It’s a free month and, since our social media is consumed with the World Cup, we’re thinking a lot about sports. It’s been a while since we’ve written a sports romance over here, but it’s never far from our minds. We’re both big fans of heroes and heroines who are committed to something, and that makes athletes really appealling. The incredible fitness and stamina don’t hurt either—it’s always nice to think of well-honed physiques doing delightful things together.
Dianne: I live in a college town, home to a university that participates in almost every sport you can think of, at a high level. Before I came here to go to school, I wouldn’t have called myself a sports fan at all, but there’s something about your university football team becoming the national champions in your freshman year of college that makes a sports fan out of you…or out of me, at least!
I now have season tickets to my alma mater’s football games, as well as the hockey, softball, women’s basketball, and women’s soccer games. And I live about an hour away from a Triple-A baseball team, so I picked up Friday night season tickets to see them play, too. And in the fall, my weekends are filled with football — if it’s not college game day Saturday, it’s Red Zone channel “all football all the time” Sunday. And Monday. And Thursday.
So not only do I end up learning a lot about a variety of sports throughout the year, but I also learn a lot about a variety of athletes. Some minor league baseball players, for example, are “lifers” — they might play a game here or there in The Show, but they’ll always end up back with their Triple-A team. Sometimes they get traded (not by their Tripe-A team but by its MLB affiliate)…and sometimes they get traded back later.
Anah: I grew up in a town that didn’t have a lot to offer in the way of football but we did have a Triple-A baseball team and training camp for a major league team near by. We had a great horse racing and horse breeding community in the area, which meant not only gorgeous horses but wiry little jockeys packed with attitude and muscle and broad-shouldered trainers who could just about pick up a horse on their own.
The best sporting things in my life as a young ‘un were the big three of my social circle, though: rugby, rowing, and sailing. I was raised around racing boats from slender little Lasers to ocean-going catamarans. It was all about strong backs and dark tans, men and women who took big chances with big money boats—and all the betting in the clubhouse besides. And the rugby and the rowing practically went hand in hand over in the refined air by the big homes and private schools.
What can I say about rugby except that no one has thighs like a rugby player? Some of my fondest memories are of short-shorts and ripped shirts and bloodied noses. If you didn’t go home bruised, you must not have played. And rowing, a sport that’s loved by athletes even into their devastatingly handsome silver years. One of the first sports where I watched women’s teams before men’s. Misty mornings on the river, the call of the coxswain, there’s nothing quite like it.
We’ll never get tired of writing about sports and the people who play them. There are so many characters in sports. And so many stories to tell… have you been inspired by The World Cup? What about Wimbledon? We’ve seen some fascinating people in interviews so far.