The sport of football is a mystery to most women

January 24, 2012

The Super Bowl is coming up quickly. I like to think of it as the biggest nonevent in a woman’s life. It pales in comparison to a 50 percent off free-for-all sale or a buy one get one free limited-inventory arena.

Oh sure, some women are interested in this sport, or at least look forward to the commercials and a great halftime show, but still I would have to say a good happy hour where the ladies have complimentary pina coladas has more appeal for the majority of this gender.

But when it comes to football, for most of us, it is a mystery why 11 men the size of Ohio would line up across from 11 other men the size of an aircraft carrier to march up and down a field, pushing and shoving a pigskin ball.

Conditions are not always optimum, making it even more perplexing. Sometimes this game is played on a field so frozen, the players' fingers snap right off; thus the origin of the phrase, snapping the football, I think. Don’t quote me on that.

Other times this game is played in rain, sleet and snow with the visual of fans in the stands wearing pieces of giant foam cheese on their heads. A woman never thinks, as she looks in the adoring eyes of her future mate and is saying “I do” on the altar in the pastoral church, that one day her husband will paint his face blue and silver, sit bare-chested in the stands in below-zero weather and wave a Styrofoam finger for the television camera and all her relatives to see and say, “I told you so.”

I know guys think women aren’t interested in football because they think women don’t understand the game. Or for some, that women are incapable of figuring out this complex game, where terms like tight end (I don’t even want to think about what that might be), running back, fullback, blitzing and horse collaring are thrown around like cheap confetti on New Year’s Eve.

But I believe if a woman can figure out the size and color chart on the back of a package of pantyhose, then football must be a walk in the park. I personally don’t have any idea what that phrase means because I have never taken one myself, since there are all kinds of animals and things that can jump out at you, but I know it’s very popular to use that analogy.

So here are the Cliffs Notes for women to follow football. It really is very simple. Those same guys lined up across from each other have to get that football in something called the end zone in order to score points.

Now you will be able to identify the end zone by the players who are break dancing or doing the salsa with each other, which seems strange when you think about it. But after taking that football and slamming it into the ground, I guess it could be considered some primitive ritual.

Sounds easy, except this game can be pretty dangerous, with a lot of injuries. Players have to be in good condition because football is a physical game. The most prevalent injury, though, is not on the field, but occurs to those who are considered armchair quarterbacks. This is when a completely out-of-shape fan or fake player, as some of them actually suit up for the game in case they get a call to their living room, tries to get up out of his easy chair recliner after downing a case of beer and conditioning himself on a dozen burritos, corn chips and a thick block of cheese.

But you don’t have to understand professional football to enjoy the game. Just look at Congress. My advice would be to take in the Super Bowl and have a fun afternoon. Did I mention the uniforms are very tight? Just saying.

  • Nancy Katz has a degree in creative writing and is the author of the book, "Notes from the Beach." She has written the column Around Town for the Cape Gazette for twenty years. Her style is satirical and deals with all aspects of living in a resort area on Delmarva.