Skip to content
Aug 26 / Elizabeth DiNovella

Who Says Football Isn’t Pretty?

Football season is upon us and the National Football League is out to woo female fans. It’s launching a new line of women’s apparel, meant to be “both fashionable and sporty.”

According to The New York Times, the marketing blitz will feature print ads that say, “Who Says Football Isn’t Pretty?”

The female fan base of the NFL is huge—more than 45 million women watch NFL games each weekend, myself included.

I’m not looking forward to this season, and not just because the Bears are going to be disappointing.

I’m disappointed that Ben Roethlisberger is playing this year. The NFL suspended the Steelers’ QB for six games, since he violated the league’s personal-conduct policy.

The unsportsman-like conduct charge stems from a March incident in which he was accused of sexually assaulting a 20-year-old college student. The police investigated the alleged assault but never charged him.

This is not the first story of alleged sexual assault, and the NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell cited a “pattern of behavior” embarrassing to the NFL.

Goodell did the right thing by suspending Roethlisberger. But it should’ve been for the entire season.

So I’m disappointed that Goodell is now reportedly leaning toward reducing Roethlisberger’s suspension to four games.

Former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher told AP recently that the sexual assault investigation that led to a six-game suspension for Roethlisberger was a “slap in the face” that has led to some much-needed maturity.

Big Ben, it seems, could be a big baby, and didn’t see the need to behave off the field.

Cowher described how Roethlisberger used to respond to advice about his off-field behavior.

“ ‘But we’re winning games. We’re winning championships,’ ” Cowher recounted Ben as saying. “ ‘What do you mean? Isn’t that what we’re here to do?’ ”

“Yeah,” Cowher said, “but there’s more to it than that.”

“It’s the whole body of work. It’s you as a person, what kind of legacy you want to leave,” he added. “I really think he understands that now.”

I hope so. I will miss rooting for the Steelers this year but I just can’t. Roethlisberger is off the fantasy team, as is coach Mike Tomlin.

Given the way the NFL is indulging Roethlisberger and minimizing the rape allegations, it’s going to take more than a pink jersey to make me believe that the NFL takes women seriously.

Leave a comment