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Ten Things Chasing the Jersey and Sleeping with Professional Athletes Has Taught Me as a Woman

By / 11.18.10


1. ‘I just started seeing someone’ is athlete code for ‘If you Google me, I might be engaged.’

I have a lot of buddies who play soccer, many of which represented the United States in a huge way over the summer in South Africa. Some of my biggest bender nights have been spent in soccer towns like Chicago and Philly waiting for the boys to meet up at a bar. But one of the best nights I’ve ever had was in a makeshift training room at four in the morning in a hotel, drinking warm Coronas with some of the boys, including one I had a little bit of a previous thing with. Rumor had it my soccer hottie had recently found himself in a relationship, but there was no solid confirmation. So when we started making out prior to me leaving, I assumed that he was maybe still single and on the market.

“I have a condom,” I said. Obviously I come prepared to all occasions. I could see the internal struggle he was going through. It was painful. It was as if he was trying to choose between saving his mother’s life and his father’s. And I knew it was coming. The admission. And I wondered why in God’s name it was coming while half of my clothes were off.

“I just started seeing someone, and I’m trying to be good,” he blurted out, wiping his face.

“It’s no problem,” I shrugged. Eh, I kind of knew it. I just expected to be informed prior to us, you know, making out and chatting about condoms. No big deal.

It only took some limited Google searching to find out that “just started seeing someone” meant “I took her to an award show two months ago, and we’ve been dating for nearly seven months.” I mean, credit where due, I feel like this is as close to faithful as a lot of athlete girlfriends can hope for.

2. Do not let a pitcher touch you down below after he pitched a rough game.

I love the Yankees. The relationship I have with the New York Yankees rivals many of the relationships I have with immediate members of my family. So when I started dating a pitcher who was in the Yankees’ minor league system, I automatically thought all my dreams were going to be fulfilled.

Fast-forward to me spending the majority of my college summer breaks in random-ass cities like Charleston, South Carolina, and Tampa, Florida. My boyfriend lived in a two-bedroom apartment with no cable and five guys camped out in his living room. After struggling to pull the keys from guys who were twice my weight and 10 inches taller than me following heavy nights of drinking, baseball became a lifestyle, not a love.

Those who have ever pitched on any level (or dated a pitcher for that matter) know two things — it’s way harder than it looks, and it really takes a toll on the throwing shoulder and arm. My boyfriend had already had surgery on his arm, so his post-game icings and wrappings were a necessity. As were his post game massages with the topical analgesic Atomic Balm. Think Vics Vapor Rub but 50 times more powerful.

My boyfriend and I fought a lot, which (among other things) took a serious toll on our sex life. So on the random occasions we were both in the mood, we took advantage. The second we walked into the apartment, the icepack came off, along with our clothes, and we began fooling around. He even tried to be a little romantic and warm me up before we got going. And good f*cking God, did he warm me up.

“Stop, stop, stop.” I was kissing him, but pushed myself up on my elbows.

“What’s wrong?” He looked troubled at the fact that I was already calling it quits.

“It hurts,” I said, looking down at myself. “It hurts. It’s burning.”

“What do you mean it’s burning?” he asked, looking at my thighs.

“It’s burning, oh my God.” I got up off the bed and struggled to the bathroom.

“What’s wrong?” he asked.

“What’s on your hands?” I screamed, running the water in the shower.

“Nothing, there’s nothing—” but he cut off. At this point I thought my nether regions were being seared with invisible cigarettes. He was leaning in the bathroom, looking at me confused from the doorway, when his face went blank.

“What is it?” I begged.

“Um, it’s Atomic Balm,” he said quietly.

“What the f*ck is Atomic Balm?” I screamed.

“It’s like this rub stuff for my shoulder, it’s a heating thing for my muscles.”

“WHY IS IT ON YOUR HANDS?”

“I put some on my shoulder in the car before I left the field!” he shouted defensively.

“And you didn’t think to wash your hands?” I asked.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t think it would bother you,” he said.

“Okay cool.” I was so mad at that point, I honestly wanted to grab my razor from the shower and slice off his balls. “Next time I iron my hair, I’ll forget to turn off the flatiron and leave it on the bed under your balls. I don’t think it will bother you.”

I hooked up with three other baseball players after him. And I made sure all of them had thoroughly washed their hands first.

3. Teammates share everything.

Like I said, I managed the men’s lacrosse team when I was in college, and I can’t lie, it was one of the best parts of my four years there. Sure, the rumors and descriptions of lacrosse players are entirely true — teams are mostly made up of cocky hotties with good hair, who more often than not have a lot of money and zero accountability. But they were also the big brothers I never had. Brothers with whom I happened to have incestuous relationships.

Jersey Chaser Pull QuoteSurprisingly, I only slept with three guys on a team of about 40. And the third guy came years after college, so he didn’t even really count. But I did get drunk and roll around nekked with a lot of them. And none of them seemed to care about the others.

“Hey, are you with Ryan?” one guy I had hooked up with two weeks earlier texted me as I struggled to pull my shirt on in the dorm room of one of the freshman middies.
 
 “Um, yeah,” I texted back. “Why?”

“When you’re done boning, tell him I need my 157 textbook”

“Uh, okay?”

“Is he as big as me?”

“Not talking about it,” I said.

“I’ll find out at practice tomorrow anyway. Don’t forget about the text book.”

Sharing is cool, and sometimes good for the environment, but do me a favor and don’t take a page from Tony Parker’s playbook — sharing your former teammate’s wife, or girlfriend, is not cool.

4. All athletes wear boxer briefs.

This might be one of the most tragic things I found out through the last six years. TRAGIC. Only one guy in the numerous I’ve dated, banged, or fooled around with has worn actual boxer shorts. All the rest wear the stereotypical boxer briefs, and they are terrible. I’m an underwear connoisseur, and I can remember so many times when a hot soccer player or a good-looking hockey dude took off his pants and met my face of “aw f*ck, are you serious?” I get it — boxer briefs hold your junk in place and are similar to spandex and jocks and all that shit. But don’t you guys care at all?

The thought process that goes into my underwear selection before I see any athlete is the equivalent to the thought I put into where I was going to go to college. It can make or break a situation. Sure, it’d be super easy to rock my Victoria’s Secret cotton granny panties with the rainbow giraffe print. But you know what’s better? Looking like a goddamn model when you take my clothes off. Looking like something remotely close to anything you’d like to think about when you jerk off. My goal is not to be comfortable nor is it to look like I haven’t even made it to second base yet. So athletes, do me, and the rest of the girls you hook up with, a solid and wear boxers that aren’t simultaneously tight and loose. They make your legs look thin and creepy. Wear boxers I can put on after we bang. Because you know what? As great as those black-lace Cheeky thongs looked when I was straddling you, they are now damp and uncomfortable and I’d much rather throw on your comfy, argyle-print boxers, roll them four times and look kind of adorable with my messy sex head and your oversized boxers.

And if you’re going to go the route of the boxer briefs, at least do it as well as a soccer guy I once hooked up with did them — short cut, bordering on “dancers in gay clubs wear it this short,” with old-school Batman and Robin cartoons complete with “POW!” and “BAM!” on them. If you’re going to wear unappealing boxers that I can’t steal, at least make them funny, for f*ck’s sake.{pagebreak}
5. If an athlete you’re dating is on a diet, you have to suffer, too.

When I was in high school, my guidance counselor called my mom and told her he thought I had an eating disorder. My mom responded, “Have you ever seen my daughter eat?” Then she hung up the phone. The point here is I have weighed 105 lbs. since I was 14. I have a metabolism that may or may not be the hand of God. And to be honest, it’s a fair trade — I spend the same amount of money on super-padded bras that make me look like a full B cup as people who weigh 200 lbs. spend on Jenny Craig.

I’ve dated two athletes who had issues with weight. One, I’ll give him credit. He was a big kid, and let a really terrible situation aid him in packing on the pounds. When his coach told him he had the “opposite of anorexia,” he called me close to tears. Two months later, when he needed season-ending knee surgery, the threat of gaining an additional 20 pounds on top of his 6’1”, 252 lb. frame had him reaching for alternative solutions to losing weight while he couldn’t get on the field or in the gym. Nutrisystem was the answer.

“I’ll watch my portions, too,” I assured him as we packed the cupboards of our shared Upper West Side apartment with freeze-dried foods and finger-sized chocolate bars.

I don’t know if you’ve ever tried Nutrisystem, but it’s God-awful. And while I put a valiant effort forward, I just couldn’t do it. And one night after the bar, it became evident that I was not meant for diets.

“Why do you have to eat all the good ones?” he said as he watched me microwaving my third lasagna.

“I’m f*cking starving and I left you the chili,” I said defensively.

“Those are the only things I can eat and you feel the need to eat four in front of me.”

“I’m f*cking starving,” I said. “I’ll buy you new ones, Jesus.”

“It’s not the point,” he said.

“O.K., then you know what? You have your Nutrisystems,” I said, stopping the microwave. “I’m calling Familigia and ordering a calzone and garlic knots. Fuck you.”

He broke up with me a few months later, and I swear part of me believes it had to do with the fact that I could eat an elephant and he’d gain the weight.

My Yankee minor leaguer was also a stickler for food, but in a different way. He didn’t quite get the whole metabolism thing either, so one night — after almost killing each other with plastic kitchenwear over my desire to eat at Wendy’s — he suggested that my body had changed a lot since we started dating. Three months later, I copped to a mild bought of anorexia, which culminated in me sitting in my college roommate’s room eating — count them — 12 bags of Mini-Snickers. I later told my baseball player that he could kiss my 105-lb. ass, and that I was going to eat whatever I liked.

Athlete Bros, seriously, I value your bodies, I do. Especially soccer players, my God you’re beautiful. But let’s be real, girls that eat lettuce for lunch are gross, and, more often than not, cranky b*tches. I know I’m cranky when I don’t eat for like an hour. I get the diet fad, and the need to keep your body in check and occasionally count the calories. But do us a favor: instead of telling us what to eat or how to work a machine at the gym without breaking an arm (I once sprained my ankle on a thigh machine, true story), why not just tell us how hot we look and kill 500 calories in bed? As sick as it is, the laxer with the reversal of anorexia and I used to bang and then weigh ourselves (totally not normal but kind of funny). I’d start out at maybe 108 and finish at 105. So I mean, what’s more fun: Eating cardboard and watching other dudes grunt on the weights, or sweating it out nekked with a chick? Take your pick, but just be warned, if you choose the latter, you might have your balls revoked by the man club.

6. I am the only legitimate jersey chaser who has never had cosmetic surgery (and succeeded in banging a hot athlete).

Jersey Chaser Pull QuoteThis one I’m proud of, because, honestly, it’s a big deal. Having dated a few of the athletes I’ve banged, I’ve been around the other girls who, like myself when I’m single, play around just for fun. And I swear to God, it makes me wonder how I’ve managed to pull some of the guys I’ve pulled. Sure, I’m a good-looking girl, tiny body, nice smile, and I’m kind of flexible. But look at the Rachel Uchitels and the hookers that dudes like Tiger Woods and Wayne Rooney and Ashley Cole pull. They are real-life inflatable dolls. Boob implants, nose jobs, tummy tucks, fake nails, fake hair color, extensions, lip injections. There’s enough silicone in those women to raise the Titanic.

And then there’s me, who had a mild panic attack when I had to have two porcelain veneers put on my teeth after I chipped them in high school. I have, on a good day, a 32-B cup. I have never even contemplated dying my hair, and I bite my nails. My nostrils flare out when I get angry or upset, and the day I find a random ten grand lying around, it’ll be invested in a nice trip to Australia, not in a pair of tragically disproportioned-looking fun bags that have to be replaced in 15 years anyway. There’s something to be said about a woman who spends the majority of her time around athletes and feels no need to change anything about herself.

You can call me a sl*t, or a jersey chaser; once, a literary agent even told me his wife would be “horrified” if he ever represented any books I might write. But you can’t call me fake. I’ve learned how to make my b**bs look big in cell phone pictures. I’ve learned how to pose my face so my nose doesn’t look uneven. I know the value of my own body, and for that, I gotta thank the athletes, because they are the guys that tend to point this stuff out to me. I guess after feeling one 425CC breast, an actual, soft, warm thing that wouldn’t suffocate you if you fell asleep under it or bruise you if it hit you, is a nice change of pace. I may chase a lot of jersey, but I always plan on doing it with my own b**bs, nose, hair, and tummy.

7.  If you don’t know what they’re saying when they’re banging you, they’re probably Canadian and they probably play hockey.

I’ve never slept with a guy who didn’t speak English as a first language. Language barriers annoy me and are super-unattractive to me. So when I started hanging out with a defenseman for the New York Islanders at the time, I had no expectations that there would ever be any sort of language barrier. I had hung out with Canadians before; I knew what the accents were like. But Vancouver or Toronto has nothing on other parts of Canada.

The names all start with Mac, everyone has red hair, and when they drink, you’d swear you were chillin’ in Edinburgh with James McAvoy and Craig Ferguson. And since Islander and I rarely ever hung out where booze wasn’t our third wheel, I struggled completely to have a solid conversation with him.

But then came the sex. I’m all for a little chatting during sex. Speak your mind, tell me what you feel, compliment me, I’m all for it. But for the love of Christ if you’re speaking Celtic, I just don’t get it. I can’t count the amount of times he was trying to say something sexy, and all I could think was, “He sounds like the guy from ‘Braveheart’.” There were times during sex where I’d wonder if he had fallen asleep and was just mumbling incoherent words. Nope, that’s Canadian Scottish for you. He could have been banging me and saying, “I like to pet the white bunneys and read about the unicorns that live in the magical forest of Delnon” for all I know. But I’d moan and mumble something back and look at the ceiling and wonder, “How the f*ck did I end up with the only non-English speaking non-French Canadian?” P.S., I spent my last Christmas Eve with this guy. Talk about a high point in life.{pagebreak}
8. The invention of picture text messages was equivalent to getting drafted in terms of importance to most athletes.

For most of the relationships I’ve had with athletes — be they an actual boyfriend or a dude I liked to bang when he’s local with his team — 99% were long distance. Dudes in the Mid-Atlantic when I was in New York, New England when I was in the Mid-Atlantic, Canada when I was in New York, England and France when I was in New York. Rarely was I ever living in the same city, or even within a 200-mile radius, when I was dating and/or banging these guys. So to keep interests and spirits alive, I had to learn to basically create a Playboy Magazine spread with a 2-megapixel-camera phone, assorted household items, and a mirror. And good God, I could have won the Pulitzer for photographic journalism I was that good.

Most were headless. Not all. In fact, if I ever ran for Miss USA I’d be disqualified faster than Carrie Prejean praise Jesus after her pictures were exposed. But unlike Ms. Prejean, I’d never say I regretted those pictures. Hell, they ended up being some serious morale boosters. Conference championship “you can do it” picture of me in my cutest boyshorts? The World Cup “if you score a goal, you can score with me” picture where the shadows under my b**bs are just right to make my b**bs look like a solid 34-B? Winter league for the Yankees “I’m sorry you are in a third-world country right now” picture of the sexier half of my Halloween costume? “Congrats you just signed a $2 million NHL contract” picture in classy, traditional black panties? You name it, I could have had a Hallmark collection of cards for the pictures I managed to bust out on my BlackBerry. Annie Leibovitz has NOTHING on me.

Photogenic athlete Bros — you want pics? Give us a little back, and take advice from Grady Sizemore. Sizemore rocked some really outstanding nekked bathroom pics to his one-time girlfriend, and sure, they got posted, but trust me, it’s not the norm. Just don’t be a dick and cheat on us, and your Folgers Cup pen*s won’t end up on blogs. Go Cleveland!

9. 'I don’t have a girlfriend' does not mean 'I don’t have a wife.'

Athletes cheat. A lot. It’s common knowledge that’s almost, to a point, boring. But I have to give credit to one athlete (who has a solid reputation as a “good guy” in his sport), who went home with a good friend of mine. She had heard throughout the night that he had a girlfriend, and she confronted him in his hotel room.

“Do you have a girlfriend?” she asked.

“Where’d you hear that?” he said incredulously.

“A little birdie. I have my sources.”

“Well, your little birdie is dead wrong. I don’t have a girlfriend, I swear,” he said, reassuringly.

Nope. No girlfriend. But a proper Google search two days later revealed a wife and child. Does omitting the facts count as lying? Apparently not if you’re an athlete with a good reputation.

10. ‘You’re not a groupie’ is the closest an athlete will ever get to saying, ‘I care about you’ or ‘I love you.’

Like I said, I have my fair share of soccer buddies, and one former EPL player in particular stands in my mind as “the one that got away.” Or, more appropriately “the one who picked another chick over me despite the fact that I was pretty f*cking awesome.” I digress. Anyway, I had been very, very casually hooking up with said soccer player during the rare times we were in the same country. I adored him. Beyond the fact that he was absolutely gorgeous looks-wise, with a body that seriously looked chiseled out of marble, he was just a cool guy. Not like the typical American athletes, but rather someone with a modest, laid-back attitude that made it so easy to be around him. So one night in London, as he, two of his teammates, and two of my best friends sat around a very casual bar chugging beers and discussing my friend’s recent boob job, I looked to my soccer hottie, who’s arm was around me and smiled.

Jersey Chaser Pull Quote“What’s so funny?” he asked.

“Just funny that we’re the groupies,” I said. “But it’s okay. I accept it. I’m a groupie.”

You’d have sworn I told him I was pregnant with his child and was going to go to the press (nope, it’s not Landon Donovan, don’t you worry). He looked honestly hurt and a little offended. He pulled his arm away from me.

“You’re not a groupie,” he whispered to me as my friend continued her story to the rest of the group. “You know you’re more than that. Don’t ever say that about yourself. Seriously. That’s not why you’re here and you know that.”

When I returned to the States a few days later, I took it upon myself to ask his teammate, who I trusted very much, if it would be prudent to finally admit that my fling with said soccer hottie had turned into a bit more on my end, and that I might genuinely have feelings for him. “Your soccer hottie is good at dealing with the truth. I’d tell him. I think he has a right to know and I think letting it stay bottled up is good for no one.”

I constructed a very thought-out e-mail expressing the fact that in the couple months we had been hanging and banging, my admiration for him had traveled from the bed to the actual heart. I told him I knew it probably wouldn’t work out, but that I wanted him to know I thought he was a cool guy and that he meant more to me than a good lay. He never responded. And I took that as an “I’m seeing someone in Europe” kind of answer. Lo and behold, I was right.

But he and I still maintain a good friendly relationship, albeit a lot of it is handled via BBM, and yes, a lot of it is maintained via my very skilled photography skills I mentioned above. But I do like to think, despite the fact that he and I will probably never date, that the one moment where he told me I was more to him that just a groupie was equivalent to him saying he really cared about me. Because these guys don’t need to say “I love you” to get a girl to bang them. They aren’t your typical nerdy bankers from Barclays that honestly have to work for a girl they like to stop staring at their thinning hair while they are having sex (Barclays dude totally knows who he is, by the way). Girls bang these guys for way less than a compliment, and I’ve been there.

So for my soccer hottie to throw around words that in another order might mean “I care about you” meant a lot, and to be honest, is one of those moments that keeps me in the game. There’s something weirdly and sl*ttily special about being some kind of fixture — even if it’s the casual hookup that’s more than a groupie — in these guys’ lives. Because I’m not Rachel Uchitel or the adult entertainment stars looking for their money pit. If I were, I’d have dropped names two pages ago and collected my paycheck. But in a weird way, these guys are my friends and a huge part of my life. Those rare moments of feelings that have to do with something other than sex are extremely special to me, and remind me that there’s a little bit of good behind every athlete’s pen*s — and their awful boxer briefs.

Go to Chasing the Jersey to read more from Sporty McBangin'…


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