Women in Sports… A message to all the “Bro’s” out there

I am a guy, I am what most people would look at and say, there is a typical white middle-aged, bordering on old, white male who loves sports and has since he was 5 years old.  He loves all sports, Football (American), Baseball, Hockey, Basketball, NASCAR, and any and all sports that he can watch no matter the time of day or year.  He grew up in the 70’s and 80’s where men were the face of sports, and women weren’t respected for their views or knowledge regarding sports.  In the 70’s and 80’s where within that 20 years, I went from 4 to 24 years of age and the stereotype that was most prevalent in the sports world was that it was a MANS world and women knew nothing about sports and any comment or opinion on sports was laughable and disregarded. 

The stigma attached to a woman during that time was brutal… comments like “Oh Honey, go make me a sandwich, the men are talking” among others, but the fact remains that times have changed.  FACTS: nearly 47% of all NFL fans are women45% of all MLB fans are women32% of all NHL fans are Womenand 45% of all NBA fans are women…  So let me say this to the “He-Man Women Haters club” – you don’t have exclusive rights to the term, “Sports Fan”.   In the last 30 years, the rise of women sports fans, be it NFL, NBA, MLB, or NHL have increased to the point of nearly equal with men sports fans.  The kicker to this stat is that not only are they fans, but they know as much, if not MORE than there male counterparts.  It’s the new reality, it’s fact and the “Bro’s” need to admit it is true, it is real and they are living in the past.

Now this may not be new information for most sports fans out there, but for the minority of those men out there that feel that women have no clue, let me put before you the litany of women sportscasters out there as well as personal experience in my world of the women that not only love to watch sports, they also love to talk about sports, no matter what major sports league may be the topic of conversation.  I give you Erin Andrews, Leslie Visser, Hannah Storm, Charissa Thompson, Beth Mowins,  Doris Burke, Pam Oliver, Linda Cohn, Michelle Tafoya, Suzy Kolber, Sam Ponder, Melissa Stark, Jessica Mendoza, Nicole Brisco, Tracy Wolfson, Mina Kimes, Sarah Spain, Mary Kay Cabot, the list goes on and on, and those men that have been in denial, as well as condescending towards women that DARE to intrude on “their sports” need to step aside.  All of the women that I have mentioned in this paragraph are smart, college educated, and know the difference between a zone defense and man to man, know what an infield shift is supposed to accomplish, know the difference between offside vs icing, and know how important a big man is in basketball.

Now the women I mention above actually have built a career in sports, but I have also been lucky to know and interact with several women that know as much as I do (sometimes more) about sports, whether it be NFL or MLB… NFL or NHL… NASCAR or Curling… they know their shit.  To deny it or dismiss it is tantamount to thinking that Donald Trump is a great president.  It may be good for you in your small and insignificant circle of friends, but it isn’t even close to factual, common sense intelligent fact or true knowledge.  Women sports fans are to be reckoned with, they are to be respected, and most of all they need to be honored for what they know, what they bring to the table, and most of all, how much their point of view brings to the overall discussion of whatever sport may be the point of discussion at the time. 

I am a Die-Hard Browns fan… for nearly 50 years, I have lived and breathed with the Browns.  From “Red-Right 88”, to “The Drive”, to “The Fumble” to “The Betrayal” by Art Model, I have lived, breathed, and bled Cleveland Orange and Brown, and continue to this day…  In following this team, I have personally come across well-versed female Browns fans that love the Browns as much as I do, maybe even more…  I could list the dozens of women in my lifetime that I have known that were as passionate about sports as I am, but their on-line fingerprint are not as strong as the women I am about to mention.  Recently I expanded m search for as many Browns fans who are in tune with the Pulse of what is happening in Cleveland sports.  Not just the Browns, but the Indians and Cavs… The Ohio State Buckeyes… The Columbus Blue Jackets (GoBolts) and bring their unique knowledge and passion to the table and lay their fandom out for all to see.  They have been ridiculed, they have been objectified, but through all of that they still maintain their love and passion of Cleveland Sports.  I would love nothing more than to highlight them to the world, but because I don’t want to make it just about them, and I don’t have their permission to advertise their online profiles, I will respect their privacy, but they know who they are, and they have my respect…

I am pretty sure these women are a just a small percentage of what is becoming a trend across all professional and college sports…  Women are just as knowledgeable, or in a lot of instances. MORE knowledgeable than their male counterpoints.  Seek them out, listen to what they have to say, respect them for who they are, honor them for what they have to experience on a daily basis…  A stigma of a once male dominated arena, which is now so very close to becoming an equal percentage of male to female sports writers, fans, pundits, broadcasters, and columnists.  I urge you to put away the prejudices of old… This is not 1980, this is 2020, and a world of understanding, a world of communication, and a world of acceptance awaits us all when we treat female sports writers, female pundits, female sports anchors, and most of all. female sports fans, are looked upon with the same relevance as their male counterparts…

 


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