Why is it that so many people think in order for a woman to stand on the sidelines at a football game she must be either in a cheerleading skirt, carrying a water bottle or tossing balls to the officials.
I’m not saying there is anything wrong with being in any one of those positions, I’m just defending the female sports journalist.
I can’t even recall how many looks I got on the sidelines as I carried my notebook, pen and tape recorder and proceeded to analyze and report on the homecoming football game Saturday.
After every play some guy was telling me what had just happened as if I had closed my eyes, grabbed his hand and asked him to guide me through the game. One guy told me that it didn’t look like I was paying attention to the game. Another guy asked me why I was writing so much. One asked me if I knew anything about football. Another asked me what I was doing on the field.
I’m not just a lost girl on the side of the field begging for guidance in the oh-so-strange and confusing world of sports.
I stand on the sidelines not only because it is part of my job but because I enjoy football.
Although I admit that I do not know every minute detail about the game, I know more than enough to watch a football game and report on it.
I know player stats, I know the importance of each game, I know how to read plays and I have no trouble at all locating the position of the ball on the field.
I don’t understand why out of the 30 or so people on the sidelines that I had to be the one who didn’t know football.
For those of you dwelling in a chauvinistic cave of ignorance, there are plenty of women who cover football and have impressive knowledge of the game: Jill Arrington, Bonnie Bernstein, Jillian Barberie, Melissa Stark, Andrea Kremer, Christine Brennan and FAMU’s own Pam Oliver, to name a few on the professional level.
So please, do not discount my football knowledge or any woman’s for that matter.
Celebrate the fact that we can watch the team line up in a two back set, I formation, T formation, or watch the quarterback scramble out of the pocket to avoid a sack.
Congratulate us on the fact that we understand the pressure of being fourth-and-three on your own 10, that we know when it’s necessary to go for the onsides kick, or the conversion instead of the extra point.
Instead of questioning the knowledge of women sports writers and reporters thank them for tearing down the stereotypical image of a white man on the sidelines as the only one with intelligent knowledge of the game.
-Elizabeth Broadway, 19, is a sophomore newspaper journalism student from Alpharetta, Ga. She is The Famuan’s sports editor. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.