Surviving as a Female Football Fan

Its week 5 in the NFL, and any good fan knows it. We are far beyond that initial excitement of preseason, and into the heart of the season, where rosters are getting closer to complete, and hopefully key players are still healthy! (Sorry, Dallas. I know that was a tough one.) New stars are emerging, and older ones are proving themselves again and again. As a young football fan, I am developing a deep appreciation for the sport as well as most of its followers. However, I have a few things to say about being a lady who loves to watch the All American Game.

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  1. There is no shame in learning.
    If you want to get into football, or any sport for that matter, do it! Play, or watch, or obsessively google ESPN stats and videos until you know every play, player, and team history. I don’t care what you do, but if you want to learn, by all means, learn! If you’re lucky, you’ll find someone who is willing to answer your questions and help you. Don’t worry about what everyone else thinks you need, learn to the level that you will enjoy. My interest in Football has grown significantly over the last 4 years or so, and I’m soaking in new information every time I watch!
  2. Ignore that guy/gal who knows it all
    I hate this. As a fairly new dedicated fan myself, people will try and deny you entry into the Fandom, regardless of which team you root for. You will locate these people by listening for these calls in the wild:
    “Oh, you like the Packers? Name every player on the roster, the coaches, their wives, and their 3rd born sons.”
    or
    “I’m a true fan because my team always loses. You’re a bandwagon fan because your team always wins.”

    Does knowing that information make you a better fan? Maybe, if that’s what you’re into, but mostly it makes you an insufferable know it all who doesn’t want to have friends. Anyone who bases fan qualification off of stat knowledge or the tougher all time record to cope with is not a person you want to be around. For some reason, some men think we ladies do not have the capacity to figure this stuff out. Silly men. Maybe spend more time on reading up on current events and equality and less on reading stats.

  3. Feel free to watch a game on your own.
    But be ready for the creepy/sexist/idiotic comments to start pouring in. Since I’ve moved to Bozeman, MT alone, I’ve had to venture out to watch my beloved Patriots play, and this is not exactly New England Territory. Most people aren’t that hostile if I can find a bar that will play their game, but some people feel the need to share their thoughts nonetheless. Some typical comments:
    “You must be lonely over there” – No, I’ve got Tom, Gronk and Julian to keep me company thanks.
    “What man is forcing you to watch this?” – Um… you mean WOman, and that woman is me. Myself. I am making me watch this.
    “Do you want me to explain the rules to you?” – Yes please, what are we watching? This is cribbage, right?
    “Wow, you actually know the rules? Good for you!” -Yeah, it is good. Stop talking, I’m trying to watch.
    and my all time favorite:
    “You’re brave, coming out alone like this”- this one I have heard more than once, and to me, it is by far the most insulting. What, pray tell, is brave about me doing the exact thing you’re doing, sir? You’re here, having a beer and watching football. I am doing the exact same thing, except I’m a lady. There is not one thing that is ‘Brave’ about drinking beer, or going to a bar, or watching football. But thank you for being thoughtful of the weaker sex- we do scare easily, only travel in packs, and like to talk about doilies and teapots and shit.
  4. Be the Fan you want to see in the world
    Wear your jersey proudly, or don’t. Wear ridiculously garish team themed eye makeup! Or don’t. Drink only Jack and Lemonades because they are notorious for helping the Steelers win, because, you know, Yellow. Or Don’t! Whatever makes you happy on game day, do it. Football Ladies are lucky- we can wear jerseys, or cute makeup, or theme our outfits,  or make delicious football snacks, or stand up and scream at the TV with the best of them in tube socks and sweat pants that are questionably stank. There is no stereotype for how we should act in my book- Game day is my time to revel in my teams success and weep with their failures (HA we never lose #GOPATS) and not give a damn what anyone else is thinking.
  5. Lets talk about Lingerie League
    These women are stronger and scarier than I will ever be, but until they wear full jerseys, I won’t be watching. We can hang with the boys, so why do we have to dress to impress them? Please, make it stop.

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At the end of the day, Football is something that, if you choose to be a fan, you should be able to do so without worrying about being a lady. This little rant was brought on by an occurance yesterday which ended in a young man sitting next to me at the bar lamenting about how he couldn’t compliment women to get a date, and how they are all the same. I had been ignoring him at this point, but that comment caught my attention. I looked him in the eye, challenging his stream of logorrhea. He continued
Him:   “You know, they all have that ‘e-drug'”
Me:   “You mean estrogen? thats a hormone, not a drug. and people don’t want to date you because you’re an asshole. Excuse me, I’m trying to watch my football”

Ladies –  enjoy your Sunday ticket, MNF and TNF. Not one person can stop you, even if they try really hard. And Gents, Don’t be annoying. We are just as entitled to be fans as you. Plus, football pants.

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