A while back, I received an awesome email from Heather about the perils of being a female sports fan in a man world. The email itself was great, but when I started to think about all the flack I have received in the past for being a girl fan, I got angry.
I’d like to quickly dispel two myths regarding girl fans:
MYTH 1: Girls only like football because the players are attractive. Would you find a 320lb Nose Tackle in spandex pants attractive?
MYTH 2: Girls only pretend to like football to impress the opposite sex. I’m sure there are some women that will feign interest in football to hook the guy, but really, if that’s their only selling point, they’re going to be in some serious trouble as the relationship progresses.
Last Friday, I was interviewed by WCVB’s “Chronicle” about the joys and drawbacks of being a blogging female Patriots fan (Check it out tonight at 7:30 if you’re in the area 😀 ). During the interview, I was asked various questions like how I felt about pink hats (hate ’em), who’s my favorite player (Rodney), and what type of response I receive on this website from male fans. And ya know, I think I’ve been really lucky to have some great visitors to this website. Ernie and Bush and even Jet’s fan Gambit have never really questioned my fanhood due to my gender.
I really don’t see why it matters if a girl likes football, but to some pig-heads it does. For example, one evening a few years back, I tried to interject when I overheard a bunch of guys talking about how talented then-Dolphin Jay Fielder was. Yeah, see what I mean? Anyway, I told them that I thought Miami was crazy for keeping Jay Fielder over Damon Huard and that I thought even then-Dolphin Brian Griese would do a better job. Instead of asking me why I felt that way, Jerk #1 asked me, and I quote, “Oh yeah? Tell me, how many players are on the field at one time?” Now, you tell me – what does that have to do with Jay Fielder’s ineptitude!?
Even the intern accompanying the “Chronicle” crew (I’m sorry, I can’t remember her name) told me of times she was asked stupid questions – like “Do you know what a quarterback is?” – by guys who didn’t believe she was a genuine Patriots fan.
Face it, boys. Women are infiltrating your ranks, and heck, some of us even know more than you. As recently as 2006, a WOMEN, won Patriots Fan of the Year. According to a recent survey by Scarborough Sports Marketing, 21.5 percent of women in Boston claim to be Patriots fans. Of course, Boston is no match for Pittsburgh which boasts 34 percent of women who bleed black and gold, but female Patriots fans are only growing in numbers.
Since I began watching football in ’94, I have noticed a change in the perception of a female fan. I haven’t been asked a stupid question about football for the purpose of proving myself in years and I can only hope it continues to change to the point that it no longer matters.