Sunday, September 25, 2011

Are You Ready for Some Football?

The longest I paid attention to a football game was the one I played in, in 11th grade. 
The boys dressed in skirts and threw pom poms.  The girls dressed in tight pants and wore helmets and shoulder pads.  It was the Annual Powder Puff Football Game.

I scored two 90 yard touchdowns. 
I was told: when you get the ball, run. 
Since I'm good with simple instructions, and not play-by-play handbooks, I did as I was told.

My team didn't win.  And the Powder Puff tradition has been discontinued, due to coaches of the girls sports teams objecting to their soccer and field hockey players returning with jammed fingers and bruised tailbones. 
(But it was really fun while it lasted.)

I returned from a bike ride today with Miss C around 4:30.  The quiet street that we live on was filled with whoops and hollers and neighbors milling around on their front lawn, congratulating each other as if we had collectively won the lottery.  One woman was nearly verklempt, "We've been losing for so long, it would have been okay if we lost.  But it is so nice to win." 

I won't even curse the team they speak of by naming them, but it's not the Rochester Radicals. 
And they apparently have had a surprising season.  As evidenced by all the people pouring out of their homes at 4:30 each Sunday, gasping for air and looking shocked with disbelief. 

Sometimes, it is the fan that is in the arena, as much as it is the man that is in the arena.

Frank Deford is a writer and sports commentator. 
Last week he read this piece that he wrote about female sideline reporters,
No Respect for Women on the Sidelines.

If you need a one sentence synopsis, this quote is it
television wouldn't dare allow a female up into the booth to actually call the game.
So while we see what Deford calls highly overqualified and highly attractive women asking asinine questions down on the sidelines, there seems to be some unspoken law that keeps them there.
Despite qualifications.
Despite that women do the job of calling the game in many other sports.

just as football offensive linemen are supposed to be fat, football sideline reporters are supposed to be women –– attractive women.......And so the sideliners are delegated to freeze down on the tundra while the male play-by-play announcer and his hefty old gridiron warrior expert babble on comfortably up in the heated booth.
The most asinine task sideliners are required to carry out is to ask coaches, before the second half, what plans they have for the rest of the game. The coach who's ahead says he wants to keep up the intensity and avoid turnovers. The coach who's behind says he wants to get more physical and avoid turnovers. Back to the booth. And all the guys watching with their buddies laugh at the ditzy babes who ask such obvious stupid questions.
But the irony is that most sideline reporters –– whatever sport, whichever gender –– really have done their homework and really do know their stuff. Most of them are terribly overqualified for the assignment of being a human scroll. But, of course, whereas it has not been uncommon for years for newspapers to have women on the football beat, television wouldn't dare allow a female up into the booth to actually call the game.
The funny thing is –– as I was reminded when I heard Mary Carillo doing tennis commentary during the U.S. Open –– is that when you hear a female voice in tandem with a male voice, the contrast sets off both advantageously –– as TV stations always pair male and female anchors on the local news.
But in sports television, sideline reporters can only go side to side, never up. Their place is down on the field, with the cheerleaders.

Pam Oliver,  sideline reporter for Fox Sports, interviews head coach Mike Tomlin of  the Pittsburgh Steelers as he leads his team against the Denver Broncos.
Highly overqualified and highly attractive. 
And if in Western New York, highly cold.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


If you've had a hard week, and just want some happy news, go ahead and skip down til you see the word Uppers.
I understand. 


*Toddlers and Tiaras: Have They Gone Too Far?
 It's not like they're up there stripping, for Pete's sake.
 They're living every girls dream: getting spray tanned and wearing padded bras.
 What 3 year old wouldn't want that?
 Is art imitating life, or is TLC making gads of money from this insane minority?

*JCPenney pulled this shirt, after people complained vociferously said, "Wha?"
 Sometimes, it pays to say, "Wha?"

*And, the grand finale of Downers: Maggie Goes on a Diet
Amazon listing this book for 4-8 year olds.
So, if you are looking for a good diet picture book for your 4 year old, call a nutritionist, then your pediatrician, then your therapist.  Then give your 4 year old a hug, and don't buy this book. 


*Scholastic responds to vociferous "Wha?"
Late last week, Scholastic contacted us to let us know that it was reducing its InSchool Marketing division—which produces teaching materials sponsored by corporations, nonprofits, and government agencies—by approximately 40%.  And the overwhelming majority of cuts are coming from its corporate-sponsored materials.  You can read more about it in today’s New York Times
This change brought to you by Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood.
They really rock.

*Grand Finale of Uppers: from Pig Tail Pals
There was a time when you were five years old,
and you woke up full of awesome.
You knew you were awesome.
You loved yourself.
You thought you were beautiful,
even with missing teeth and messy hair and mismatched socks inside your grubby sneakers.
You loved your body, and the things it could do.
You thought you were strong.
You knew you were smart.
Do you still have it?
I think you do.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Another Screen Free Week

Last year at this time, I wrote about our screen-free week, where we cooked gourmet macaroni and cheese, and learned that Gouda is not a popular choice for three year olds.

We recently finished Screen Free Week 2011, where our trio unplugged from our devices and did other things instead.

This year's Week included:
Cover Image 
Sesame's Street C is for Cooking, by Susan McQuillan M.S., R.D.

My Life in France by Julia Child with Alex Prud'homme
Soar, Elinor! by Tami Lewis Brown

Cover Image 
The Watcher by Jeanette Winter

The biggest discovery of this Week was in this book:

Turns out, the land of Oz has a princess.
No, not Dorothy.
Her name is Ozma.  And she kicks arse.
(And, like all modern princesses, she has a facebook page.)