- To even try and say that these women are not athletes or non-athletic is just down right dumb....and obviously entirely wrong. First off, obviously they're in pretty damn good shape if they're able to maintain a flawless physique while running around a football field in minimal clothing (nobody gets a six pack by sitting on the couch). When you look at some clips from the LFL, they clearly hit hard and run fast. GOOD LUCK facing any of these ladies in a race or arm wrestling match...
- It's also dumb to assume that these women play just to show off their bodies. They really seem to love football, work hard at it, and are good at it. As a fellow gal who plays a physical sport, it's FUN and even therapeutic. Many women in the LFL attest to how playing football is a great outlet.
- I give these girls a salute and a pat on the back for continuing to be badasses in the sport. I don't view them as prissy or silly or whatever negative connotation you can come up with. They're athletes, they're also beautiful women, end of story.
WITH THAT BEING SAID.........
WHYYYYYY DON'T THESE WOMEN PLAY RUGBY.
WHYYYYYYY DON'T THESE WOMEN PLAY IN THE IWFL [Independent Women's Football League].
I mean, you do you, but just the fact that there is a whole organization that takes athletic women and makes them play a sport where the uniform requires clothing that fully exposes you and also makes no damn sense is BEYOND annoying.
TURF BURN FOR DAYZ AMIRIGHT?!?!?!
In this article which quotes a few LFL players, one player even says that after having played the sport for a few years she would prefer to play in a sports bra and spandex....even THAT makes more sense than what they currently have to play in.
But another quote made in the article by a LFL player absolutely infuriated me. She made a statement about how she loves being able to go "absolutely crazy" on the field and let loose. HOWEVER, she follows it with saying "There's not really another place that a woman's allowed to do that."
UMMMMMMM EXCUUUUUUSE MEEEEEE???
I looked at some of the Facebook comments to see other people's reactions and opinions to this league. They ranged all over the place, for and against the league, their uniforms, etc. but this comment concerned me the most:
"There is so little opportunity for female athletes who lead real lives and just want to continue to excel in a competitive team sport"
"...they probably say, alright, if I have to wear a bikini to get to play this game, I'll do it"
I know from personal experience and through general spread knowledge that Chicago [that's where the player was from who said that quote] hosts MULTIPLE women's rugby teams that are EXTREMELY competitive. The Midwest in general is quite a hub for rugby. To say that there are virtually no other places for women to be aggressive, play with a team, and utilize their athleticism is just...wrong....SO WRONG!
While you can make the argument that the focus is on women athletes and not their appearance, clearly some of the practices of the league as described by a player are completely unnecessary and ridiculous. Some pregame rituals the players have to go through consist of hair, make up, and routine spray tans. Another player talks in an article about how when she broke her face [LITERALLY, broke her face], her coach focused on how she "still looked beautiful." Does that REALLY matter if your damn face is broken?!
And why the heck do these women HAVE to go through hair, make up, and tanning in order to be considered beautiful?? Every day I marvel at how pretty AND strong all my teammates, all women's rugby players, and all women athletes are all over the world:
And I'm sure that there are plenty of women athletes who have their own pregame rituals of hair, makeup, and maybe even tanning [I mean, even I do some minimal hair/makeup before games!]...do whatever makes yeh feel good before a game. But the big difference is that it's a PERSONAL PREFERENCE, not a requirement.
I guess I don't wanna rag too much on the LFL more than I want to appreciate and promote the other opportunities out there for women to engage in competitive, physical sports. Fans, players, coaches, and even game commentators have said it once and will say it again - women's rugby is the exact same as men's rugby. Same rules, same dimensions, same ball, same level of physical contact. The IWFL also uses the same rules as the NFL! If these women's sports are the same [or at least similar] levels of athleticism, commitment, and dedication as the LFL....then why is one getting so much more hype and publicity than the others??
And in the end, one of the BEST parts about women's rugby [and I'm sure this is true in the IWFL and LFL] is that your teammates are as close to you, if not closer, than your family. The camaraderie and bonding that goes on cannot be replicated in any other setting. The amount of trust and support that you put in your teammates is unreal. And especially in rugby, the same goes for the opposition - even if you're ready to tear someone's face off in a game, it's miraculous how you can be sharing a beer and a laugh with them afterwards. While the opposing team can CERTAINLY piss you off....rugby players control and harness their anger so fist fights and unnecessary cheap shots like these don't happen:
Moral of the story: women's sports that are just as hard and aggressive as men's exist in multiple forms. Appreciate the women athletes of the LFL, IWFL, women's rugby, and all other sports the same as you would to the male counterparts. Do what you love, love what you do.