Football as a whole is growing in popularity among women. This is clearly evident as not only does NFL shop carry a whole line of women’s apparel, but Victoria’s Secret puts out a huge collection each fall. Let me tell you, the VS line sells out QUICK! If you don’t buy it when you see it, fat chance of getting it! Not all stores carry it, and its typically only found in the fan based area.
Seeing all of this women’s gear not only gets me very excited but got me thinking as well. Would a woman ever be welcomed onto the field in uniform? I would have liked to play in high school, after 10+ years of dance I had wicked strong calf muscles and could easily put a ball through the uprights. However as was the bias at the time (early 2000’s) I was to be on the side of the field in a skirt with pom-poms, not on the field in cleats and a helmet.
Although Title IX (1972) was meant to equalize the playing field between boys and girls, there is a little known clause that prevents many girls from being able to play football. This clause states that “the excluded sex must be allowed to try out for the team unless the sport involved is a contact sport” Literally this law would prevent girls from playing football, thank goodness many schools have now have essentially thrown this rule out the window. There are so many stories hitting the news about girls excelling on the football field.
There is a 17 year old girl in Florida playing Quarterback for her High School team, and may I add successfully. Two girls in Maine one playing WR/CB and the other on special teams. There was even a 9 year old who dominates in her pee-wee football league, so much so that she landed a spot on ESPN’s top 10! Each of these girls are slowly breaking barriers to be successful on the field, though there has yet to be a girl play on a college team, I have a feeling it’s coming soon. [Those of you with daughters, would you allow them to play? If so, at which levels?] Would you be alright with a woman on your NFL team?
I’ve often wondered if I showed up to an open tryout if I’d be allowed to stay, or be immediately asked to leave. I may not be able to throw like Brady, catch like Gronk, or run like Ridley, but I still think I could put one through the uprights. Only time will tell. (if someone who controls tryouts is reading this, contact me, I’d love to try out). Otherwise for now, ill just continue to play dress up.