I just finished recording a podcast with @notch17 on his site http://sportstalk.notchville.com/noflash.html. The subject? Women and sports. I’ll be honest, it got me a little fired up. As a woman who both knows and loves sports, I take this subject very seriously. I was raised by a mother who is a die hard Vikings fan and was a very good softball player back in the day. I’ve been attending Vikings, Twins, and our former North Stars games since I was a kid. I was raised to be a sports fan. And guess what? I’m raising MY daughter to be one, too. Gone are the days of women hiding out in the kitchen cooking while the men watch sporting events. At least in MY household. Don’t get me wrong… I’m an awesome cook. I just need to do it when there’s not a game on :-)
I’ll admit to being a homer to a certain degree, but only because I’m a fan of all MN teams. I’m not like a certain personality on an unnamed radio station (KFAN, 9-noon) who cannot criticize the teams, though. I’m the first person to start calling people out for not stepping up to the plate (or blue line or line of scrimmage). I don’t have rose colored glasses on. I am perfectly comfortably declaring that a team sucks and will outline exactly why.
Here are some cold, hard facts about female sports fans. 45% of NFL fans are female. 46% of MLB fans are female. 46% of NBA fans are female. 40% of NHL fans are female. That’s right, guys… almost half of all fans of major sports teams are WOMEN. Yet, we are forced to watch the likes of the Fox Sports girls and all of the blonde, mindless bimbos on ESPN. We’ve been granted the right to vote, yet we aren’t allowed to voice our opinions on sports and be taken seriously? And have to watch the likes of sports bimbos on ESPN?
There isn’t one single knowledgeable, strong female personality on local sports talk radio. Not on KFAN, not on 1500 ESPN. Why the hell not? Is it because their perceived 18-35 male demographic isn’t interested in what a female has to say about sports? I think not. I think most men would be thrilled hearing from a strong female who knows her stuff.
I think they would welcome it, as a matter of fact. I’m sick and tired of KFAN and the like degrading women who know sports. It’s incredibly insulting and I won’t stand for it.
They are doing a huge disservice to their male demographic and their female listeners by excluding the female voice. Have you ever listened to the Power Trip morning show on KFAN? It’s one ginormous frat party. And they also don’t really talk about sports. On a Sports Talk station. Really. I’m pretty sure Hawk, Cove, and Sauce wouldn’t know how to handle a woman who called in and could challenge their “sports” knowledge. They’d panic for sure.
I recently asked my female Twitter followers the following question:
Attn: Serious female sports fans.. what bothers you the most about being female and a serious sports fan? I’m blogging about this :-)
Here are some of their responses:
The comments we will let her play fantasy she’s just a girl. Hate that!! I look stylish, but know my Vikings and football
You know me, only NFL, but I hate it when people don’t take me seriously, think I am “just a girl” that and pink jerseys lol
That we have to prove our fanship & knowledge to be accepted as serious fans.
That women who are really into sports MUST be lesbians.
I saw a tweet about this recently, so I thought I’d address it. What bothers me the most is that it was written by a woman. It was titled “A Girl’s Guide to the Rangers”:
I can’t even begin to express how horribly degrading and demeaning this column was. The fact that a professional sports franchise would put out something so ridiculous is insane. Apparently they pulled it shortly after posting it due to complaints from female fans. Huh… go figure.
Female sports fans, the ones who can actually comment intelligently about sports, deserve to be taken seriously. Don’t tell us to go in the kitchen and make you a sandwich. Instead, give us a voice on local sports talk and tv shows. Hire female commentators and reporters who actually know what they are talking about and don’t just look pretty. We deserve that much, at the VERY least.