I watch football. I talk about football. I play fantasy football. I throw the football. I taught my niece & nephew to catch the football, and, oh yeah, I’m a woman.
I listen to a lot of sports radio. A LOT. Entertaining? Yes. Interesting? Mostly. Male centric. Definitely. As much as I love to engage in sports conversations, particularly football, I’ve grown weary of the tone of sports radio being so directed at men that I feel I’ve walked into a men’s locker room. So I’ve decided to start this blog about football with a woman’s voice, primarily for a woman’s ear. This is an equally safe space for women who understand what a Mike linebacker is and those who don’t know the length of a quarter. Men are certainly welcome, but know that this is designed primarily for female football fans.
Why football? I grew up in a house where football was on television and radio from the first kick-off of college games until the Super Bowl. My brother played from elementary school through college. As a family, we traveled to most every game at my father’s, and now my, Alma Matter, including some away games and the spring scrimmage. My mother was as interested in the game as any man in the stadium. While it was clear to me that it was a sport played by men, it was also clear to me that women could be equal spectators. As I grew, I quickly learned that this was true not only in my home, but across the South. I since have come to appreciate that there are women everywhere who enjoy watching and talking about the game.
Why do I love the game enough to blog about it? I find that there are many, many layers to the game and there’s much to continue to uncover and discuss. I also find great value in life lessons I see in football. Below are a few examples.
– The strategy is outstanding, on both sides of the ball. I love to rewind and slow down the DVR to see some plays. I also appreciate that while the strategy is designed by the coaches, success is in the execution by the players. It seems that the more involved the coaches (and some owners – Mr. Jones) try to get involved in the execution of the plan, the greater the failure rate.
– The sheer athleticism and skill is captivating. There is nothing like watching a wide receiver make a one handed catch while tumbling over himself into the end zone, or watching a player leap over another to make a play. I am amazed at what these men get the human body to do.
– Teamwork and self-awareness are keys to success. All-stars make big plays in the short term, perhaps even leading to one championship, but long-term success is gained by players who recognize they have one role on a big team, seek to understand their role as it changes, and understand the value of their role. I see this as one of the reasons for much of the activity during the free-agency period. It always cracks me up to see the one hit wonders change teams to go after big money, only to find that 3 years later they are teamless. I wonder what would happen if companies had a free-agency period every year. Hmmm.
– There is value in the unknown players. What average fan knows the name of the right guard? Honestly, I didn’t even really think about who played left tackle until the movie The Blind Side came out. Every team has critical members that go throughout their careers with little recognition.
– The intelligence of some players. No one understands how to read a defense like Peyton Manning (yeah, yeah, even when they overwhelm his team on the biggest football stage.) Since I mentioned it, Richard Sherman has the ability to read the offense like few other corners. Both men study their craft and practice intently to be the very best they can be.
– The dedication and commitment to practice. During the NFL lock-out in 2011, several players stepped up and led their teammates in off-season practices so as not to lose critical time when the lock-out ended. Many high school seniors graduate early and enter college in January to participate in spring practices with their new teammates.
Football has its controversy, certainly, but many things in life do. For those who enjoy the game, let’s talk football! I look forward to your contributions and perspectives.