Ladies in Football: Making Sacks and Taking Names

Hell. Freaking. Yes. The Seattle Majestics vs. the Portland Shockwave.

One of the things I spent yesterday doing was finding out more about women in football — one of those topics that I never expected to be learning about, but found myself unexpectedly fascinated by.

Unsurprisingly, women’s football flies under a lot of people’s radar. When I got home and told my roommates (one boy, Z, one girl, E) that I’d been researching the sport and its leagues, Z’s first question was “How many of them aren’t powderpuff football?” (Powderpuff was a term I had never heard before; when it was first brought up I got really confused because I thought we were talking about the Powerpuff Girls and couldn’t figure out if people were talking about jerseys with Buttercup on them or what.)

It turns out there are at least three major women’s football leagues in the US, all working on promoting women’s involvement in the sport and providing ways for female athletes to get involved: the Women’s Football Alliance, the Independent Women’s Football League, and the Women’s Spring Football League. These leagues are trying to provide resources to and raise the profile of pro female football players in a sports world where people are more likely to think women are the ones in the cheerleading skirts, not the pads and jerseys. (Meaning no disrespect to the cheerleaders; God knows I wish I was as flexible and strong as those women!)

On a more community-based level, there are myriad numbers of women’s flag football leagues all over the country — probably more my speed, given that I’m five-foot-nothin’ and liable to get trampled by a tackle — where women can take the field in a more casual way.

Also let us not neglect the phenomenon of high school powderpuff football, because if the quotes on Tumblr are to be believed, those young ladies are NOT messing around. Do not mess with a competitive high school girl, man, and do not seek to suggest that she’s just as impressive as the pro ladies pictured above; she will bull through you faster than you can say “Pretty In Pink.”

To conclude, here’s a video of the first female football player ever to be featured on a Wheaties box: nine-year-old Sam Gordon* being more hardcore than I have ever been.

*I would say Sam Gordon is my favorite nine-year-old girl of the year, but I can’t say that because I met so many awesome nine-year-old girls working children’s theatre. But I still think she’s AWESOME. I mean oh my god she is the first female football player to be featured as a Champion for the Breakfast of Champions and she’s NINE.

I made a video – why don’t you?

ImageFame is an elusive and slippery thing in the Internet age, but there’s one thing that will almost always be popular: 110% commitment to making a fool of yourself in front of everyone you know and even more people you don’t know. (The #1 lesson I’ve learned from doing theatre is take chances, make mistakes, and get messy. No, wait, that was Ms. Frizzle.)

On which note, I present me and my coworkers in a hallway. In the spirit of guerilla filmmaking — or possibly the surrealists — we have made use of what we had on hand, including a paper football, a faux fur scarf, and some (rather abused) sugar cookies.

Sugar Cookie Island
Call Me Maybe? (featuring my beatboxing)

EDIT 12/19: The videos don’t appear to be up anymore. Alas! I’ll just have to make some different ones.

Not gonna lie, we’re all feeling pretty confident about winning this thing. Because really, how can two girls who know nothing about football and one very patient guy wearing faux fur NOT win?