whenever I switch to a game on WGN I always see plenty of girls having a good time in the friendly confines of Wrigley Field.

But Sarah’s main concern is not wins and losses but rather her safety at games.

“I’m scared of balls flying at my face,” she said (make up your own joke here).

So at that point I had the following reasons for not liking baseball: slow moving, boring, tight pants, crappy home teams, balls flying at face.

I decided that I would talk to one more girl and see what she had to say.

Catherine — a graduate student — was actually being taught how to throw a baseball when I walked over to talk to her. I found out that she didn’t like baseball for a different reason than all the other girls I talked to — she was never exposed to it and therefore never became attached to it.

Awesome, I talked to like 15 girls that didn’t like baseball and they give me no less than five different reasons with variations for each one not to like it.

But there’s a silver lining in all of this — maybe I was wrong. It’s possible that I just hang out with a non-baseball crew of girls. Of the 20 or so girls I talked to there were at least five that liked baseball. Hey, I like those odds better than crossing the Oregon Trail without typhoid fever or a snakebite.

 

Matt would love it if anyone would like to discuss baseball or Oregon Trail. He can be reached at mvgoni@umich.edu.

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