I work in a male-dominated industry. I silently sit through conversations about sports all the time. The same thing happens with my boyfriend, who LOVES football and is in several fantasy leagues. He never really followed baseball before, but joined a fantasy league last fall and is now into that, too. Fantastic.
It's not that I necessarily dislike sports. I enjoy watching them a lot of the time and going to games. I know the mechanics and the key terms. I just can't follow sports. I can't remember statistics or who plays for which team or what kind of crazy play saved/lost the game. And since I don't know these facts, I have nothing to contribute during these conversations. So it comes off as though I hate sports. Sure, I'm not a fan of being in coversations in which I don't have anything to offer and no way to learn anything, since I have little to no point of reference...but I don't hate sports.
But all that is about to change.
I've decided to force myself to be a sports fan. A hardcore, stuff-knowing sports fan. My first step was to choose a team. I figured I'd go with football since it just started. I asked the Foliage who the worst team in the NFL was. The answer: The Lions. I'd never even heard of them, but decided that's who I was going to support. They haven't won a single game since some time in 2007. They were 0-16 for the 2008 season. Hi, I'm the biggest Lions fan EVER. OK, maybe not ever. But a big fan, nonetheless.
Step two is to be wildly enthusiastic and to know who they're playing all the time and to say things like, "they're bringing it back!" and "they're just lulling the Giants into a false sense of security!" and to reference game events at completely inappropriate times.
Step three is to learn things about other teams and to commence taunting. I really have to be on top of things before getting into step three.
Put your game faces on.