Is The NFL, Not For Ladies? Or Can Women Make It Pro?

Terrance JacksonCorrespondent IOctober 1, 2010

For years the question has been raised, "can or should women play football?" That is a hell of a loaded question. Can they?Of course. Not every position in football requires you to bench 300lbs or run a 4.3 forty. There are several positions that if a woman wanted to play she sure could. Prime example is a kicker. A strong leg is not required in the NFL. There are a number of kickers that can't boot a 50 yard field goal and make it just fine(John Carney I'm looking at you). So it's not that far fetched to think that if a woman perfected her craft and became a very accurate kicker she could make an NFL roster. However I don't believe that men should question whether women can play football, but rather should women play? Can men accept and treat women as equals on the football field?

There have been numerous attempts by women to play football with boys, Luverne "Toad" Wise was the first girl to play in a football game way back in 1939,She kicked six extra points for Escambia County high school.Nothing spectacular I know, though it was a huge step for women in football.Then later from 1971-2000 there was an attempt each year for a girl to play with boys except for 1979 and 1998, which means there are girls who want to play and men willing to let them.Now there have been many failed attempts for women to have their own league where they play other women like the WPFL, which lasted only eight seasons before stopping play in 2007 due to the fact that there was only one team left. There are some women leagues still playing like the IWFL, which was founded in 2000 and has since expanded to a total of 51 teams broken down in different tiers. Though the league has survived for going on a decade now there still have not been any strides towards getting a women in the NFL. 

So to me what this boils down to is the coaches and scouts. Would a scout be willing, if he saw a woman football player good enough to bring that info his coach? I doubt it, and would a coach have the "you know whats" to put a woman in the game? Again, I doubt it. I would think a woman would have to be out of this world good at what she does just to make a coach even consider letting her even put on her helmet. I think if a woman started off in high school kicking and worked her way up to college and was extremely good at it could get a coach to entertain the idea. My bigger issue is could a woman ever be respected by men enough to play. I would imagine it would be hell for any woman to try to be part of the team and not hear crude jokes like "hey she should be use to putting on pads" and what not. So if ever there was a woman to do this she would not just need to have physical ability but extreme mental toughness as well. Lets not even begin to talk about being in a locker room with a bunch of men and you are the only woman, one would think it would be tough for a bunch of riled up men to control themselves(right, Jets???). 

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This all leads me to this answer, Yes, physically I believe a woman could do enough to play football with men on the professional level. With players like Steve Smith that is all of 5'9" 185lbs who takes tons of physical abuse, what's to stop a woman twice his size from taking the same level of punishment he does?  As for the mental aspect I think yes, if a woman has the mental toughness to take a hit and not be frightened away from taking another, (which I think there will be one) then she should play. I know there are many of you right now saying "that's crazy there will never be a woman that can do what a man does" or "even if she was good enough she would just get hit and what to cry and go home". You know who had thinking like that?...white players had the opinion that black players couldn't play Major League baseball. Their thought was black players weren't good enough to play and even if they did they would want to they'd more than likely quit after hearing and experiencing all of the hate and rejection that would await them. That was the thinking until a man by the name of Jackie Robinson showed up and changed the way a lot of people thought, giving confidence to other black players. So I guess what I'm saying is that out there somewhere is the female equivalent to Mr. Robinson and I believe one day she will make her self known and maybe change not just a sport, but a way of thinking.