[Since I don’t take content from other sites, you’ll need to go visit Yahoo! Sports to see the article and photo I am discussing below. Be sure you see the headline.]

This is a GREAT photo. I LOVE this photo. I love that they instead of the cliche spring training photo of some young boy in a Yankees jersey staring wide-eyed at Derek F. Jeter, it’s a girl in shock that she’s getting an autograph from Evan Longoria.

I LOVE the photo. I love that this girl is at Spring Training all decked out in her team’s regalia. (No, You don’t get to make fun of a 14 year old girl for being a Rays fan, if she lives down there, that’s what she’s got.) I agree that it is adorable.

I love everything about this article except for the headline:

“Looks like someone has a crush on Evan Longoria”

Really? Would you have said that if it had been a boy looking at the star of his team with any adoration? Why does she have to have a crush on him? Why can’t she just be thrilled to meet one of her team’s star players? Why does her fandom have to be diminished and demeaned by calling it ‘a crush’?

What about this boy or these kids? Their faces have the same quality of awe and wonder that our young female Rays fan does.

I know that the guys who wrote this meant to be positive, but thousands of guys are going to read that and it’s going to reinforce the “chicks only like sports so they can look at guys’ butts” stereotype. Thousands of girls are going to read that and grit their teeth and wonder when they can show up at the ballpark and be taken seriously. I saw the photo and went “awww” and then saw the headline and my heart literally sank.

I don’t want to pick on Yahoo! Sports because I find them to be clever and intelligent and thoughtful and don’t go for the easy win that would get them tons of comments (and their corresponding pageviews). And in the interests of full disclosure, they have linked to me several times, for which I am always grateful. I believe they meant well with this story, but I feel that they perhaps didn’t think this one all the way through. The headline trivializes the experience and dismisses the girl’s fandom. It’s disrespectful to all of us.

And now 50 guys will come over here and tell me that I am wrong. Yay!

[hat tip to Texy from Center Field for the other image links.]

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