HOW TO DEAL WITH A SPORTS RIVALRY IN A FRIENDSHIP

With every new sports season comes a friendship challenge for many of us sporty vinas. Even for those who are not necessarily fans of football or baseball, sports at any time can breathe life into some of us. There’s simply something magical about being able to root for a team, to watch them play, and share your love with other fans.

But what happens when you can’t share your love of your team with your friends? In fact, what if your closest friend roots for your team’s arch nemesis?

First of all, relax. It’s not the end of the world! Part of celebrating our differences is recognizing that our vinas are all humans with their own unique interests, and that includes sports teams.

We may take our sports seriously, but if we have friends that cheer for our most disliked teams, we should be good sports ourselves. Here are a few things to remember when dealing with sports rivalries in a friendship:

Key word is friendly in the term “friendly competition.”

The teams on the field can sometimes be not-so-friendly when playing each other, but that doesn’t have to be the case with your friends. You can be friendly and competitive. Make friendly bets on which of your teams will win more games or win the playoffs. Start a fantasy league together. Go to a game where both of your teams are playing, and have the fan of the losing team buy the winning team’s fan a beer. At the end of the day, you’re still vinas despite the colors you wear.

Don’t take it personally.

Still, sports is competition and in competition, you need to have a thick skin. Trash talk comes naturally in a sports rivalry. It’s OK to rib on your friend’s team and it’s OK for them to rib on yours. Especially in the heat of the moment, some of us may say very negative things about the team, players, or even an entire fanbase. Remember that general negative comments have nothing to do with you. If you feel otherwise, ask your friend to clarify and try to calmly talk it out. When things do get blatantly personal, that can be a problem.

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Try to find common ground.

If you’re both fans of the game and not just individual teams, it should be fairly easy to meet somewhere in the middle. Talk about players you like on the other team. Talk about other teams you both like. You can even talk about teams you both don’t like. You may disagree with your friend on their favorite team, but you may find that you actually share other sports-related opinions in common.

Respect the rivalry.

Sports rivalries are storied and to be respected — after all, it’s just one reason why sports can be so fun! If your rival team wins the playoffs, congratulate your vina because those moments are special for every sports fan. Even if it’s just a regular season win against your team, be a good sport. Share memories, facts, and insights of your team and the rivalry and learn from one another. Put yourself in your friend’s shoes and try to see the game their way, even if just for a minute.

Sports rivalries can be heated, but as long as there’s respect and understanding on both sides, they can make your friendship fiery in a good way. Keep representing your team and have fun!

Looking for a vina to talk sports with? They’re waiting for you here!

IS GOLFING JUST FOR OLD WHITE DUDES? WE INVESTIGATE

For 90% of people I know, the only things that come to mind when they hear the word golf are Tiger Woods or Caddyshack. And that’s fair— it’s not exactly the choice pastime of the millennial set, though that may change come 2050.

Being born into a family of golfers or having buddies who like to take a six-pack to the driving range every once in a while are generally the most common prerequisites for getting into it golf. I fall into neither of those categories. I simply registered for golf through my local rec center, having no idea how I’d feel about it. The reason? My Saturday morning tennis lessons were canceled and I needed motivation to get out of bed and start my weekends on an active note. Plus, I do love my short skirt sports.

I remember once watching an episode of Malcolm in the Middle in which it was said that the only thing worse than no TV is golf on TV. It’s kind of true. But now that I’ve taken a few weeks of golf lessons I can say that playing it is actually way more fun than watching it.

For starters, there aren’t many people I know who don’t think golf carts are fun AF. Throw in the fact that a little wine spritzer on the course isn’t exactly frowned upon and you could be looking at a few glorious weekend hours spending quality time with friends. Consider the fact that 15 of the last 18 presidents have been golfers and Richard Nixon didn’t even start to golf until the age of 39. If you take your first golf lesson now, you’ll be setting yourself up for a lifetime of bragging rights at your future retirement community.

Another thing worth addressing is the cost of equipment and playing. Once I registered for my second set of lessons and decided it was something I wanted to commit to, I found that buying used golf equipment is surprisingly easy and affordable. My instructor told me what I needed to know to buy a good set of clubs, and I was able to snag some for $50 on Craigslist. Poshmark has since helped me land a $15 pair of lightly used Adidas golf shoes and a Stella McCartney skirt. That’s less than the cost of a spa treatment! So here’s my rule of thumb: stick to Craigslist for the clubs and Poshmark for the fashion. There’s an unbelievable range of cute clothes on there for the course from Lacoste, lululemon, Adidas and Nike.

My instructor lets me play on the driving range with free golf ball rentals anytime I want to during the week, as long as I’m enrolled in class, which is the perfect 40-minute break in the middle of a work week. As for the lessons themselves, they pretty much went like this: two weeks practicing putting and chipping and then open season on the driving range. The driving range works wonders if you’re stressed about something— just give it a try!

Stepping on the course for the first time was a lot of fun, and I’ve become pretty intrigued by the number of golf courses both around me and spread throughout the world— from Cabo to Maui and beyond!

Now all I have to do is get some girlfriends on board so I don’t have to rely on lessons to make sure I hit the course on a weekly basis. But that’s what vinas are for, right?

Are you into golfing? Download Hey! VINA to meet up with fellow golfers who you’d like to hit the course with!

(Featured image via @fit_with_wit)