Saturday, December 6, 2008

John's Guest Blog: "Yes, Virginia(*), Girls CAN Throw the Football"

(*) Or, in this case, Gary Danielson (color commentator for college football on CBS).

So, I'm home alone this weekend because Jen and Eric are soaking up the Christmas spirit at her parents' place. What does this mean? I can watch college football all day. Now, I want to set the matter straight: before I got married and before Eric arrived on the scene, I did NOT watch college football all Saturday long. I would watch the UVA game on Saturday and the Washington Redskins game on Sunday. I might tune into other games, but usually I was watching something else and I would flip to the games during commercials.

However, now, if I have the option, I'll jump on it. Jen, I am doing other things as well (mainly finances). This is all irrelevant. What I want to talk about is the halftime entertainment in the SEC Championship game.

For those of you who don't watch college football, Dr. Pepper sponsors the ACC, SEC, and Big 12 championship games (all of which play on the same Saturday). During halftime, each game features the Dr. Pepper "Throw for Cash/A Scholarship" game. It's a simple game. You have two contestants (one fan for each team, I believe) who stand five yards away and throw 10 footballs at large Dr. Pepper can with a hole in the side. The person who throws the most balls through the hole wins a $100,000 scholarship (the loser gets a $5,000 scholarship (yes, 1/20th of the winner)).

In the SEC Championship game, there are two women competing (in the ACC there were two guys ... the Big 12 championship hasn't happened yet at the time of this writing): Erica Davis (representing Alabama) and Tima Hamsher (representing Florida, and yes, her name is Tima). So, here's my transcription of the event:

Verne Lundquist: Back at the Georgia Dome in downtown Atlanta, the Florida Gators with a seven point lead, halftime at the SEC Championship presented by Dr. Pepper and inside, we are set for the Dr. Pepper ... [call lost due to a TV signal problem] .. throw 10 balls from the 5-yard line. The contestant with the most successful throws will win a $100,000 scholarship. A significant difference ... [laughs] ... the runner-up gets a $5000 scholarship. Let's go down to Tracy Wolfson.
Tracy Wolfson: Well, thanks a lot, and I'm hear with our contestants, Tima Hamsher and Erica Davis. And Erica, let me ask you first, how did you prepare for this one?
Erica Davis: I had a barrel in my backyard and I just threw it.
Tracy Wolfson: Alright. Well, Tima, you struggled in the throw-off a little bit yesterday. So, anything going through your mind? Did you make any adjustments?
Tima Hamshar: We practiced a lot more, and I'm kind of more focused, so I feel pretty ready. So ...
Tracy Wolfson: Alright, you both ready? Alright, get in position. Here we go! 1 ... 2 ... 3 ... GO!
Verne Lundquist: [Erica throws her first pass off to the right to start] Oh!
Gary Danielson: You know, from five yards out, you don't have to spi-spiral it at all, you can just chuck it up there.
Verne Lundquist: [Erica makes her first pass] There's one. [Erica makes her second pass] There's two. Ohhh.
Gary Danielson: That's nice. That might be an insurmountable lead. [Tima has missed her first three (or four?) passes]


First off, "You don't have to spiral it, you can just chuck it?" WTF?! Did you expect the women to just underhand the throws? Shot put them? Do you think that women don't know how to throw a football? I did not listen to the patter during the ACC's version, so I don't know if they were commenting on how the guys threw, but I'll assume they didn't.

Secondly, as a (long-suffering) UVA fan, I know you never, ever, EVER say "insurmountable lead." I strongly believe in the "Football Gods." These entities (or forces, if you prefer) represent a karmic rebalancing. They do not suffer taunting, cockiness, and poor sportsmanship gladly. "Insurmountable lead" is like spitting in their face. They'll make you look bad (I'll explain the "Fresno State" incident if you want, Jen :) ).

Indeed, the final score was 6-5 for Erica, when she made her last scoring pass as time expired (Tima had started out slow but put the pressure on in the end).

BTW, the ACC Championship version of this contest? The final was 7-4. So, Gary, these two ladies outperformed one of the two male contestants in Tampa, and Erica was one throw short of tying the other.

I realize that watching football is thought of a primarily male pursuit, but women do watch these games (I suppose you can see a woman or two in the stands ... but only a couple ... and they are all sitting around knitting and gossiping ... riiiight :rolls eyes: ). There are semi-professional women's football leagues that I'm sure would kill me if I stepped on to a gridiron with. Hell, if nothing else, women do have brothers, and they play together as kids.

You would think the commentators would be smarter about this. You'd be wrong. I suspect that's simply because they think they can get away with it, or, even worse, they don't notice they are being condescending and misogynistic.


Jen said...

Male football commentators being misogynistic??? No! ;-)

John said...

It was so blatant I felt I needed to say something.

Leah said...

As a girl with an older brother, who watches college football (occasional professional as well) and can throw a pretty mean spiral (or used to anyway), I thank you. Don't know if I would have gotten more footballs into the Dr. Pepper can or not, but for $100k, I definitely would have put my all into it and not just "chucked it" at the giant soda can!

Anonymous said...

Yawn, this was the most boring blog post I've read in a long....yawn...can I have Jen back, please? :)

John said...

@Karen: All I have to say is

thhhhhbbbbbbbbt :P :)