August 29, 2013 at 5:40 pm EDT | by Valerie Blake
Are you a good sport?
Redskins floor mat, gay news, Washington Blade

From team merchandise to a dedicated ‘Sports Den,’ showcase your love of sport at home.

When I was asked to write an article for the Blade’s first-ever sports edition, I had to consider what I could possibly write about sports. After all, I’m a real girly-girl.

Sure, I’ve been known to run for cover, throw a fit, catch a cold and even tackle a tough negotiation, but the last time I participated in organized sports I was a Scumbag.

OK, so as law enforcement officers in rural New Mexico we may have been a little insensitive about our jargon, but the team’s name emblazoned on the back of our shirts made everyone at the Tumbleweed Bowl grin.

Now I’m just a spectator. Still, I’m not crazy about attending a ballgame, tennis match, or other organized event. My idea of spectator sports is watching Bravo’s Jeff Lewis kvetch and moan while racing to finish a renovation project, so I turned to the website of Nellie’s Sports Bar for guidance.


Until that point I had thought the DC Divas were just a few of my friends, that an Ice Breaker was a chocolate martini and that Lambda Squares featured Paul Lynde in the center square. Instead, I learned that they involve football, skating and square dancing.

And just imagine what I must have thought about the Potomac Rainbow Cruisers and the Washington Wetskins! I assure you that boating and water polo did not immediately leap to mind.

While I have always marched to the beat of DC’s Different Drummers, I found a plethora of groups and activities for people interested in running, biking, football, rugby, golf, tennis, skiing and just enjoying an adventure in the great outdoors.

So I wondered: how can you select or redesign your home so it’s geared to the sporting activities you enjoy?

No, you don’t need to buy a mini-manse with tennis courts, a heated pool and a basement bowling alley (but if you do, please invite me over). There are many other ways to pay homage to your favorite pastime.

Want to practice your butterfly stroke, build your muscle mass, or jog in inclement weather?  A condo with a pool and an exercise facility may be just the ticket.

Are you a hiker, bicyclist, or equestrian? If so, a home with easy access to Rock Creek Park is sure to please.

No car? A house near public transportation will ensure you can take Metro to root for our local teams at Nationals Park and the Verizon Center. Owning a condo or co-op near a Zip Car pick-up point will allow you to enjoy a day of skiing or snowboarding less than two hours away at Bryce Mountain Resort or Ski Liberty.

Although I eschew the traditional “Man Cave” tag for the more gender-neutral “Sports Den,” I believe that a stay-at-home enthusiast can remain a devotee of a sport, game, or team by carving out a room or portion of one in the home.  Here’s my recipe.

Start with the largest flat-screen high definition TV that will fit on the wall of your chosen room. Then, add cable or satellite service with TiVo and your favorite sports channel upgrade. Mix together a surround sound system, DVD/Blu-ray player and universal remote control, then fold in a gaming console, streaming video player and an iPod or tablet connection for good measure.

With this simple recipe you’ll be cookin’ all afternoon, but every recipe needs garnish, so add some team coasters, a framed jersey from your favorite player and the autographed baseball encased in Lucite that you won on eBay. Sprinkle in the childhood photos of you with beaming smile holding up the a) first fish you caught, b) bow and arrow from archery class at summer camp, or c) program from your first dance recital.

While I will never have a Sports Den, I am now aware (thanks again to Nellie’s website) that the Women’s Paddling Association has gone co-ed. I firmly believe that there’s nothing like a good co-ed paddling to release endorphins and increase your well-being. Three times a week for 30 minutes usually does it for me.

Valerie M. Blake can be reached at 202-246-8602 or at Prudential PenFed Realty is an independently owned and operated broker member of BRER Affiliates, Inc.  Prudential, the Prudential logo and the Rock symbol are registered service marks of Prudential Financial, Inc. and its related entities, registered in many jurisdictions worldwide.  Used under license with no other affiliation with Prudential. Equal Housing Opportunity.

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