I am a girl and I enjoy watching sports.

If you are reading this because you clicked on the title, chances are, you do too. Now, we might be across the board in our choice of sport, but there’s some struggles we can all agree on. My personal poison is the sport of soccer (in some worlds, football), and after seven years of being in love with it, I know now that not all of it is smooth dribbling.

For every year of loving this sport, I present you a struggle to go with it:

1. Jerseys


Whoever is designing these has not ever had a lesson in female anatomy. Ill-fitting from the top, and too tight around the waist. Or the other way around. Go for something more predictable by ordering a men’s jersey and end up being forced to relive the 2000s with a hair tie pinning your shirt back at the waist. There’s no winning. Ever.

2. The assumption that you’re trying to impress dudes


You already know it, when I’m tuned into FOX Soccer Saturdays on the weekend, in my pajamas and greasy hair, I have no goal in sight but the attention of men.

3. The belief that you’re in it for the cute players


This one’s especially insulting. My hormones have apparently rendered me incapable of genuinely understanding and appreciating this sport. Which brings us to our next struggle:

4. Genuinely attractive players


Balancing #3 and #4 will always be a struggle for me. While I’m not exclusively here because I’m into athletic dudes in shorts, I am still a straight female with eyes and hormones. Cristiano Ronaldo will always be attractive, and if you’re not nodding along in agreement, you’re lying to me or yourself.

Now that we have that on the table, let’s also agree on the fact that a girl can simultaneously appreciate the pass and the ass.

5. The pop quiz


“Explain the offside rule.”

Out of absolutely nowhere, you will be asked to explain and expand on an elementary aspect of the sport as if you haven’t been an avid fan for years, and a player of said sport for even longer. Please, ask me more questions. I love being in condescending company.

6. Fanboys


The archenemy: the plastic fan that comes out of the woodwork every time a big sporting event comes around. He is here to agree with every opinion that gets thrown around without actually knowing anything, and still gets taken seriously. He will represent every stereotype that has been assumed of you, but will never have to defend himself simply because he’s a dude and, therefore, a legitimate fan by biological standards.

7. Meeting other female fans … online


Finally, someone who gets your struggle, supports your favorite teams, and gets just as emotional over the end of the season: your sports soulmate.

Only problem? They live across the world from you because you’ve met online. Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook — your sister-in-sport-potentially-turned-soulmate has entered your life, and you’re limited to have to fangirl through Wi-Fi connections and spastic live game texts.

But despite everything, you’d never change it for the world. For every one of these, you’ll run into tens of positives that make it worth it. Your sport is your world, and despite having met some of these 19th-century struggles, you’ve also had the most rewarding moments, friends, and memories brought to you because of it.


  • Khadija Mubarik is a pre-med student at Wayne State University majoring in Women’s Studies and Psychology. She balances her time between school and her passion for photography. She runs her own freelance photography business, and is a photographer for The South End, the university’s student run paper.