Two weeks ago, a friend and I thought we had stumbled upon a million-dollar idea. It stemmed from an argument over the Kansas City Chiefs mascot. I was watching the game against the Broncos at his place while he was in the kitchen (where men belong) and I yelled, “What the hell is up with the mascot?”
He popped his head out of the kitchen, “What do you mean what is up with it?”
“Why is it a mouse?” I asked.
He looked at me incredulously, like he couldn’t believe he was choosing to spend his time with such an idiot, and then went back into the kitchen.
When he finally returned, he (im)patiently explained to me that it was actually a wolf (which still makes zero sense to me, but whatever). I’m not sure what either thing, mouse or wolf, has to do with a Native American chief. My friend just could not get over the fact that I, a self-proclaimed Kansas City sports fan-not to mention one that writes for a sports blog-had no idea what the Chiefs mascot was.
A week later, we were at dinner with one of my good friends from out of town when this subject came up again. With a mischevious, smug look on his face, he asked my friend, “For the sake of science…what is the Chiefs mascot?”
She didn’t miss a beat before she answered, “That mouse thing!”
Man, I love it when I’m right.
To further the experiment, and because this is 2015, my friend Snapchatted 20 of her female friends a selfie with the caption “what is the KC Chiefs mascot? No Googling!”
Most didn’t reply. Three said they didn’t know. But at least two of them said it was a mouse and one said a horse (which is true, an actual horse named Warpaint is part of the pregame activities and runs around when the Chiefs score). I think, maybe, one person correctly identified it as a wolf.
The moral of this story is: I love sports, sporting events, and men who love sports, but I do not often pay attention to the details. Unless it involves my alma mater-I can’t tell you where NFL players played in college. I can’t tell you which round they were drafted in, or whether they went undrafted. I can’t tell you what their strengths and weaknesses are on the field (off the field though – I’ve got that covered). Most of my female friends and women I know, who claim to be sports fans have this same sort of mindset when it comes to the minutiae of sports.
So, back to our million-dollar idea (after more than a few beers on a Monday night, mind you). We thought, wouldn’t it be great to host clinics just for women in every major city and teach them the fundamentals of their professional sports teams? Why the hell does Peyton Manning always yell “Omaha”? WTF is a blitz? What’s the spread? What’s the difference between a zone and a man-to-man defense? Why can’t anyone shut the fuck up about Tom Brady? We would have to host them at least every year since rosters and coaching staff, as well as other variables of professional sports, change so often. Wouldn’t the leagues themselves want to back this, so they can profit off of a large section of the population that they may not yet be reaching?
This week I found out that Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots tight end, Nae Nae master, and party boy extraordinaire, has hosted a somewhat-similar event for the last three years. The event, formerly called #GronkFest, now simply ‘Football 101’, is billed as a football clinic for women-including throwing and kicking tips, opportunities for selfies with Gronk, open bar and maybe some dancing. Tickets range from $200-$3000. I get the feeling that this event has gotten some real hot takes in the past because this year, there aren’t any news articles that report anything other than the most basic facts about the event. Sketchy.
However, two years ago, Lana Berry wrote this hilarious piece* for SB Nation that tells me everything I need to know about a Gronk-backed football clinic. It helps me identify the personal qualms I have with my plan, but also why it might make me a millionaire after all.
Qualm #1: Do women really give much of a shit about sports?
Considering the platform you’re reading this on just hosted a 24-hour straight broadcast of women talking sports talk, obviously the answer is a resounding yes. We do care. We care a lot. I can only speak for myself when it comes to the level of caring.
Qualm #2: Is hosting women-only football clinics pandering?
In Gronk’s case, I kind of think it is. I’ve never been to one of these clinics, so I can’t say with 100% certainty, but based on the drink of choice (raspberry vodka? Are we in high school?), the shirt color of choice (pink or pink) and the activities involved (selfie-taking, dance-offs) seem to point in that direction. It makes me feel the same way I feel whenever I see a woman wearing one of those baby-pink jerseys to a sporting event. Why would one choose to wear that over a jersey in your teams’ colors? Are you trying to announce to the world that you’re a woman, lest they get confused by the sight of tits in a football jersey?
Qualm #3: Would anyone show up for my clinic?
Gronk’s clinic has Gronk. From my research (and the above photo), I think it’s safe to say that a lot of the women showed up to see him in the flesh and hopefully catch his eye with their new and improved football skills. The thing I don’t like about this is that no one should force themselves to try and be interested in something just to catch the attention of man (or a woman).
Some market research is needed in order to tell me whether there’s a desire for something less pandering and more legitimate. I’m not opposed to including drinking (what sports fan doesn’t like to drink?) and maybe some trivia-style competition.
According to ESPN, women make up 43% of the NFL’s total audience and a third of fans who the NFL calls “avid.” That’s a pretty big number of women who, like me, might be tired of exasperated men huffing in their faces about mascots and field goal percentages. But is it enough for us to schill out money to learn these things?
Ladies, I’d like to hear from you. What area of your sports knowledge do you feel is lacking? And where do you turn to when you want to learn more? Tweet @ me: @lindsvanna!
(Also, no one steal my idea.)
*If you want to get shit-faced while reading, mix up a batch of Gronktinis (raspberry vodka and pomegranate juice, natch) and take a shot every time Berry mentions the Gronktini or being encouraged to drink Gronktinis in her article.
**Editor’s note: While we conduct our market research, feel free to head over to Sprots Gloss to start improving your sports knowledge today!**