June 2012 is Guest Blogger Month here at FeministaJones.Com. I solicited a few bloggers, writers, poets, etc to contribute posts lending their perspectives and experiences on feminism, sexuality, relationships, liberation, sex, and everything this blog is about. I hope you enjoy their contributions as much as I have.
I’m a woman. I love shopping, purses and martinis. It’s a part of my feminine DNA.
I’m also a rabid Ravens fan and a frustrated Orioles fan and I’m damned proud of it.
I live, eat, sleep and breathe football. Baseball was my first love. There’s nothing in the world like sports to me. Not only do I love football and baseball, I’m pretty damned knowledgeable when it comes to both sports.
You see, I come from a long line of athletes, particularly footballers. My grandfather played football before he was sent to fight in World War II. My father played in the Big 8 (now known as the Big 12), and had the legendary Hank Stram call him and offer him a chance to try out for the Kansas City Chiefs. My uncle was All-City in his heyday. My cousin was drafted in the MLB draft decades ago. Sports is in my blood. It’s a part of who I am and there’s no denying it.
When it comes to football, too many times I’ve had to explain and defend my fandom to others, particularly men. They see a women, or a “girly girl” talk about football and automatically assume I love it for the men and tight football pants. While there may be some truth to that, they are way down the list of reasons why football is so dear to me.
I’ve heard every cliche there is regarding women and football. “You’re a girl, you don’t know football like that”, “You’re just a Ravens fan, you don’t know other teams like that,” or “You just want to be a part of something.” Those phrases are like nails to a chalkboard to me. It’s annoying as hell. The irony of that is usually the ones who claim I know nothing about football are the ones who know nothing themselves.
Once in 2003, I had a man tell me that the Ravens were perennial bums and the Cowboys were Super Bowl studs EVERY year. Yeah, you heard me; the same Cowboys who stunk it up with an 5-11 record from 2000-2002 with Dave Campo as their head coach. All I could do was laugh; I’m lying, I embarrassed the hell out of him, and it felt damn good, too!
As much as I love football, I’ve only been a die-hard football fan since the Ravens came to town in 1996. I’ve been an Orioles fan for as long as I can remember. So many memories of walking to Memorial Stadium to see guys like Cal Ripken, Jr., Ben McDonald, Eddie Murray, Brady Anderson, David Segui and Mike Devereaux play in the flesh. While most kids were outside playing, I spent most of my summers at the ballpark with my daddy, waiting for the Oriole Bird to come my way so that I could get his attention. To ask me if I’m only a fan because of the color/logo is insulting to my roots.
I’ll admit, I can be headstrong and intimidating at times. Coming into a sports conversation, especially if majority of the participants are males, I immediately come with a chip on my shoulder and something to prove. Add to that, my passion for the game and that’s a recipe for a debate that can turn ugly. But as a woman, I want there to be ZERO doubt about my excitement and knowledge regarding football and baseball. I may hurt a few egos in the process, but usually my point is made.
As much as I love talking about shoes, sundresses and Halle Berry’s hair, I love talking about 3-4 defenses, zone blitzes, strike zones and 1-4-3 double plays just the same. And it’s not just me, there are tons of women who know the game the way I do. It’s time for people to realize that women love sports, too. And not just for their colors and tight pants.
Reeta resides in the DMV area and is a blogger at TheNFLChick.com. She is co-founder of gridirongals.com, a forum for women who love the NFL and she can be found on Twitter at @TheNFLChick. For all booking inquiries, email thenflchick@TheNFLChick.com