On a crisp September evening back in 2006, my love affair began. I was with my then-boyfriend laying in bed watching the Baltimore Ravens play. I was entranced by how athletic the players were. I loved the competition of it all. I was lucky to have someone teach me about the sport. My boyfriend at the time enjoyed explaining all the rules. I learned about the red flag, the yellow flag, different plays, how to calculate downs and what it means when a team goes for fourth down. My interest was peaked and I was hooked. Even after my boyfriend and I went our separate ways I continued to watch football. During college I made sure to give myself time to watch certain teams play every week during the season. I continued to learn about the game. The commentators would teach me even more. What constitutes control of the ball? What is an offsides kick? I was learning more and more every week simply by tuning in. When I began my first post-grad full-time job, I joined a fantasy league and have been playing in a fantasy league for 3 years now. I now watch sportscenter often just to catch up on what’s going on in the world of sports, especially in the NFL.
Sometimes, however, I find myself defending my love of football. When I tell guys I am a girl who loves football, they seemingly roll their eyes. Some people (guys mostly) think that girls just say they like sports to appeal to their love of sports. “You just watch for the guys”, is a typical response from a guy. But that is so not the case with me. My love of football is pure, unadulterated, and real. The struggle of being a girl who loves football is real!
Defending your love of the sport
Like I said before, I often find myself having to defend my love. Often it occurs when I’m on a date. Football inevitably comes up and I explain my fandom. The guys’ response is typically something about me finding the players attractive. To those guys-NO! The fact that some players are attractive is an added bonus. It’s not even a top 10 reason for why I love football. Truth is, not all the players have banging bods. Have you seen Vince Wilfork? And yet I think he’s a phenomenonal player.
Every girl has two sides
I love to shop. I love to watch football. I love getting my nails done. I love wearing a football jersey (NOT a pink one). I watch the real housewives. I watch football every Sunday, and some Monday and Thursday nights. I’m diverse. Respect that. Embrace it. And let’s try and suspend judgment of girls who watch football and really truly love the game!
Are you a girl who is truly passionate about football? Have you found it a struggle to truly be a fan without people dismissing your love? Please share below. Are you a guy who knows a girl with a passion for football? Please share your experiences below. I’d love to hear if anyone can relate? Let’s continue this conversation!
Happy Super Bowl weekend! Hope everyone stays safe and enjoys their evening!