Blood feuds between cities, double-crosses by free agents or tight-fisted owners, redemption for players felled by injury or who have run afoul of the justice system due to crimes against women, pets and/or teammates are the sorts of backstories that I try to tease out whenever watching sports with my girlfriend. For example, knowing that Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton wears those long sleeves under his uniform because he hates all the tattoos that he got when he was a crack head, that long-haired Tim Lincecum got busted for pot possession, and that Alex Rodriguez purportedly wears lipstick and has a fetish for women with very masculine physiques all make watching the baseball playoffs slightly more palatable for her. So does being appraised of which players have or have not bedded Alyssa Milano. Figuring out "clever" heckles based on player names - "... more like Brian McCan't" - also helps.
The hope is to infuse the game with the interpersonal drama that makes her love reality programs like Project Runway. Meanwhile, what I should have been doing is trying to appeal to her love of kitten mittens, cuteoverload.com and random videos of two bunnies and two cups. Which is exactly why she is rooting for the Tampa Bay Rays to win Game 5 against Cliff Lee and the Texas Rangers on Tuesday.