A new study claims that wives who watch sports on TV generally only do so as a way to bond with their husbands, but we aren't sure the numbers on the scoreboard back that up. The research, published in the journal Communication, Culture and Critique, found that the women surveyed had little interest in watching or following sports for their own sake, and when they did, it was usually "short, condensed" sports like gymnastics and other Olympic-style events. Also, while men generally set aside time each week to watch their favorite team, women said they were generally too busy running their households to pay attention. That's good news for NBC's upcoming primetime Olympics bonanza, but doesn't bode well for the proverbial "football widows" quietly suffering all across America.
Of course, as any real sports fan with a love of statistics could tell you, this particular study is hampered by the dreaded "tiny sample size." According to The Los Angeles Times, the researchers only interviewed 19 women — 17 of them white, 15 of them with kids, and all of them straight. The study appears to confirm some of the most obvious stereotypes about husbands and wives, but hardly feels like it used a representative sample of America's female sports watchers. We personally know plenty of ladies who enjoy watching sports on their own time, play fantasy football, buy the jerseys, and are just as passionate about their favorite teams as guys are. Even more so, in some cases. In fact, we even know a few women who would probably prefer to watch sports without their husbands or boyfriend, because who needs that distraction when you're trying to watch the big game?
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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