MY WEIRD LOVE AFFAIR WITH L.A. WOMEN'S REC LEAGUE BASKETBALL
I don't like sports. I don't watch sports. But every Tuesday, I drive to a gym in Los Angeles and watch lady comedians play basketball. And I LOVE IT.
- •April Fool's Day 2014.I get a Facebook invitation from my friend Maria to watch a women's basketball team called The Pistol Shrimps play in Echo Park. The only people I know on the team are Maria and her writing partner Amanda, and I knew some of the others (Aubrey Plaza, @MelissaStetten, Angela Trimbur, Stephanie Allynne) from TV, Twitter, etc. They weren't athletes, as far as I knew. Was this a really elaborate bit? I wanted to find out.
- •Meeting new people is hard.I didn't want to go to the game. Or rather, I did, but I was terrified. Going somewhere unfamiliar alone is still not great for me, but back then, I just didn't do it. I knew Maria and Amanda from years back, but they weren't close friends. I was going alone to watch a sport I didn't like played by people I don't know. I was going to be the weirdo. And then I went. And I was the weirdo.
- •The Pistol Shrimps are no joke.The team was real, the game was real, the league was real. There were a couple of other comedian teams in the league - six teams in all. Attendance at the games was low, obviously. Why should anyone care about this? But I started to care. A few of us - other friends of the players - started coming to all the games. We started caring. A lot.
- •No Haterz AllowedAubrey Plaza went on "The Tonight Show" and talked about the Shrimps and their "no hater" policy. More comedians and actors wanted to play. The league doubled in size. Then The Pistol Shrimps were on the cover of L.A. Weekly. It doubled in size again. Twenty-four teams.
- •Sisters are doin' it for themselves.The reason I love the Shrimps and the league so much is that a group of women got together and decided to do a thing women are often mocked for doing. Is there a bigger sports punch line than the WNBA? These ladies are fighting against years of sexism and ridicule, and they're WINNING. This league is a love letter to female empowerment, and it's an incredible thing to be a part of.
- •I am the official #1 Fan of The Pistol Shrimps.This started as a joke, because at their first game, I was their ONLY fan. But the label stuck. CUT TO me buying my family Pistol Shrimps swag for Christmas. Because I remain a weirdo.
- •There's a Pistol Shrimp on ListApp.Please follow @MelissaStetten for lists about dunking and balling.
- •And now we're having a prom.I am helping several women in the league plan a charity dance. Why me? I don't know. But it's going to be great (FREE DRINKS). And if you wanted to turn it into another ListApp meet-up, I wouldn't be upset about it.
- •The adventure continues.First game of the third season is tonight. And I'm so ready. 🔫🍤🏀