The Final Frontier

I love sports! I’m an only child and at the age of 9, I got the crazy idea that if I was really, really into sports, my dad would never be saddened by the fact that I wasn’t a boy. Sounds crazy now, but at 9 it made perfect sense. So, I jumped in with a childs’ enthusiasm. I played softball, soccer and basketball with my dad. We watched football, basketball, boxing and tennis. I even convinced him to buy New York Giants season tickets that a neighbor was selling so that we could go to all the games together. Whoa.

By high school, my love had waned a little, but I played softball and still had my affair with football and boxing. I had dreams of playing football in college, but being a girl, I knew that it would never happen, so I just watched the NFL with envy for many, many years. And wouldn’t you know – I married a guy that could care less about sports? I’m not as into them as I once was, but I still follow the games and the stats. Imagine my surprise at learning that there was not one, not two, but three Professional Women’s Football Leagues. WTH? Is this a conspiracy? How come no one told me about these leagues? I watch enough ESPN and I surely watch the nightly news. So, upon hearing of these leagues and particularly, my local team, the D.C. Divas, I did a little research and decided to go to the first game of the 2007 season this past Saturday night.
I was looking forward to it because my research revealed that the Divas were the 2006 league champions in the National Women’s Football Association. After crushing the competition in that league, they decided to move to different league, the Independent Women’s Football League, in an attempt to get some real competition.
Ya’ll, the game was great and these ladies are BAD! “Not bad meaning bad, but bad meaning GOOD!” (And please tell me that somebody loves Run’s House on MTV as much as me?) These ladies are seriously doing the damn thing! Makes me want to lace up my pumas and start training with them girls! They spanked the New England Intensity, 70-0. **crickets** Yep, I said 70 to zero. ZERO. From the first play to the last play, the Divas pushed them other folk up and down the field with ease. The Divas are a dominant team and New England couldn’t seem to get a thing going. *lol*

So, since this whole Women’s Football thing is apparently a secret, I wondered if it would get any new coverage. I neither read, saw or heard any mention of the game on the local news or in the Washington Post. And folks, I need to know why. This team has been around since 2001 and they’ve been killing the competition for years. These women are ethnically diverse, they range in age from 20-40 and they all have full time jobs in addition to training and playing with the team. They are our mothers, sisters, girlfriends and neighbors. They play at the Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex, in the shadow of the Deadskins. Oops, I meant Redskins. Can a sista get some shine? Hmm, who do I need to talk to about this? Maybe the Diva’s need help in their marketing campaign. Or maybe they just need a grassroots effort of support. I emailed my favorite news team on NBC 4 about the lack of coverage and this is the email that I got back:

Subject: RE: No Coverage of the DC Divas?
Date: Sun, 29 Apr 2007 14:40:05 -0400
From:”Hellie, Dan (NBC Universal)”

To: “TDJ” *#*#*#@yahoo.com

Hi TDJ-

Saturday was a little packed with Redskins draft and Wizards playoff game. We
will try to make it to a Diva’s game once things slow down a bit.

Thanks for watching Channel 4!
Dan

A little packed? Hmm, don’t know about ya’ll but I kinda took that as a slap in the face. When things slow down? So, we get 6 minutes of Redskins draft day coverage, 6 minutes of the LeBron show vs the poor Wizards and the Divas can’t get a stinking mention? And, as I said, you can walk from FedEx field to the Divas field, so why not cover draft day, then mosey on over cross the road for the 7pm game?

Hmm, is the mainstream not ready to see a woman making a tackle, throwing a pretty spiral or running a punt back for a touchdown? Do I smell sexism? Maybe it all comes down to money and support. Tennis was the first hurdle. Thank God Billie Jean King broke down the door in 1973. Now, the NBA supports and acknowledges the WNBA, as does the PGA to the LPGA. Women’s soccer made a run, but they collapsed under the financial pressure. Obviously 3 leagues with varying rules, fees and talent levels is bit much to keep up with, but why won’t the NFL sit down with these folks and come up with something? It seems that only the Arizona Cardinals, Miami Dolphins, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers have reached out a helping hand to the female teams in their respective cities. Huh? 3? Counting all three leagues, there are over 70 teams. So, kudos to the Cards, Dolphins and Bucs, but what about the league itself acknowledging these athletes and lending support? Apparently not, according to this articleHello, NFL, Commissioner Goodell, is anyone listening?

As my own personal show of support, I bought “season” tickets to the Divas games. Their season is a bit on the short side and there are only 4 home games, but I’ll be there. I’m not suiting up, but I wish I was. I may just have to volunteer to do some marketing or event planning for these ladies. Check out the sites below. There’s probably at least one team in your local area. Anybody local in DC/MD/VA that wants to join me at a game, holla at cha girl!
Links:

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19 thoughts on “The Final Frontier

  1. I was always the only girl on the field with my brother and the neighborhood boys. LOL!

    Imma hafta check one of these games out with you. I ain’t playing though…I’m too soft now. 🙂

  2. I was supposed to see a game last year but missed it because I had to go out of town on business travel. I heard they are serious!!!! Sadly enough though, as you mentioned, they get absolutely no shine. It all goes back to the fact that the sport is male dominated. It’s like boxing. They need a star team to promote like Laila Ali.

  3. Wow…I wish I hadd known about them….Football is a pretty brutal sport though….Are the rules different? I know I wouldn’t want my tatas to get crushed by a hard tackle LMAO….See thats I like to watch sports…LOL

  4. I was too happy to find out about them when I moved here. I had aspirations of being an offensive guard for the longest time. I was always out with the boys getting dirty. I’d run to the park after school, still in my uniform and play for hours.

    I really wish that women’s sports (especially football, rugby, boxing, etc) got more coverage in the media. It’d be nice to set a different kind of example for young girls.

  5. I heard about them and saw a few of their games over the last 3 yrs.. I think they also have a calendar.. or had one..

    holla at me.. maybe I’ll check out one with you this year.. 🙂

  6. I posted about the DC Divas last fall as my friend’s daughter Lauren played for them. They’re a great team and went all the to win the Championship. I’m not into football, but support the league due to Lauren. I’m happy to hear that you’ve found a place to center your interest in football.

  7. @ Creole – 🙂 Is Robby coming too? You know where the games are played. *lol*

    @ Fresh – Yeah, star power would definitely help. They have one player, Ray Savoy, who is kind of the “face” of the team. She’s the quarterback and she’s attractive.

    @ Tasha – So are you coming to a game chica?

    @ Miz JJ – I know. I’m thinking that my email round wasn’t enough. I may have to step it up a notch.

    @ TC – So are you coming to a game chica?

    @ BK – I’m emailing you now.

    @ Blu – Why didn’t you tell me lady? *lol* Is Lauren still on the team or did she change teams? I didn’t see her on the roster.

  8. One of my colleagues played for a team out here in LA before she got pregnant. She said it was so much fun but said they got absolutely no press. Me, my only sport in high school was cheerleading (for only one year!) but I sometimes wonder if I could play football. I know I sure love to watch it.

  9. I’ll have to call her and see what’s going on with her and the team. She sustained a really bad injury last season, but it shouldn’t have prevented her from playing. I’ll inquire and get back to you.

  10. Thas hot, I checked out the team’s website much respect. Hell I believe that women should have their glory like us men do, and football is the ultimate game. This is comming from a retired player lol.

    Thanks for visiting my blog, and I urge you to stop by on a regular basis. Welcome to the blog fam, you have been granted a link on the suntimes.

    PEACE!!

  11. I tell ya you learn something new everday.

    Sounds interesting and your right there should be some coverage on them but you know how that goes…the wizards and redskins provide money and attention to DC…sometimes men really do run things LOL…

  12. I was never a big sports’ fan. I have knew heard of this group and still never hear anything. ISn’t it something how children interpret things. If you played sports well it would take away the lost of not having a son, most fathers’ love their daughters so much they don’t even think of that as I am told.

  13. @ Liz – Thanks for stopping by! Don’t you just love the game?

    @ Strength – Thanks for stopping by! Yes, they definintely need your support, wherever you are.

    @ BigRay – Hey Ray! Thanks for stopping by. I’ll be back to your spot. It’s good to know that a male ex-footballer can give these ladies their props.

    @ Honey – Yep, the Wiz and the Skins have the sponsors and the $$. The Divas may never get the shine unless they pay for it.

    @ Rose – I know. My father laughs now when we talk about this. I had never explained my twisted, child logic. He just thought that I liked the sports! *lol*

  14. I LOVE Run’s House! 🙂

    Can’t say the same for football though. After seven years in the band, I still haven’t picked up a thing.

  15. I like Run’s House too. It is a shame that these ladies do not get the support they deserve. I am in Detroit and have followed the Demolition for the most part for the last few years (from afar…) They do at least get mentioned at the end of the years they won championships 2002-2005. I imagine it would have been something to see watching two of the most dominating teams in women’s football go at it. But the Demolition changed leagues the season the Divas won. If you go to the game on June 2, you gotta let me know how it goes. If I don’t come by to comment (I know you gonna post) hit me up on my blog and talk smack (IF y’all win).

    Damn shame is that the women won more championships here than the men (Lions) won games last year! Yet the Lions are more infamous than the ladies are famous.

  16. Women certainly can and do play real tackle football. There are women’s leagues that provide a place for women to play football. The women’s season is off-season for the men’s teams, so women play in the heat of the spring and summer which means that more endurance and stamina is required than for their male counterparts. Women play with just as much enthusiasm and vigor as men, and their sport is up and coming. I guarantee this is not the last you’ve heard of women’s tackle football. There is still a lot more to come!

    http://www.womenplayfootball.com

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