Wine, hors d’oevres, a chance to mingle … and football?
Women’s football “training” camps are gaining popularity as more and more women become interested in learning about the game.
“Yes, I am a woman, and I do speak fluent football” is not only a cute T-shirt, but increasingly, a fact.
Think this is a passing fancy for a precious few? Consider that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers launched the RED Women’s Movement last Thursday night, with more than 1,500 attendees. They showed up to hear an in-depth discussion of the football draft process, try on Buccaneer shoulder pads and helmets, experience the all-new virtual reality training system, and meet with fantasy football experts to hear their 2015 strategies.
Women over age 18 participate in drills, complete warm-up and stretching guided by a conditioning coach, participate in drills to increase defensive football knowledge, and learn punting and kicking.
“I’m a huge Bucs fan and it’s great to be a part of this and learn a little bit more about the team and its players,” one attendee told the Buccanneers.com website. “Seeing all the old players, that was really cool. It was great.”
So what do men think of the ladies talking fouls, completions, touchdowns and cornerbacks?
“I think it’s cute,” said one Texas man, who asked to remain anonymous. “My fiance wants us to have even more to talk about. As if we don’t already have enough. Football is mine!”
College football is getting in on the act, too. The University of Virginia’s head coach even offered the “Mike Loudon’s Women’s Camp” last May. At a cost of $40 each, women over age 18 participate in drills, complete warm-up and stretching guided by the strength and conditioning coach, participate in drills designed by UVA to increase defensive football knowledge, and learn punting and kicking skills. Raffle prizes, snacks, a T-shirt, and a raffle entry are included.
Kelly Driscoll, a Massachusetts mother of three, told LifeZette, “Growing up, I watched the Vikings games with my dad. It was kind of our special thing. He taught me about the game, so I understand the rules of football.”
If the “Yo Soy Fiesta” package is more to a female fan’s liking, it retails for $2,995.
She continued, “I’ve never been really passionate about football, though. The last thing I would ever want to do is watch a Patriots game at Gillette in the freezing cold weather! I enjoy more the social aspect now, going to parties, good friends and good times. My game highlight can be summed up in two words: Tom Brady!”
Rob Gronkowski, All-Pro tight end for the New England Patriots and a fan favorite for his upbeat personality and dance moves — and, of course, his football skills — will host “Rob Gronkowski Football 101” on Sept. 28. Sponsored by four companies, including Everlast and grocery chain Market Basket, the clinic offers insight on football basics in a relaxed atmosphere. There are several packages available, including the “Kickoff Package” for $199, which includes a stadium tour, an autograph and photo with the star, and a signature “Gronk-tini” cocktail.
Women love football. They make up 43 percent of the NFL’s audience, according to ESPN, and one third of the core fans are women.
A “Gronk Spike Package” retails for $499, and includes private dinner and cocktails with Gronkowski, a one-on-one selfie opportunity with him, and many more extras.
And if the “Yo Soy Fiesta” package is more to a female fan’s liking, it retails for $2,995. One might assume that at that price, women could perhaps play in a game for the Patriots! In reality, this luxury package offers, among many other fun and “Gronky” opportunities, a ride in the Gronk Party Bus to Gillette Stadium and a selfie opportunity with Gronkowski while on the party bus, which the Gronk will tweet out from his personal account.
“Are you kidding — he should have a men’s clinic! I would love to do that,” Eric Donaghey, a longtime Patriots fan, told LifeZette. ”I love the Gronk!”
Today more than ever, women love football. They make up 43 percent of the NFL’s audience, according to ESPN, and one third of the core fans whom the NFL characterizes as “avid” are women. Websites exist for serious female football fans that offer player interviews, rookie roundups, tips for understanding referee hand signals and player positions, and fantasy team tips and information.
So ladies, lace up your spikes, put on your helmet, and learn the rules and culture of America’s great game of football. In the year 2015, there’s no reason to be left behind.