Monday, October 03, 2005

Babes In Boyland: Life's Greatest Mystery


Chicks Dig Football? I don't understand it, but apparently the core DNA of the National Football league these days is women. According to most estimates, they account for 40% of the NFL's fan base and are THE coming player in merchandising.


The only reason this is on my mind is because my friend had a bet on this past Sunday's Ravens-Jets game and, as the Fells Point Festival was winding down, wanted to stop into the Admiral's Cup saloon on Thames Street to catch the 4th quarter action. I dreaded the idea of watching football, but I have to say, I changed my mind immediately after we walked in. The place was teeming with pert young hotties drunk off their be-thonged asses (clearly visible for all eyes to drink in, thanks to the current vogue for hip-hugging jeans).


It appears that NFL today is all about babe-age. As Jeff Passan observed in the Kansas City Sentinel, "For years, in fact, the NFL flat-out ignored women. Not just women over 50, or women 12 to 18. It was any demographic breakdown. The NFL aimed for and conquered men first, the key 18-to-49 group. From there it spread somehow, fueled by the immense popularity of the sport. However they’ve reached this point, the NFL recognizes that it has struck gold. No longer will the league ignore women as a demographic target."

According to the website About Football, the NFL has expanded its offerings to the female football lover this year to include much more than just the traditional guy gear of jackets, caps, and T-shirts. Hair scrunchies, bandana tops, halter tops, sleeveless Spandex tees and tanks with spaghetti straps are now a part of the product line aimed at women. You can even pick up a pair of thong panties with your favorite team's logo affixed.


A recent NFL study found that 375,000 women attend pro football games and more than 45 million women watch NFL games each weekend. No wonder the league's marketers are also experimenting with the use of more feminine items and in colors like pink, powder blue, and peach. There's even a fan site called F3 dedicated to the NFL's "Finest Female Fans."


So, why I still think football represents everything I hate about American "culture," I give it points as a great background sport. Unlike tennis matches or soccer games, which would have me glued to the screen, football is a perfect sport that you don't really have to pay close attention to in a bar setting. Just take in the foreground scenery (easily spotted in the "lumpy" jerseys), slam down shots, and give the occasional hoot and holler like Homer Simpson, and you'll be one of the gang. Throw in the occasional, "What a hit!" or "We're in the Red Zone," and you'll actually sound like a veritable cognesceti.

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