Chicks Talk Football

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Monday, September 26, 2005

Screw You, TV Guide!

The article on women and football in the Sept. 4 TV Guide is exactly the kind of thing that gets us mad. Here are some key quotes:

"The NFL has set its sights on women like a defensive back in man to man coverage. From its Manhattan tower on Park Avenue, the league continues to take pro football right to mama. Why? Because it pays to do so and we love the attention.

NFL marketers love our buying power and our growing attachment to a sport that was once a man's domain. These days women can no longer resist the allure of football. It's the pillar of fire around which millions dance every Sunday afternoon (and Sunday and Monday nights and sometimes Thursdays and oh, yes, Saturdays late in the season when college football ends).

More than 45 million women like me watch NFL games each weekend, according to the league. And according to TV Guide's own survey, Super Poll III, they are more likely than the guys in the room to be too superstitious to visit the bathroom when their team is ahead..."


***

"Speaking of fantasies, look around this season and you'll see female Packer backers in Green Bay flaunting strapless cheese bras and stalwart Steeler sisters with Pittsburgh war paint on their faces..."

***

"To me, it's no surprise that women, who increasingly embrace opportunities previously open just to men, would rally to the nation's favorite game. Sunday afternoons take on the quality of social ritual in this country.

Whether in the stadium parking lot or in front of the TV, football means friends, family and food, and that's a winning trifecta for women...."

***

"...women are no longer stuck buying a Tennessee team jersey in men's small or cramming a nasty 'Niners knit cap over their curls in order to make a fan's fashion statement.

NFL Properties has expanded its line of products for women to include jewelry and clothing that ranges from a French boatneck to a strappy tank to T-shirts in pretty pastels that declare your love for your team.

And speaking of love, put a Patriots camisole together with a pair of Patriots bikini panties, and the NFL guarantees you will dream of Tom Brady, even if he won't be dreaming of you."

***

"But women haven't fallen for football because of the shopping or because they want to get closer to their guy or find common ground with their son.
It is simply that women are not immune to the mysterious sway the game has over the male population.

Figure skating just doesn't get it done."
Mmkay. Excuse us while we barf.

Sam: I don't know about YOU guys, but I just can't wait to saunter into Ford Field on Thanksgiving in my strapless honolulu-blue-and-silver Lions bra. That would be practical, walking 5 blocks in downtown Detroit in the middle of November.

Kristen: This is enough to send me on a three state killing spree.

The word "pretty" has no place in a discussion of football, unless it's describing the interception Ty Law just yanked out of thin air.

And the word "pastel" only belongs in a description of the color Chad Pennington's bruises are turning, eight days after being sacked into next century by Ray Lewis.

Mer: Is it even possible to have a favorite team when you describe a sports shirt as being in "pretty pastels?"

Girls are teh evil.

Kristen: Reading stuff like that makes me kind of want to disown my gender.

Sam: Now now ladies, let us not be hasty. After all, the Chargers could go back to the powder blues at any time.

That said, if a woman wants to root for a football team and is concerned about COLORS, she should just be a fucking Viqueens fan. Then she can wear all the purple she likes and pretend to wonder what's wrong with Daunte along with the rest of those creatures.

Kristen: If the teams wore pink, then the fans could wear pink. It would be stupid because I cannot think of something less likely to say "smashmouth football" than carnation pink, but that would be the way of it.

Beth: So...do you think we're the only girls who like smashmouth football? i mean, surely there *has* to be an audience for this crap.

Kristen: Well, I learned this kind of behavior from my mom, so...

Nah, I think there's an audience. Probably bigger than people think.

Beth: What gets me is the blabber about "clothes that fit women." Yes. Because all women, as we know, wear a size 2 and want a sports jersey that'll show off their perfect little cupcake boobies.

I've got nothing against "women's sizes" jerseys--they do have a more flattering cut, if you're between a size 4 and a size 8--but for God's sake, team gear should be in the team colors.

The other part of the article that irks the crap out of me is the "won't have to put a nasty 'Niners knit cap over her curls". So they're offering what? Straw bonnets with maroon neckerchiefs?

Frankly, folks, I've been at the top of Gillette Stadium during a playoff game when it was -25 F. a "nasty knit cap" was my best friend. My hair ranked somewhere below clipping my toenails at the time; I doubt you could even have been able to discern what gender I was below all the cold-weather gear I'd wrapped myself in. That, to me, is football.

I read this crap and I think, who are these people? Who are these girls being all, "Yay! I'm a football fan! Look at my pink hat!" What is their motivation? "Fitting in"? I'm sure most *real* fans, male and female, would prefer they stayed home.

Mer: There is nothing wrong with wearing pink, or liking manicures, or being frilly. But sports are not about looking good. They are about blood, sweat, tears, victory, defeat, stomach ulcers, sleepless nights, screaming until your voice is gone, and waking up and doing it again the next day. Real sports fans, male or female, don't have time, when the game is tied and the clock ticks away, to think about what their hair looks like or if the blue of the shirt matches their eyes.

Kristen: I would argue that said fans are fans of warm weather teams, and "Yay! Arizona, um...Cardinals! 'Cause Kurt, um, Warner is so cuuuute!"

Beth: "Whether in the stadium parking lot or in front of the TV, football means friends, family and food, and that's a winning trifecta for women...."

Could it GET any more patronizing? This is 2005. How is it still impossible for people to think, "Hmm. maybe men are forced to be less closed-minded about things, and women are able to get into sports stadiums without fear of violence (most of the time). And women would have been into football all along if there weren't serious social sanctions about it."

Some of them are perpetuated. The current meme seems to be, "it's okay to like football if you're cute about it." It's okay to be in the "men's territory" as long as you don't threaten them with superior knowledge or by not being petite and worried about your hair.

Personally, I think of myself as a person BEFORE I think of myself as a woman. And this person loves football--the passion, the violence, the intricate strategies, the dramatic, over-the-top, gratuitous, visceral nature of it. I've bonded with my father about it, yeah, and camaraderie with others has been a big bonus to sports fandom. but all of that would've gotten old a long time ago if it weren't for the beauty of a game.

Mer: hehe.

I like when you assume that all girls know what smashmouth football even means.

But for what it's worth, I know of other females that like sports the way we do. We aren't alone - just a vast minority.

Something we all need to come to terms with is that...this article is on par for about 80% of the women out there. We are the minority. Sucks, but it's true. Also, a woman wrote this article, not a man. It's not meant to be insulting...sadly, millions of women think like she does.

Kristen: You're right. But that very much makes me want to weep.




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