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Football 101 For Women: Stop Politicizing Sports

Football 101 For Women has been around for 20 years at the University of Colorado. It’s marketed to women–hence the title. Colorado head coach Mike MacIntyre and his staff teach the3-hour, voluntary, interactive clinic with meetings, film study, and skill stations, and the cost is $50. Many colleges offer the same course.

Suddenly, one woman, who graduated in 2002 and apparently never took this course, decided to call out to the media that it was demeaning to women and “felt like a cute little pat on the head.” She wanted to drop the “For Women” in the course title and open it to men as well.

Not one person that took the course was interviewed or quoted in any article I read about this issue. To me that was inexcusable and made this just an attempt to politicize the beauty of sports. It’s one of the few areas left where people can go to escape, be entertained, be passionate, and two teams go at it and always have an outcome.

The complainer (I don’t want to use her name) said, “This is 2014, not 1950,″ but I can tell you after teaching Football 101 to professional women’s groups and through the Miami Dolphins organization (I’m a diehard Jets fan, but the opportunity came up and I love to teach football), there are many women that still do not know football at all. Then there are some that go to games or bars with their significant other but don’t know a lot and want to learn more, but asking during the game is not the right time.

Some women know a lot about football but come to pick up some new things by asking tough questions or doing the skill part. Being with a group of women is a comfortable setting, especially for asking questions, blocking, running pass patterns, and not worrying about what guys think.

I’ve been around pro football since age 12 and then became the first female scout in the NFL for the Jets, so I speak with knowledge of a woman in a man’s world: in no way are these Colorado coaches demeaning women. The act of gathering with a group of women, like in a sorority, being in Girl Scouts, going to an all-girls college, or just out to dinner with bunch of girlfriends is about a comfort zone, not about being demeaning.

It is just so upsetting that one woman in 20 years makes a complaint, and someone pays attention!

I think doing a Football 101 For Men would be fine too, if there were interest. But the target group for this clinic is women, and that’s who they are marketing to. Lighten up!

Tonight is the clinic at the University of Colorado, and I so hope it goes well, and that the coaches continue their way of teaching Football 101 For Women–and that the choice to take the course remains up to the individual, as it has for 20 successful years!

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