NFL Week 1: My Struggle as a Female NFL Football Fanatic

Opening NFL weekend is upon us. Men all across America, spanning all ages and all fan bases, have been counting down the 30 weeks since the Super Bowl ended. They’ve drafted their fantasy teams, bought the new Nike apparel, and started scalping around for game tickets in hopes to see their favorite team. 

However, if I tell a male that I’m a football fan, I usually get this response, followed by an eyebrow raise:“Oh really? Who is your team?”

They’ve already assumed that I have no idea whatsoever about football because I’m a girl. I’m a little offended by that. 

Actually, I could tell you the name and positions of most of the Washington Redskins’ players, identify the fouls as soon as I see that yellow flag drop, and can sing the entire Redskins fight song. I’ve been attending games since I was five years old, watched every second of the draft, and check newspapers daily for articles featuring my beloved ‘Skins. 

Football, like most sports, is simply considered a masculine interest. Women don’t like sports and just don’t get it. Men have to beg their wives and girlfriends to be able to watch Sunday football with the guys, or explain every single play as they sit in agony at home alone with their spouse.

The reality is that women can get just as excited about sports as men. Yes, the stereotype has diminished over the years, and I’ve found plenty of guys who are more than willing to engage in a meaningful discussion of football with me. However, in general women are stuck into the “sports-ignorant” category. Or, if they’re found to actually have some knowledge of the game, they are put in the “masculine” category. This translates into a whole discussion about gender roles and sexuality and what I’m “supposed” to like because I’m a girl.

Seriously, can you just let me watch the game?

Now, I wholeheartedly ask to everyone: Who is your team? What are your season predictions? Which games will be easy wins and which will be challenges? Identify the league all-stars, your Super Bowl picks, and share your fantasy stats.

You’ll receive no eyebrow-raises from this girl.

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Stacie Brown

Stacie graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from Drew University. Her primary interest lies in foreign policy and dreams to work for the State Department one day. She currently works on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

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