13 Women Who Know More About Football Than You Do
12:30 pm, January 29th | by
It’s 2013, so this shouldn’t even need to be said, but: did you know that in 2011, NBC’s Sunday Night Football was the third most-watched program among American women ages 18 to 49, even beating out the harmonizing moppets of Glee? (In case you were wondering, the top two programs were Dancing With the Stars and Grey’s Anatomy. Looks like your Mom had control of the remote all year.) Did you also know that according to Nielsen ratings, the number of women watching Sunday Night Football rose by 23 percent between 2009 and 2011? You probably didn’t; in fact, if you believe every beer commercial, Yahoo Answers commenter, narrow-minded women’s magazine, or PR firm sending us press releases about how to girl up Super Bowl parties with prosecco, you’d probably think that football was women’s Three Doors Down song, an inconvenience made tolerable only through making football-shaped c rustless snacks or personalizing baby doll tees.
But believe it or not, there are human beings out there who both love football and have lady parts — and
they’re not even doing it to impress guys! There are women who collect NFL bobbleheads more feverishly than my pre-teen cousin does Cody Simpson paraphernalia; there are women who play fantasy football, organize Patriots meet-up groups, and are pictured weeping in the stands after a particularly brutal loss. In order to neutralize the upcoming parade of sexist Super Bowl advertisements whose messages will undoubtedly vacillate between “ugh, women, amirite?” and “WOO, B (.)(.)BIES,” we’ve prepared a gallery of 13 of the most fanatical football fans out there, who all happen to be ladies. Celebrate their gender stereotype-bashing fandom with a cold domestic beer and a (painful) chest bump.
Dr. Ann McKee has a rather contentious relationship with football.
Mckee, the chief neuropathologist for Boston University's Alzheimer's Disease Center, the Framingham Heart Study, the New England Centenarian Study, and the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy, has been studying the relationships between collisions — such as those between man and man over ball — and various neurodegenerative diseases. Mckee's groundbreaking research on the longterm consequences of head injury from contact sports has the potential to change the game forever.
Many of football's staunchest supporters
refer to Mckee as the "woman who wants to kill football" but it is her love of the sport that drives her research. "I'm a Cheesehead," Mckee told Grantland, an assertion supported by the Packers accoutrement adorning her office, including Green Bay bobbleheads and a framed 1968 Green Bay Packers yearbook. Does Dr. Ann Mckee know more about football than you? Probably, but you shouldn't take it to heart! She knows a lot about a lot of things: the brain, tau protein, the Packers, helmet technology, trauma...the list goes on and on!
For the past six years, Okiima Pickett has been pursuing a different kind of work-life balance. By day, Pickett is a security consultant at IBM; on nights and weekends the single mother is the
D.C Divas' star running back. Pickett's skills on the football field defy gender stereotypes: along with NFL players Shawn Merriman, Dexter Manley, and Veron Davis, Pickett received the prestigious Change the Game award; during the summer, she coaches football clinics alongside retired NFL players; and in 2010, Pickett helped the USA Women's National Football Team win gold in the first IFAF women's world championship.
Pickett's athletic prowess isn't even limited to football: Pickett's high school soccer record for the most goals scored in one season remains unbroken — by both the women's and men's teams.
3.Miss Morgyn and the Sports MISStress
Miss Morgyn and the Sports MISStress are the hosts and executive producers of Washington D.C.'s popular sports radio show "
The SkyBox." The Sports MISStress is also the titular head of a sports blog that features detailed analyses of games.
Saints fanatic, Shaneika Dabney wanted a venue to rant and rave about her beloved team, free from the irritation of her loved ones and filled with like-minded fans. Yet Dabney felt uncomfortable visiting the traditional online sports forums because she felt she had to prove herself even more as a fan because of her gender. In 2007, Dabney created the female football fan website Chicks in the Huddle, a blog dedicated to teaching women that "there's more to football than just tight ends." Since its inception, the site has been featured on ABC and NBC affiliates, ESPN The Magazine, and Deadspin.
The word "inspirational" seems insufficient when applied to Katie Hnida. A Colorado native, Hnida was the
first woman to score in an NCAA Division I-A game when playing as placekicker for the University of New Mexico Lobos. After a successful stint on her high school's varsity football team, Hnida enrolled at the University of Colorado at Boulder where she was invited to join the Colorado Buffaloes as a walk-on freshman placekicker. In 2004, she made news when she admitted to Sports Illustrated that her former Colorado teammates had sexually molested and abused her, and that in the summer one had raped her. Hnida travels around the US today, sharing her story of football stardom and surviving sexual assault. She also continues to play football, kicking semi-professionally for the Colorado Cobras and the KC Mustangs.
Syreeta Hubbard is better known in the sports blog world as The NFL Chick, a self-described "
"female football fe-nom."" Hubbard is a lifelong Baltimore Ravens fan whose passion for her team has guided her career: prior to blogging, Hubbard worked as an audio assistant in the Rave TV department and as a producer of WBAL's Ravens post-game show. In 2008, Hubbard launched her personal football blog, TheNFLChick.com, and later went on to co-found GridIronGirl.com, a web community for female football fans. Since her NFL Chick debut, Hubbard has appeared on multiple Baltimore-based talk-radio shows, including the Rob Long Show and Inside the Pressbox. In 2011, Hubbard was recognized as one of Baltimore's "Women of Power."
In the 1970s, Linda Jefferson set women's football ablaze. During her
seven seasons as a running back for the Toledo Troopers, Jefferson had five consecutive 1,000-yard seasons; between 1972 and 1975, she ran for 4,092 yards on 285 carries. Jefferson's awe-inspiring achievements led her to be named Women Sport Magazine's first " Woman Athlete of the Year" in 1975. Just one year after that, producers at ABC chose Jefferson as a contestant in the "ABC Women's Superstars Competition" where she finished fourth overall. In 2002, Jefferson was inducted into the American Football Association's Semi-Pro Football Hall of Fame, an honor that made her one of the first women as well as the first Black woman to be included in any football hall of fame.
Jefferson always fought to be recognized as both a woman and a player; she maintained that one could be feminine and athletic, telling JET magazine in 1976, "I'm no tomboy, but a female athlete."
While Claudia Rodriguez makes her living as an insurance claims manager, the California-based mother's true passion is fantasy football — and she is damn good at it. She has won approximately
fifteen league championships since she acquired her first franchise in 1988. In 2005, the World Championship of Fantasy Football (WCOFF) selected Rodriguez to act as an expert for the league's first annual magazine; in 2006, her team finished 17th overall in the WCOFF. Recently, Rodriguez was ranked in the all-time top 100 WCOFF participants. She currently has five fantasy franchises.
When Ivette Ricco first began watching football with her husband, she realized that there were few media outlets targeting female sports fans. Today Ricco is the founder and CEO of
FemmeFan.com, the " premiere online magazine for the female sports junkie."
"Women have become so well informed about football and the game," Rico said
in an interview with . "That's only going to get better." PostIndependent
Ashley Martin's 2001 kick in for the Jacksonville State University Gamecocks
made history: Marin was the first woman to play and score in a NCAA Division I football game. Prior to her historic kick, Martin served as a placekicker on the East Coweta High School football team in Georgia. Our favorite thing about this powerful Southern gal: when she won homecoming queen at her high school, Martin accepted her crown while wearing her football uniform.
Alexis McCombs has put her football geekery to good use: the former creator, producer and host of
AOL Sports' "Instant She-Play", a talk show where three women interviewed popular NFL athletes, McCombs recently founded Gridiron Girls 4 Africa. With the assistance of two similarly football-minded colleagues, Leslie Bonci (team nutritionist for the Pittsburg Steelers) and Randi Chapman (senior director of client services at Sports Trust Advisors), Gridiron Girls 4 Africa uses football as a platform to raise awareness and funds for Somalian women affected by the drought crisis. If using football to campaign for the Horn of Africa wasn't enough, McCombs has also served as a judge for the Sports Emmy Awards and is a current board member for the Association of Women in Sports Media.
12.Lucy van Pelt
Think about it: considering the number of times she's been found strolling around with a football, Lucy has to know a thing or two about the game. Also, if you're able to trick a dude into falling on his back by using the same gag
over and over and over again, you probably know a heckuva lot more than an eight-year-old girl should about men and the nature of the human spirit. Just saying.