Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The NFL Wants Me

And I thought I was just good for buying pink jerseys...

Turns out the NFL is looking to keep me and other women interested in the NFL. Apparently, about 40% of the viewing audience is female and those gals want to be catered to without being treated differently.

There are a few things the NFL can do to further the cause.

1. Involve women meaningfully in the broadcasts and other marketing of the sport.

Everyone wants to see themselves represented in what they're watching. So put some women in the booth or at the desk for goodness sakes. There is talent available right now. I've said it before and I'll say it again, there is so reason for talent like Suzy Kolber and Pam Oliver to be relegated to the sidelines. I have nothing against sideline reporters, weather girls or cheerleaders, but there shouldn't be a "dome ceiling" when they'll let any washed up athlete who can string a sentence together learn on the job.

2. Give us a little eye candy.

If the NFL is going to shamelessly stick their cameras up cheerleader's skirts, then they can make sure the women have a little something to look at too. I don't want a bunch of Tony Reali clones, but this can range from just making sure the male on-air talent looks their best all the way to giving the ladies a few shots of the guns and some close-ups of the handsome guys.

3. Encourage girls to play football.

Girls like Holly Mangold may be an anomaly right now, but it won't last. Girls are going to start playing football, whether the NFL gets on board or not. Michelle Wie is already trying to force the issue in golf. It's going to happen to the other sports. At a minimum, an excellent female athlete is interchangeable for an average male athlete.

Baseball. With the development of fast pitch softball, a lot more girls are going to be developing skills that are transferable to baseball. What position on the diamond couldn't a woman perform? Maybe females will never have the arm to be the best outfield player or hit 50 homers in a season, but all the other roles in the dugout are fair game.

Basketball. Those WNBA girls are going to get tired of making $50K a year when they could be getting boy money. No female will likely ever be Shaq, but, if she could withstand the certain groping, why couldn't a female develop into a Ray Allen type superstar?

The ladies have shown that they can take a little violence. There are already female boxers. The WWE embraces female wrestlers to the full extent of the woman's ability. They even let the girls fight the boys.

And it's going to happen to football too. There are several positions that women could potentially play on the field. There are already quite a few high school kickers, there have even been Division 1 female kickers and female tackle leagues are growing. Real soon, a girl is going to show up at the combine ready to put Mike Vanderjagt's cocky ass in check. And who knows? Maybe a glimpse of flaxen blond hair peeking out from underneath a helmet and the torture of knowing some choice C cups are being unfairly restrained underneath an authentic Reebok NFL jersey could melt Bill Parcell's cold, cold heart toward kickers.
But, really, one of the positions that immediately come to mind that could be especially suitable for a woman is the position of quarterback. Quarterback is largely a mental/management position, especially with the league bending over backwards to minimize QB contact. A woman may never have the speed and explosiveness of Michael Vick or the long arm of Brett Favre. But if you ask a woman to sit in the pocket and make good decisions throughout the game? No problem. Women could excel at being so-called "competent" quarterbacks. There are other positions that a women could be successful at. Football players generally aren't that big, therefore women aren't automatically excluded on their inherent physicality. A woman could be a receiver, a cornerback, or any position where the woman would be the tackler or the occasional tacklee (is that a word?). But if Holly Mangold wants to be a lineman, it's her prerogative.

Sports is one of the ultimate meritocracies in this country. If the ladies get it in their mind to make it happen, it will happen. If a girl shows up that can do the job, an organization is going to bite. It may not happen next year or even 5 years from now, but it will happen. The ultimate goal in sports is to win, not to exclude. It's the NFL's choice whether they want to be on board from the outset. (And they will sell a lot more copies of Madden video games. I'm not ashamed to admit I am restricted in my ability to succeed at that game because I've never played the game. Goddamn X's and O's....)

So, if the NFL is really interested in the gentler sex, that's my take. And, oh yeah, keep selling those pink jerseys.


Worldwide Reader said...

If the NFL is going to shamelessly stick their cameras up cheerleader's skirts, then they can make sure the women have a little something to look at too.

Oh God - please, no. What, Troy Aikman's not good enough for you!?

doublenicks said...

A couple things . . . first, I have a three-year old daughter who, if genetics has anything to say about it will at least be tall, and possibly be beefy (hopefully not Holly Mangold beefy). I like the idea of her playing sports, not just girls/womens sports. I agree that female athletes can thrive with male athletes. Step 1? Use the same equipment - abolish the smaller women's basketball. There is no reason for it. Second, don't act like there are no C cups in the NFL: see Belichek, Mangini, Parcells.

Head Chick In Charge said...

They should use the same equipment, but definitely have sluttier uniforms. I think that its stupid that the WNBA doesn't have more appealing uniforms. Show 'em what you got! You think Serena Williams got to be a millionaire wearing baggy shorts?

I apologize to the DD Cup Squad (Belichek, Mangini, Parcells) already in place in the league.

And, no, Troy Aikman's not good enough. I much prefer Joe Buck's dew-kissed red lips.

doublenicks said...

Joe Buck? Tell me you're kidding.

Head Chick In Charge said...

It may be uncomfortable for you, put look closely at his lips next time.

I swear he wears rouge and/or lip gloss. It's transfixing.

Michelle said... has a blog aimed at getting more women interested in sports. It discusses weekly happenings in football and also has the occassional funny post (which they asked my friend and I to contribute). Feel free to check it out! I think they did a good job and Betsy, the woman who runs the blog, has been featured on some talk shows addressing the topic of women and football.

Head Chick In Charge said...

Did anyone notice Darren Woodson doing NFL Live now? I think somebody is taking my advice.

Head Chick In Charge said...

doublenicks, you bring about an interesting point about genetics. Apparently, the kids are getting bigger and bigger. Girls may more eagerly seek out sports as a way to validate their increased weight & height. Even Holly Mangold cited her physical propensities has an incentive to find identity with sports.

And actually, as I am tall, I have to ponder whether I would want my daughters to play certain sports because of the way some training changes a female's body. It's too bad that a girl who's really good at any sport will probably be only to play through college because she can't make a real living at it. But certain sports like gymnastics, swimming and basketball frequently result in a non typical body type. And a girl has to live the rest of her life after her sports career is over. If I have a daughter that turns out to be 6 ft tall and I encourage her to be a serious bsketball player and then she turns out to be extra tall with a 50 inch shoulder span, am I doing her any favors given that she can't expect a livelihood playing basketball? After her career is over at 22, she still would probably want to be attractive to guys, wear cute clothes and generally feel comfortable in society. Should she have to compromise that basic quality of life just to play a sport that doesn't value her?

Head Chick In Charge said...

Michelle is so modest. She also has an excellent site.

She is hot and wild and so is her BFF, also named Michelle. And they love the NFL.

Are you tall or short Michelle?

Short Michelle said...

Thanks head chick! And thanks for checking out our site! We always love chatting with fellow football fans!
I'm the short one. :)

Dat Nicca Pimp said...

Just wanted to say that women do in fact play professional football in this country. I know this because I am one of those women. There are several different leagues throughout the US. We play full contact just like the men with NFL rules. I gotta say that I saw Holly's Story on ESPN the other day (I was a few days late since I'm currently working in Kuwait) and I wanted to try and find a way to get in touch with her to let her know that she can play professional football if she chooses once she graduates from high school. I don't know if there is a team close by to her hometown, but I'm sure there is a team willing to do whatever to get her to play for them. Hell I would love to get her down to Fayetteville and play for my team, The Cape Fear Thunder. We could most definitely use an offensive lineman like herself.

Eb the Celeb said...

I know this is an old post but I totally agree. Also wish you would come back to the blog world... Its lonely out here for women talking about sports