Ron: Did you catch the NFL making history on Monday?
Did you happen to catch the second game in the Monday Night Football double header? It was the Chargers taking on the Broncos.
Not much to talk about there as far as a Seattle news talk show goes.
So what are we talking about here?
For the first time in the history of Monday Night Football, a woman called the game. It’s about time. Sitting next to former head coach Rex Ryan, Beth Mowins will sit in the number one chair with play-by-play duties.
Since the dawn of televised sports, men have called women’s games, but the reverse has been decidedly sexist. For some reason, it’s easy to imagine that a man could be an authority in women’s basketball or women’s gymnastics. But it’s been downright unthinkable to imagine a scenario where a woman could call a men’s football game.
Why is that? Is the game so complex that there’s no way a woman could understand it? Surely not. There are players in the NFL that read at a 8th grade level. It’s clearly not about smarts. It’s about the long history of sexism in professional sports, and the NFL has led the way. It was the first league to popularize the cheerleader. They were quick to overly sexualize the cheer squad with tiny outfits and swimsuit calendars.
But the league realized that to continue to grow the sport, they needed to appeal to female fans. They introduced Football 101 classes and featured football moms in commercials. Then they hired women to be sideline reporters. But this was just window dressing. The usual question at halftime from the sideline reporter is, “Coach, what adjustments are you going to make for the second half?”
Kudos to ESPN for hiring Beth Mowins. I’m sure she’s going to get trolled online about the quality of her voice and her haircut and her physical appearance. I hope she doesn’t read any of them. She’s going to have to work twice as hard to get a fair shake, but I for one am pleasantly surprised.
Congratulations Beth. You changed the game.