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The Love of the Game

Football is not just a sport for guys; girls embrace it too

Posted: Friday April 21, 2006 12:09PM; Updated: Friday April 21, 2006 12:09PM
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By Brigid Mullen

Why do women want to play football? What makes them think that they can ever come close to playing the game as well as men? Well, let me ask you this: Why do guys play? Why do some people grow up eating, sleeping and dreaming football?

Brigid and the the Wisconsin Wolves are ready to show how passionate they are about football.
Brigid and the the Wisconsin Wolves are ready to show how passionate they are about football.
Photo Courtesy of Brigid Mullen

You know what I think it is ... DESIRE. The desire to play. The desire to win. It is the pure passion for wanting to prove something to yourself. It is the high that you can get only from your perfect game, or making your family and friends proud. It is envisioning yourself making the big play and then actually doing it. It is remembering your best moment and then pushing yourself beyond it to a new level.

The best players don't do it for the money, the fame, or the endorsements. That stuff just comes with the territory, I guess. All of the great football legends and the big names of today have been humbled by the support that they've received throughout their lives. That is why we respect and love them, and why we yell and cheer for them from our living rooms when we know that they can't really hear us. The best guys just feel it.

So why do women play? Because we love the game -- end of story. Women have been playing football since 1896, when two teams were made up to provide entertainment at a party by playing in skirts and knee-highs. Hmmm.

After that there were other entertainment games and small attempts at leagues, but nothing huge. Then, in 1970, Patricia Palinkas (who, in my book. is now one of the coolest people ever) became the first woman to play on a men's semi-pro team, the Orlando Panthers. Things went up from there, and in 1974 the National Women's Football League was formed.

Throughout the 70's and 80's, there were ups and downs and what appeared to be serious potential for new teams. But in 1998, the league separated for various reasons into multiple divisions. In 1999, the "No Limits" tour, known as the Women's Professional Football League, was formed and has been going strong ever since. If you want to check it out, a lot more detailed information has been posted here by Mitchi Collette.

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