Let’s start by saying I love football. I’m amazed at the way these athletes play and how sheer, dumb luck sometimes trumps it all. But there’s one thing about modern football that makes me crazy.
Women on the sidelines.
I’ve never understood why women insist on being sideline reporters in the NFL, and I’m of the generation raised on equal rights for women. Men and women are equally qualified for any job. Still, there are places, equal or not, where a woman (or a man) does not belong. On the sidelines of an NFL game is one.
Professional athletics are all for the token gesture, so they put females on the sideline of a football game to appease women; to play at equality while knowingly (or not) reinforcing the stereotype of women knowing nothing about sports.
They might have gotten a place there on the sidelines, but women remain as out-of-place in sports broadcasting today as they ever were. Can you name one top their female sportscaster? Enough said. Sure pro football will let them dress cute and ask a softball question or two; but all the heavy mental lifting or complex theorizing is done on the all male panels. No girls allowed.
Much as feminists might protest, a woman on the sidelines seems forced, awkward, like a fish out of water in an all male arena. It’d be like having a man doing dressing room interviews at a beauty pageant. Yes, those of either sex have the right to be in these places, but that’s not the same as being appropriate, as belonging.
Women do not belong on the sidelines of a football game. We are good and every bit as capable as a man, but we will always be out-of-place in this particular area.
Is this really such a bad thing?
These sideline girls, all competent and knowledgeable to be sure, look downright foolish asking the obvious question of the coaches (or players) at breaks. Are they so blinded by TV time that they don’t see this? How can they ask this drivel with a straight face?
What will you tell your team at halftime? (Try harder) how does it feel to win? (Great) What made the difference today? (Preparation)
More proof to the point. Not one of these girls, no matter how earnest and energetic, has broken a serious sports news story.
Why? Because football players (coaches, trainers, and the like) do not want to talk to women about football. Just like women would never want to ask a man for clothing advice or hair care tips. It’s just not their thing.
Get over it girls, and GET OFF THE SIDELINES!