When people find out that I watch football more than a lot of guys we know, they usually have one of three different reactions: shock, suspicion, or sexism. The shock is usually, "Wow! You really do love football, don't you? That's pretty cool." The suspicion comes usually from girls: "So who are you trying to impress? You're trying to get a guy out of this, aren't you?" The sexism comes from people who don't want to accept that it is now 2011 and women can like football just as much as men.
A few months ago, I was listening to The Bobby Bones Show. This morning radio show has four different anchors: Bobby, Amy, Carlos, and Lunchbox. My least favorite of these is Lunchbox. He's loud, pompous, cocky, and sexist. Ranging from comments about how drunk he got over the weekend or how attractive he thinks he is, his opinions never fail to make me ask, "Who does this guy think he is?!" A particular instance I recall that made me quite angry was when they were talking about certain things men can and cannot do as well as things women can and cannot do. On thing men cannot do: Yell-leading.(Personally, I have no problem with that. Since when was screaming at the top of your lungs and throwing women up into the air not masculine?) On the list of what women cannot do: Commentate on or watch football.
Excuse me? Did he really just say that? Does he know that there are over 30 FEMALE anchors and reporters on ESPN alone and even more on other TV networks? Back to my daily question: Who does this guy think he is?!
Clearly, I was quite angry about that. "Women shouldn't watch or talk about football." It kept bouncing around in my mind. I was trying to grasp that concept. Women shouldn't watch or talk about football? WHAT?! I don't mean to brag, but I know more about football and I get more excited about games than MOST of the guys I know. How many of them are as well-acquainted with the roster and depth chart as I? How many of them know both team and player stats? How many of them get as happy about a win or as angry about a loss as I do? I don't have a head-count, but I do know that it isn't as many as you'd think.
Here's a funny thing that was said to me that just shows how sexist people can really be without thinking about it. I was talking to my dad about football at the dinner table when my older brother (who has never played or watched sports in his life) said to me, "Anna, you're such a guy. Okay, that's cool. Whatever. But if I'm a a guy for liking sports and talking about them, does that make you a girl for not doing that? See how by trying to diss me, he dissed himself instead. Two-bladed sword, bro.
Another thing that riles me up so much about this is that I, apparently, can't possibly be right about anything pertaining to football. A good example of this happened just yesterday: someone made a statement expressing that they thought Andrew Luck would be better off going to the NFL instead of staying in school. My opinion? He's pretty set either way. It's a win-win for him and I don't think anyone really cares that much what he does right now. (Except for the Carolina Panthers.) The guy I was arguing with got pretty heated and eventually cussed me out. I will say, though, that I enjoyed the fact that he cussed me out because it just meant that he knew he was at risk of losing the argument and he acted out aggressively to make himself seem more macho.
Some people may think I'm a feminist for believing that women should have just as much right to enjoy sports, but I am not a feminist at all. In fact, feminists annoy me. They are the reason chivalry is dead. The belief I'm standing up for is what I like to call "footballism." Now please don't think I'm saying that all men are anti-women-watching-football. I have actually met a handful of guys who openly accept the fact that I like watching the sport and talking about it more than many people. However, to the men who are sexist when it comes to football: If I can't play the sport, at least let me watch and enjoy it in peace without men telling me I can't.