On Being a Female Fan

I’m sure you’ve heard the recent news headlines about Ray Moore, Al Franken, Charlie Rose, Harvey Weinstein, and now Matt Laurer. As a female, you would think I would be appalled, right? Well, I am. Believe me, I am. But sadly, I’m also not surprised. Not even about Al Franken. The crude way women are treated in this country, at many different degrees, is nothing new. It’s an unfortunate reality in our country, one of the many unfortunate realities in our world, to be honest. A reality present in all aspects of life for women, and given the focus of this site, this includes sports.

This topic came up during Thanksgiving dinner last week and the conversation eventually made it’s way to Sports Are From Venus. Specifically, the conversation moved to the NFL. My family had a hard time understanding why I, as a female, still support the league given how they treat their female fans. Between the Ray Rice and other dramas, it didn’t make much sense to them. I get it and I won’t lie, it’s something I’ve thought about, a lot, over the last few years. But I keep watching because for me, football is personal.

You see, I wasn’t always a huge football fan. By that I mean, until 2005, I wasn’t a fan at all. *Gasp* I know! pre-2005, I would get really annoyed at my now husband when all he wanted to do was watch football every Sunday. Eventually, I gave up fighting it and started watching the Pats with him. I asked him a lot of questions that first season and as a result, he ended up teaching me the x’s and o’s of the game.

That, that is when my obsession started.

The next thing my husband and I knew, I was more excited for the start of football season every year than he was, I was even dragging him to training camp practices at the crack of dawn (had to be as close to the front of the entrance line as possible!) multiple weekends in a row every July. Yes, I was one of those fans!

Football became our new hobby together and we both loved it.

Fast forward to the spring of 2015. My husband got sick….very sick and spent a lot of time in the hospital, 15 months to be exact (yes, 15 months and yes, consecutive months). When the 15-16 season started and he was still hospitalized, well, for those seven months during the season, the only thing that felt normal to us were Sundays. We’re still dealing with complications from his illness, so Sundays during football season? They’re still the only thing that feels like our old life. Yes, moving forward is important and is something I think both of us have done really well, but it’s nice to know that somethings don’t have to change.

This is why I still watch football. But my reason for watching doesn’t mean that I’m ok with or am turning a blind eye to the reality of how females are treated. I do have a problem with it all, which is why I started this site, something I did with the goal of creating an environment where everyone, regardless of sex, race, etc., can feel comfortable being part of. Is this going to fix all of the problems for female fans? No, of course not. But it’s something.

 

Colleen B

 

A born and raised Boston sports fan (please don’t hate), Colleen lives in Boston proper with her husband of 12-years. A usability expert by day and freelance writer by night, she loathes cleaning the house and burns water.

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