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Archive for the ‘Objectification in Sports Blogs’ Category

The Big Lead, one of the most-read, popular sports blogs on the Web posted today about lesbian relationships in college basketball.

His source: The Dallas Morning News (great pick! <insert sarcasm here>). This story discusses a female basketball player named Jennifer Colli at SMU who is suing the school and its head coach basketball Rhonda Rompola for revoking her scholarship.

This all happened after Colli complained to the athletic director about “inappropriate questions and comments” regarding her sex life and other gay relationships on the team.

Now, of course The Big Lead will have something intelligent to say about this, since they’re so familiar…

“In football, we could see Urban Meyer shouting at Tim Tebow on the sideline, “What’s the matter, man, you get so much ass last night that you can’t focus?” and teammates laughing. But for a coach to say, ‘hey Sally, did you spend all night gettin’ busy with Suzie?’ and both Sally and Suzie were in the huddle, well, that’s pretty messed up.”

Actually, dude, BOTH of those situations are wrong… for multiple reasons.

First, college sports is a job. And nobody should be discussing anyone else’s relationships OR sex life. It’s something that needs to remain private, because (obviously) too many people have differing opinions.

Second, college coaches have no right to pry or ask their players about things going on in their personal lives, no matter what the nature.

Third, these things should NEVER be discussed in front of other players, if at all.

As for Urban Meyer shouting to Tim Tebow, that’s ridiculous, incredibly degrading, sexist and also inappropriate.

I have to say, with the WNBA FINALS happening over the weekend, don’t you think The Big Lead could find something slightly more interesting in women’s sports to talk about?

If you really want to be disgusted, check out the comments.

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When the passion strikes me, I will occasionally be providing you with a roundup of some of the dumbest things I see on sports blogs. Apparently, some men feel the need to make degrading comments about women online.

What’s even more entertaining (to me) is how much money they’re making off of content such as this. Some of these blogs are worth over $15 million.

Can you believe that?

So this is an effort to show these guys exactly how dumb they look, even online.

WARNING: Some of these sites get paid based upon how many comments are up on their sites, so use discretion when deciding whether or not to comment.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this as much as I do.

1) Pat Gray, Your Eyes Will Bleed:

“There seems to be a big “girl-power” push going on now though. In yesterday’s USA Today, they devoted an entire section to women pioneers in sports. Like Billie Jean King’s 1973 tennis victory over Bobby Riggs. Big deal. She was 29, and at the height of her career. He was 55 years old, and only won a couple major tournaments in the 30’s and 40’s! If she HADN’T beaten him, THEN you’ve got a story.”

Actually Pat, the BIG DEAL is that Title IX passed just before that match. Title IX AND Billie Jean King sparked a revolution for women that continued in sports 35 years later. The “clue phone” is ringing. I think you should answer it.

2) Deadspin posted on Jaime Nared, who was recently kicked off her mixed-gender basketball team in Portland, Oregon. Comments include:

(Big Slim Shade) “A girl playing basketball? What will they think of next?”

(Afino) “Take it while you can get it now, girl, because it’s all downhill from here in terms of people who give a shit about women playing basketball!”

Laugh it up, guys. Good thing Deadspin gives you a place to poke fun among intellectuals. This girl would kick all of your a$$es if you played her. And she’s what? Only 14 years old?

3) Again, from Deadspin (are we noticing a pattern here?). This blogger posted on a women’s hockey game, where Slovakia beat Bulgaria, 82-0. They oh-so-thoughtfully provided video and commentary,

“Contrary to what you probably thought, the Bulgarians can actually skate. Although figuring out what those stick things are for seems to be another matter.”

Again, the comments were yet another example of how supportive these readers are of women’s sports.

“That’s really not very lady-like.” (the earl of weaver) and “The goalie would have been better off just lying prostrate across the ice.” (Dan Daoust)

4) Larry Brown from Larry Brown Sports posted on 9/19 about how the Los Angeles Kings are holding tryouts for ice hockey girls (think Laker girls for ice hockey). Anyway, he certainly had no filter when discussing this piece of news.

“You might be inclined to go with the Laker girls over the Kings ice girls at first reaction, but I might have to change my initial thought based on what I saw from the Kings tryouts that took place recently. I’m not exactly sure what role ice girls have at a hockey game, but I’m all for anything that brings extra skin to a sporting event. The Kings have said that they’re looking for girls that will help represent the team as well as possible. My advice for them: You can teach anyone to skate better, but you can’t teach hotness. Feel me? Check out some of the talent on the ice

Hey Larry, I bet these girls make more money that you do. Maybe they’re in better shape, too?

5) on 205th also discussed ice hockey girls, with some awesome commentary.

“Dallas + Ice Girls doesn’t really make much sense to me, you know since there is no ice in Dallas, except in drinks, but then again ice hockey in Tampa Bay doesn’t make sense either. Hey look, boobies!!”
(below this comment there was a picture of the cheerleaders on a boat at a lake)

Wow. Really cool. These girls make money off of you idiots.

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The Women’s Professional Soccer league (WPS) held its allocation ceremony yesterday, announcing that 21 U.S. National Team players (the best women in the country) will be distributed among seven teams in the league, scheduled to debut in April.

This is great news, and I’m excited for this league to draw some much-needed attention. In fact, WPS already has garnered some interest online.

The Big Lead, ranked on of the top sports blogs online (JuicedSportsblog ranked them worth $1,833,380) posted yesterday about how the American soccer community is giving women’s professional soccer another try.

Although this post is a big misogynistic at first (reflecting the overall tone toward women on top sports blogs)…

“Writing for a lad-maggy blog, I should probably make a Sepp Blatter-style comment about tighter uniforms or include a snarky marketing slogan like “WPS, like the WNBA but attractive.””

He then concludes by actually giving credit to the women who play hard.

“But, seriously, I wish the U.S. women well.  They display more testicular fortitude than the Mens’ team ever has.”

I guess we should say thanks?

Just a side note – to get an idea of the type of fans these blogs have take a look at the comments, which reflect their attitude toward women.

Warning: do not comment on The Big Lead’s blog post. These type of blogs get paid based upon how many comments they recieve. Often, writing about women’s sports online causes a lot of misogynistic comments to come out of the woodwork. I guess these guys really don’t have anything better to do.

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About a week ago, Erica Ortiz e-mailed me to let me know that she picked me as one of her top 5 favorite blogs for Blog Day 2008. I was honored and thanked her for reading my blog.
Interested in her career, I checked out her site, Horsepower and Heels, and was immediately impressed at her commentary as well as her unusual hobby… drag car racing. As you’ll read below, having played sports early in life, she found herself also interested in Mustangs. So she bought one, and starting racing it. The rest is history.
Erica’s story is both interesting and special, and has a feminist tone as she faces adversity in staying “girly” in a male-dominated sport. I’d like to thank her for taking the time to talk to me. I encourage everyone to check out her site and read her commentary.
1) Tell me a little bit about your career. What is your full-time job? You’re a drag car racer, correct? For those of us who are unfamiliar (including me), what exactly is drag car racing?

My day job, I am a marketing and events coordinator for a company that manufactures broadcast equipment. I do some side consulting for the motorsports industry as well. But on the weekends and every other second of my spare time, my passion is drag racing. Drag Racing is the all out acceleration from a dead stop, as fast as you can go in a 1/4 mile or 1320ft. distance. I have been racing since 1998, and turned PRO in 2006.

2) How did you become interested in drag car racing? How did your career develop professionally? Have you played any other sports in your life? If so, which ones? Have they contributed to your success?

Normally, people who race came about it through a family member that races, or some other mechanical aspect. My parents could hardly change a tire, so they find it very puzzling that I ended up having this passion for racing. I can remember being little and looking out the window of our painfully practical and all-around boring sedan at all the Mustangs and other hotrods on the road, and really being in awe of them. My favorite toys when I was little were little cars, not the Barbies my Mom wanted me to play with. When I got in my teen years, that passion for cars really grew. I was a 3 sport Varsity athlete in high school- Volleyball, Basketball, and Track. I actually had a full scholarship for Volleyball, but a severe auto accident the summer before my freshman year in college sidelined me from sports. The only release I had was to compete in cars, so after I graduated high school, I bought my first car- a Mustang GT, and started taking it out to the local track for Street Night. I’ve been hooked ever since.

Shortly after that, I started hanging out at a local speed shop with local star racer, Dennis Lugo. I ended up working there with him, and he taught me how to work on my engines, and really taught me the ropes of racing. My car progressively got faster. I started competing in a racing series, and ended up finishing #2 in my class in 2003, my first full year on the tour. I decided to move up to PRO in 2006, and finished #2 for the season in my rookie year there as well.

4) What are some challenges you face in terms of media attention and drag car racing? Is this typically a male-dominated sport?

Though more women are out there today than when I started back in 1998, Drag Racing is still very much a male-dominated sport. Because it usually is such a unique story, women racing do tend to get more media attention. For the most part, that is a very good thing. However, as we have seen with IRL driver, Danica Patrick, you also tend to be scruntized much more and criticized for your every action. What that means is that as you are going through the learning curve process, they have a microscope on you. Any mistake you make (and believe me, all drivers make mistakes- male or female) spurns all the negative criticism that you can’t “cut it as a driver”. The truth is, all rookies make mistakes, the men just don’t have the magnifying glass over them for theirs.

5) Does sponsorship play a large role in drag car racing? If so, how did you attract your sponsors? Is your gender a challenge in gaining sponsorship?

The great thing about motorsports is that its the one sport where men and women can compete evenly…. the cars know no gender. But these cars are extremely expensive, and require the help of corporate and product sponsorships as you move up the ranks. Better equipment means faster times and makes you more competitive, so obviously the better funded racer has more chances of winning. Being a woman and also hispanic, I am able to offer a very different demographic to my sponsors. Because we are so rare in the sport, women tend to get more coverage and more mainstream appeal than male counterparts. This is a big selling point to sponsors…. win or lose, their car will make the press and thus reach their audience in a big way.

Sponsorships in drag racing are some of the most beneficial marketing dollars companies can spend because it provides them with a very wide array of marketing and promotional abilities. Everything from signage on the car (viewed by spectators, TV, magazines, etc), apparel, corporate hospitality, on-site event promotion, endorsements, printed promotions and hero card handouts, etc. are used as tools to give sponsors exposure and a ROI. My team makes sure that we are very proactive in getting exposure for the companies we represent. We have been featured in countless magazine articles (http://www.horsepowerandheels.com/Media/Print/Index.htm), we created our own TV Series (http://www.horsepowerandheels.com/TV/index.htm), and we stay active promoting the team, and our sponsors on a daily basis. BRISK USA (http://www.briskusa.com/), my main sponsor for 2008, started off as a product sponsor in 2006 and we really worked to get them exposure for their products. They were so impressed by the results, they decided to step up in 2007 to help us bring out a more competitive car. We work very hard to make sure ALL our sponsors are getting a very worthwhile response out of their association with Horsepower & Heels.

Although it would seem that after years of competing and especially how much more marketing appeal we have, that sponsorships would be easy for female drivers. However, I found out the hard way that the glass ceiling is still strongly in place. I’ve been told before that a sponsor still feels that he isn’t sure a woman could handle “a beast of a car like that” and that they are looking for a champion and to win races. Doesn’t matter that women have proven they can win…. the mental thought is still that a man can “get the job done”. Unfortunately, its a double-edged sword. Because you rely on sponsorships to fund a competitive car, women can only be as succesful as their funding allows. Until one is given the chance with a championship budget, we’ll always be running for 2nd best.

6) Who came up with the name “Horsepower & Heels?” what is its purpose? What kind of feedback have you received on this name?

When I started racing, I very much wanted to be accepted, wanted to prove that I was able to compete with the men and be good at what I do. But after awhile, I found myself trying to “be one of the boys” to be out there competing with them. It was almost as though I was apologizing for being me… for being feminine and girly and still wanting to be a fierce competitor at the track. I didn’t like that…. and one day, when a fellow racer expressed his absolute disbelief that I wore heels to a dinner banquet it came to me: Who says Horsepower & Heels don’t mix?!? There is nothing wrong with being a fierce competitor and still being true to what I am…. I am very proud of being a woman in such a male dominated sport.

My friends laughed and really appreciated the name, and after launching my website (http://www.horsepowerandheels.com/) to the public, I received comments and notes from all across the world from other women who could relate. Its allowed me to meet so many great and supportive people.

7) Why did you start a blog? What is the purpose of the blog? How long have you been in the blogosphere, and what have you learned about the community so far?

I started the blog as an experiment in March of 2005 when I launched my website. I had just heard the word “blog” and wanted to learn more about the blogosphere and to have a place to talk about things that were important to me. It started off as a journal, keeping my family and friends informed with how the racing was going, but over the years has expanded to include all things important to me. I love the open communication it allows, and though my niche tends not to be as active in the social media area and don’t comment as much as I’d like, my blog still is the highest read section of my website, and brings 10,000 unique visitors and more each month.

8. What type of audience reads your Hosepower & Heels blog? Is it mainly women? Are you able to attract male bloggers to your site? If so, how? Do you think this is important?

I have readers of all types on Horsepower & Heels: men, women, other racers, and people who don’t race at all. Men thinks its cool, and love to chat cars. Women think its empowering, and kids like to see what’s possible when you put your mind to it. All of that is important. And I try to make sure that there is something for everyone, and that its easy to understand. I also think its important to use my blog for good causes too, that’s why you’ll see a lot of special causes posts (http://www.horsepowerandheels.com/blog/labels/Special%20Causes.html) in the mix too. Its important to give back.

9) What is the Horsepower & Heels Web TV series? How did this develop, and what is its purpose?

After my rookie PRO season, my crewmate Debbie and I were laughing at all the funny things that happen behind the scenes getting to the races. Some of those stories just don’t make good blog posts, and some of them would have made me money on America’s Funniest Home Videos. So, we decided to start carrying around a camera for PNN.com and record what its like behind the scenes being to women on the road and at the races. So far, we’ve been struggling to get the car back together, but once the race season kicks back in for us, there’s sure to be hilarity to follow.

10) I love your post entitled “More than a Tomboy.” I’m interested in hearing why you think people take such interest in your image, and how being a “tomboy” either helps or hurts your career.

This goes back to what created Horsepower & Heels to begin with. People see you out there in racing t-shirts and tanks, and a firesuit, and they begin to forget that you’re still a woman and capable of being girlie and attractive. I haven’t been racing recently, and I still get the comments of awe and shock when I wear dresses and skirts, as if being a racer by default means I can’t be girlie too. Its not necessarily a bad thing, but sometimes it can get a little undermining… like, do people even see me as girl anymore? Am I really that transparent? I’ve been “just one of the guys” so long that sometimes I just want someone to open a car door for me, or comment on my new outfit, and not the size of my engine. Don’t get me wrong, I’m way more comfortable in a shop getting greasy than I am in the kitchen or garden, but still.

11) I’ve seen quite a bit of objectification of women in the male sports blogosphere. They seem to only cover women’s sporting events if the girls are “hot.” What are your thoughts on this? Do you see this as a challenge for bloggers like you and me?

You always get the jerks who make rude and lude comments, that’s just part of it. But I think that as a whole, I’ve found men to be very respectful and complimentary of the actual talent of women athletes, a pretty face just is the very sweet icing on the cake. It breaks the stereotype that women who succeed in athletics are manly and ugly…. just look at Ashley Force or Danica Patrick. Beauty AND Brains AND talent to boot!

12) One of the goals of Because I Played Sports is to bring a voice to women’s sports online. I’m wondering what your opinion is on this. Do you think women’s sports are underrepresented? If so, why?

I do think that regular coverage of women sports is lacking. We are lucky in motorsports, because we’re the only sport that women and men compete together, so we already have media representatives there and grab their attention. But if it were an all-woman series, I don’t think we’d get the billing or the coverage at all, and that’s sad. Its the same for all the other sports…. womens’ basketball only is talked about when there’s a fight, etc.

13) In the fight to bring a voice to women’s sports, how important do you think corporate sponsorship is? Do you see this as a challenge for us? Compared to what it was like ten years ago, do you think we’ve made progress in generating attention for women’s sports? If so, how?

I do think its very important to show support for our female athletes, and that especially includes corporate sponsorship. By allowing them the same means to achieve in their sport, you are not only giving them the chance to be the best, but you are lending credibility to them in the eyes of people who subconsciously or even consciously view them inferior.

14) I noticed the byline of your site is “back then they burned bras… now we burn rubber.” I’m assuming this is a reference toward feminist movements. Do you believe participation in sport is an important aspect of third wave feminism? If so, how? Is it important in the “big picture”?

I don’t neccesarily consider myself a feminist, but I’m all about empowering women to achieve anything they set out to do. I believe that by not conforming to this centuries old idea of what a woman is supposed to do, act, and be, we are redefining what we are. That includes sports….

15) In your opinion, what are some necessary steps to generate attention toward female sports for the future?

Media coverage such as ….Because I Played Sports, more support from sponsors, more personalization into the lives of the women. How much more impressive is it to see these awesome athletes, and know that many of them are mothers, career women, etc. Most women athletes right now are not making their living from their sport, unlike male counterparts. That’s what makes their successes that much more impressive.

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I recently had the unique opportunity to interview a pioneer who has dedicated her career to bringing a voice to women’s sports, Jane Schonberger. Jane is the founder and “Chief Trailblazer” for Pretty Tough, a #1 site for female athletes and fans of women’s sports.

Geared toward young girls and their growing desire to play sports, Jane established the Pretty Tough (PT) brand to demonstrate that a woman’s femininity and desire to play hard can be strong and can co-exit. Not only does PT do an excellent job of conveying this message to an audience who needs to hear it the most, but the site also has some of the best comprehensive, up-to-date coverage of women’s sports available.

I am a strong supporter of this site and this company, and I wish Jane the best of luck in her future endeavors. (You might see me guest blogging for PT in the future).

Check out the below interview. I hope you enjoy her words as much as I have. Thank you, Jane, for your inspiration and taking the time to speak with me.

(MH) Tell me a little bit about yourself, your background and your role at Pretty Tough.

(JS) After a successful career as content developer and entertainment/brand marketing executive, I wanted to focus my attention on something I really cared about. I have two teenage daughters – both athletes – who are my role models.  I wanted to create a brand that spoke to them – and other girls of their generation – demonstrating that a woman’s femininity and desire to play hard and be strong can co-exist.

I teamed up with friends and colleagues that I’d worked with at Disney, Fox and other studios to develop and market the brand. I serve as the Chief Trailblazer but I have help from a talented group of writers, designers, consumer product gurus, licensing professionals, athletes and coaches.

(MH) Have you ever played sports? If so, which sports and how have they had an impact upon your current career and involvement with Pretty Tough?


(JS) As a kid I mostly played sports on a recreational level. I played tennis and swam competitively for a couple years but wasn’t a super serious athlete. The impact on my adult life comes primarily from lessons learned about goal-setting, perseverance and mental toughness.

Today I still play tennis and swim – I also love to hike and bike – and I play basketball on a Moms League at our local park.

I’m also an avid spectator – one of my daughters is an elite level soccer player, the other is a fencer – and I love going to youth sports competitions as well as college and professional sports events.

(MH) Tell me a little bit about the background of Pretty Tough (the book) and how the Web site and sports blog evolved from there. Does Liz Tigelaar have any continued impact on the site?

(JS) One of our early goals when we established Pretty Tough was to publish a series of books that featured young female athletes. We wanted stories about pushing limits and busting stereotypes – e.g. the popular jock can just as easily be a girl as a guy.

Razorbill, a division of Penguin Young Readers, shared our vision and bought the series. Pretty Tough was the first book. Playing with the Boys was the second in the series and we’re working on the third and fourth books now.

Pretty Tough novels illustrate the life of female athletes in a way that’s never been done before. We wanted to show the grittiness and sweat that athletes must endure to be the best they can be. The books also delve into the lives of the athletes—their friendships and romances—stuff that appeals to girl readers.

We created the Pretty Tough book series because we love to read, and as teens, we could never find good books with a female athletic main character. We hope readers can identify with our characters and see how they deal with a lot of the same issues teens face today.

Author/screenwriter Liz Tigelaar was brought on board because she supports girls in their quest to be both strong and tough athletes without losing their sense of girlie-ness and femininity.  She loved the idea of writing books about teenagers for teenagers that sends a positive message and she’s done a terrific job capturing the voice of our characters.

(MH) I noticed there is a PT Team. I’m curious, how did this group of people come together? How did you find so many voices to represent so many different sports?

(JS) We developed a sponsorship/ambassador program last year to recognize girls in diverse sports. We have an application process and girls on our team benefit on a variety of levels.  PT Team members get exposure on our site and via our marketing campaigns; they receive a free cap and shirt, stickers, and other promotional material. They also earn discounts on products purchased through our online store and commissions on sales generated by their efforts.


(MH) In my opinion, Pretty Tough covers sports better than many other resources out there. Who is in charge of updating and keeping track of all the latest female sports news? How do they do it?


(JS) Given our limited staff, the task of keeping the site up-to-date is my responsibility. We work with a talented group of girls and women who contribute material specific to their sport and occasionally assign articles we think will be of general interest.

We’re always looking for new writers and experts and want to provide a forum for all female athletes so hit us up if you think you have something to contribute.


(MH) I noticed there is a “Life & Style” section to the site. What is the purpose of this section, and do you think that section is important in order to attain viewers?


(JS) At our heart, we are a lifestyle brand and I think it’s important for girls to understand how sports and leading active lives are core to a healthy lifestyle. By profiling certain personalities and depicting popular culture, we are essentially connecting the dots and demonstrating how sports and sports themes impact our lives positively on a daily basis.

(MH) How does Pretty Tough profit from the site?


(JS) The site was originally established to develop brand awareness for Pretty Tough and serve as an online shopping destination for Pretty Tough products. It has since evolved into a marketing/advertising vehicle for complementary companies as well.


(MH) I was once told by a female sports blogger that a main reason women’s sports publications such as Sports Illustrated for Women have fizzled out over the years is because they can’t compete with the fashion and consumer magazines and publications, and there is limited interest in the sports news alone. What do you think about this?


(JS) I think that print publications in general are finding it difficult to compete with the internet and other content delivery options. Women’s sports magazines just happened to be at the forefront of pubs experiencing financial difficulties. The current trend is in niche content and given the targeted demographic, I think marketers will find women’s sports sites a more cost-effective way to reach their audience.


(MH) I’ve written about this a few times on my blog, but something that really is annoying to me is that male sports bloggers often only cover female sports when the participant is “hot” or attractive. Have you seen this or come across this? What are your thoughts on male sports bloggers?


(JS) Objectifying female athletes is a favorite pastime of many male bloggers. It’s obvious that “hot” or attractive personalities are going to garner more media attention (whether it’s David Beckham or Amanda Beard) but bloggers only interested in T&A are abhorrent. I love to see female athletes in the spotlight but it’s important to recognize their athletic talents and achievements as well as their physical attributes.


(MH) If you look back to the WNBA fight that happened a few months ago, why do you think that was so successful in grabbing so much attention?


(JS) Although it might not have been the kind of attention the WNBA wanted, the mini-brawl did shine the spotlight on the players momentarily. Female athletes are just as competitive as men and when pushed to the edge they are obviously capable of exhibiting the same lack of control.  The bigger question should be: Now that the women have shown they can fight like the NBA players – can they get paid the same as the guys too?:-)

(MH) Since I started covering the Olympics this year, my site traffic jumped. There seems to be a strong interest during the Olympics which fizzles out over the year. Have you seen this as well? What are your thoughts about the Olympics and its ability to generate an interest in female sports?


(JS) With all of the media hype and money spent on the Olympics, it’s no surprise that interest in all sports was heightened during the event. Athletes such as Nastia Liukin, Shawn Johnson, Allyson Felix, Sanya Richardson, Dara Torres, Kerri Walsh and Misty Misty May-Treanor received well deserved attention. Equally important was a focus on athletes like fencer Mariel Zagunis, pole vaulter Jenn Stuczynski and martial artist Diana Lopez. Hopefully interest in them and other female athletes will continue.

(MH) What do you think about women’s softball being eliminated for the London games? Do you think there’s a chance to bring it back?


(JS) Softball’s elimination from the 2012 Games sucks and since the basis of the IOC’s decision was nebulous at best, I think there’s a good chance they’ll reconsider for the 2016 Games.

(MH) It seems there is a large disconnect between the millions of girls and women (through college) who compete in sports on a daily basis and the few of us who cover and follow women’s sports as adults (after college). What do you think about this? Do you think there is a market out there for adult females who want to learn about and follow women’s sports?


(JS) I’m sure there is a market for adult females who want to follow women’s sports – albeit a small one compared to the male market. At PrettyTough.com we try to focus not only on the sports but also on the lifestyle aspects. Our audience is one that lives a “sports-inspired life” and is also interested in the health, beauty, and entertainment aspects of athletics.

(MH) What do you think is essential in capturing this market? What is holding it back from taking off right now? Why aren’t advertisers interested and investing (i.e., Sports Illustrated for Women got dropped a few years back)?


(JS) As mentioned before, niche content and a targeted demographic provide marketers with great opportunities. The cost of producing and distributing a magazine is significant but there are a number of alternative methods for delivering content that provide marketers and advertisers with cost-effective solutions. Companies seriously looking at the bottom line recognize that women involved in sports and living a healthy lifestyle are a valuable demographic with enormous spending power and they should be finding efficient ways to reach them.

(MH) What do you think the future of women’s sports will be? Do you think we’ll generate more attention, or do you think it has leveled off?


(JS) I believe this is just the tip of the iceberg. Just as college sports has exploded in the past 20 years, women’s sports will be the next huge growth area. College basketball games used to be played in empty arenas  – the first nationally televised game wasn’t until 1968 (UCLA vs. Univ. of Houston). Today there are entire cable networks devoted to college sports and they’re big business for all involved. Women’s sports will follow a similar trajectory.

— I’d like to thank Jane Schonberger again for taking the time to speak to me. Her words and mission at Pretty Tough are critical in our ongoing fight to bring a voice to women’s sports online.

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I came across and commented on a blog post that pissed me off today. Here we have a guy named Wendell Wallace who writes a blog called The Arena, where he expresses his opinions about sports. Unfortunately, they’re not exactly the opinions everyone wants to hear.

Yesterday, Wendell posted about the USA Women’s Softball team, who has been beating up on their competition and is now in the medal rounds, fighting for the gold. But their talent and success doesn’t seem to be inspiring Wendell to write about them. It has more to do with their looks.

He starts by saying statements that could mistakenly be taken as positive remarks about “class” that female athletes possess on the field.

” During these Olympics though, I have found myself watching the USA woman’s softball team, beating up on their competition like they were impersonating the USA men’s basketball team. I enjoy the pace of the women’s game;the women aren’t spitting every other second, or playing with themselves on every swing”

Then he goes on to show his true colors as he says,

“(even though, if Jennie Finch wants to play with herself, THAT’S ALRIGHT WITH ME!!!).”

The reason he started blogging? To be a talk show host on sports talk radio.  Lofty goals for a guy who thinks so much of us women. In fact, he thinks so highly of us that this is what he had to say…

“I hope they’re opportunities for women to play sports professionally in America and make a ton of money doing it until the end of time. Saying all that, you still couldn’t get me to watch a woman’s (fill in the sport here) if they were playing naked in my backyard (for the most part!!!).”

If I were hiring for a sports talk radio host, the first think I’d do is check someone’s blog to see their views on a variety of sports subjects, just to get an idea on whether or not they’re capable of saying something stupid that could get my station in trouble. Maybe that’s why he’s still looking?

This is just more evidence that male sports bloggers SERIOUSLY need to stop covering our “asses” and start covering our athletes.

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Thanks for this one, Total Pro Sports. Seems like I’m getting more and more evidence every day.

Included on this disgusting list are Jenny Finch, Kerry Walsh, Misty May-Treanor, Dara Torres, Chen Xiaoli. Ok, so all five are stars. Four are from USA. One is randomly from China, and hers has my favorite comment,

“Almost two meters of Chinese hotness.  I bet she has a pair of chicken balls under those shorts.”

I think “DanD” wins on the “Beyond ignorance: sexism PLUS added racism = I’m stupid” award. Any company who advertises or associates with that blog is plain stupid. Law suit waiting to happen.

These women have been working hard their whole lives on becoming Olympic athletes, and once they get to this level, they’re immediately materialized by their male counterparts’ fans. So typical, and so disappointing.


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