Footballnot just a male pastime

Whether it’s fantasy leagues or Friday nights, football here at AHS is more than just something you watch on the weekends. To most fans it’s more than just a sport- it’s a passion. “Football isn’t a game, it’s a seduction” Freshman Austin Sheeley said. However, despite the plethora of loyal fans who tune in each week to watch their favorite teams trample or get trampled on by someone else’s, there is one stark trend within this community of viewers-male domination. “Football is played by and watched only by dudes” Sophomore Aaron Ackerman said. However, here at Ames High, guys aren’t the only people that like to watch the big men in pads go at it. Its monday night and Senior Kristin Tylka is pumped up. Sitting with her family and watching her beloved Pittsburgh Steelers play has been an almost weekly ritual for her since middle school. “I’m a pretty passionate [football] fan,” said Tylka. “I watch the Steelers every week and even when the games aren’t on TV, I’ll go to restaurants to make sure I can still see them [the Steelers] play.” Tylka not only watches the Steelers play, she also puts forth the effort to display her fanhood in style. Among other things, a customized license plate proudly displaying the name of her favorite team exemplifies just how big of a fan she is. Tylka is aware of the fact that many people relate football as a “male sport” but strongly feels that the stereotype of girls being ignorant towards sports in general is wrong. “I know a lot of girls aren’t as passionate as I am about football, but it doesn’t mean we [girls] don’t enjoy sports,” said Tylka. “My gal friends don’t watch football as much but they still enjoy going to [Ames High Football] games and occasionally talking about sports.” Tylka disagrees with the notion of football being only for guys, but also believes that girls can earn more respect as sports fans if they express themselves more, “If girls aren’t afraid to come out about their passion for sports I’m sure we can earn more respect as fans,” said Tylka. Another female student at AHS who, like Tylka, knows and enjoys a lot about football is Junior Allee Wengert. A strong and loyal Notre Dame fan, Wengert is also no stranger to the stereotype which misrepresents girls as completely oblivious towards the sports world. “It’s silly that some people think all girls dont watch sports,” said Wengert. “But I think its kind of dying out now especially since more girls are becoming involved in sports.” Wengert realizes the fact that many of her friends don’t watch a lot of football but wants people to know that girls still have sports knowledge even if it might be limited, “We [girls] might not know the knitty-gritty but people would be surprised if they had a conversation about sports with us,” said Wengert. “A lot of girls here [at AHS] are involved in sports so it should make sense that we know at least something about them.” Tylka and Wengert are just one example of female football fans here at Ames High, and their passions are an excellent show of what many people consider to be a true football fans. However, some students at AHS still are uncomfortable with the fact that some girls enjoy football just as much as guys do. “What?! Girls watching football, I thought they had better things to do like playing croquet!” Senior Yeil Park said. Despite the occasional denial, an exciting football season on the horizon presses on. Tylka, Wengert, and the many diverse fans like them who enjoy football show all of us that the upsets, the controversey, and the down to the wire games all of which make football what it is, can be enjoyed by everyone-male or female.