The XFL: A Woman's Nightmare

Just when it was beginning to look safe for women to walk into the den with a bag of chips and a beer, here comes the XFL. We've waited and dreamed of the day we could once again occupy the couch, remote control in hand, ready to settle in for a long winter's Lifetime Original Movie, (Gia, how does your story end?) only to have the fantasy quashed by so much pigskin and padding. The chips get snatched, the beers gets "can I have a sip"ped and we eventually have to surrender -- tails between our legs, wondering why Oprah hasn't done something to stop this madness.

I think it's time we stage a Million Woman's March on the NBC headquarters. The buck, er ball, has got to stop sometime and I say it's now.

Haven't we been good? Don't we deserve a break?

Patiently we sat through college football. Yeah, rah, rah, blah, blah. Whatever the team du jour, we kept our complaints to a minimum. Our perseverance was eventually rewarded, and in a flurry of bowl games the succession of football Saturdays finally slowed and stopped. But there was still the NFL eating up Sunday afternoons and Monday nights -- not to mention Sports Center every night. We suffered, we were ignored, we got angry, we stopped buying chips and beer (why make spectating any more pleasant?) and waited out the season with Super Bowl Sunday circled on our calendars in bright red ink.

That glorious day, the one day that man and woman unite to worship football -- he for the grand conclusion of the season, she for the, well, conclusion. If the football gods will promise to go away after having their own holiday (as if taking Thanksgiving and New Year's Day weren't bad enough), then all I can say is "Kegstand, anyone?"

Hell, we're so excited about the end of football season, we'll even make the wings for the Super Bowl Party and run to the store when the ice supply dips low. It's a blessed tradition, a time honored event.

So where does the XFL get off forcing 12 more weeks of plays and passes, near misses and Gatorade showers on us? (The cooler dumping thing was only funny, oh I don't know, the first THOUSAND times.) It's time to put our collective Manolo's down and demand that football stop, at least until next fall.

After all, we've already got basketball to deal with. College and the NBA. Not to mention hockey. And when those sports end, professional baseball. And there's always golf, and wrestling, and boxing, and soccer, and ... I'm getting depressed. Direct TV should come with Lithium prescriptions. Call it a his-and-her addiction package.

Before all you arm-chair quarterbacks dismiss me as a powder-puffing sports hater, allow me to explain my position. First off, I love sports. In fact, maybe only five percent of the female population likes sports better than I do. (That's five percent of the non-mullet wearing, non-high school P.E. teaching, population.)

But when I say I like sports, I like to play sports. I've played most every sport traditionally available to women, and even some typically male sports. I've got trophies and jerseys chronicling my forays into basketball, tennis, softball, soccer, and golf. I've won national honors as a martial artist. I even had a stint as the kicker on my high school football -- yes, football -- team. I understand testosterone. I highly value adrenaline. Endorphins are my friends. But, none of that makes 12 more weeks of football even remotely enticing, even if it is kind of like wrestling. Come on, at least Gia's story has a message.

Besides, we just don't need the XFL. It would be like putting monster truck tires on a Ford Escort: unnecessary, illogical, and just plain ugly. We've already got the NFL, Arena Football, arenafootball2, and college football. We've already got the WWF, the WCW, and local wrestling in every city of the nation. And if the cheerleaders are supposed to be the draw, well, we don't need them either. We've already got Baywatch and Platinum Plus, without even mentioning Laker Girl-type aberrations.

But if Vince McMahon insists on forging ahead with his silly little sport, here's an idea: half-time wrestling matches. For the first one I propose a true battle of the sexes. In one corner, the men could be represented by McMahon himself. And in the other, we women could have the "Outrageous O": that's right, Oprah. Guys, we're taking back the chips and the beer, and don't even think twice about reaching for the remote. How 'bout it Vince, you ready? Let's get it on.

Rebekah Gleaves is a staff writer for the Memphis Flyer, an alternative weekly in Memphis, Tennessee, and not an XFL cheerleader or team member. Nor is she a professional wrestler.

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