Ever wonder what makes groupies tick? I must admit I have, ever since three bizarre incidents I experienced in the 1980s.
Incident No. 1:
I had just emerged from a CFL clubhouse and a young lady put her arms around my neck and asked if I wished to spend the evening with her. No joke. As I stood there bewildered, she noticed I was clutching a notepad.
"You take notes?" she asked.
"Sure," I replied. "That’s what reporters do."
"You’re a reporter?" she asked. "Forget it then. I thought you were a player."
And she bolted.
Incident No. 2:
I was in a Texas bar with two Blue Jays — Willie Upshaw and Willie Aikens — when three gorgeous flight attendants joined us. One of them grabbed my hand. No joke.
I told her I was married.
"So what?" she said. "I think you’re a great pitcher."
"I don’t pitch," I said. "I’m a sports writer."
And she bolted.
Incident No. 3:
I was in the crowd when an usher delivered a written message to a lady seated not far from me. She read it and quickly told the usher: "Tell him I’ll meet him in the lobby."
Being the snoopy chap I am, I couldn’t resist an investigation and ultimately discovered from another usher I knew that the message to the woman came from a visiting player who, in the middle of his game, spotted her and felt the urge to ask her for a get-together at his hotel after the game. No joke.
And so I’ve always wondered what makes these women tick.
Well, Steven Ortiz found out. He’s an Oregon professor who actually did a research project on groupies.
"In these hypermasculine worlds, women are objectified and subordinated," he explained. "Women who want to be in these worlds will often allow themselves to be treated like sex objects."
Some, Ortiz said, become groupies for bragging rights. Others hope to become wealthy through relationships. And still others hope athletes will impregnate them.
Ortiz has classified groupies into categories. There are the Marry Me’s, women who want to eventually become players’ wives. There are the Lot Lizards, women who hang out at parking lots outside arenas, stadiums and hotels. And there are the Grandma Groupies, women who are in their 40s and 50s and just as eager to get lucky as the younger groupies.
Oh, and the groupies don’t woo players only. Some coaches get approached, too. Even trainers do.
But sports reporters?
Not usually. We’re not in the right tax bracket.