Women’s Footy – and their breasts
I now have a women’s team to support and barrack for.
Coming into this inaugural season of official women’s footy, and with no Swans team involved, I decided to just play it by ear. I had a feeling it might be a northern states team I would follow, and I definitely had a stronger feeling that it wouldn’t be the Giants.
So, as soon as the Brisbane women ran out onto the ground in their match against the Demons, my choice had been made. My “second” men’s team has always been Brisbane, I’m a passionate Queensland cricket follower, and a fairly staunch Broncos League supporter, so the maroon and gold choice this weekend wasn’t difficult.
Of all four matches played over the past few days, I thought the Demons v Lions game was the best. Or, more to the point, I enjoyed it the most. Maybe that’s because it was a close and fairly even contest, compared to the other three games. Or, maybe it’s because the Queensland women were by far the underdogs and not given any chance of defeating the more fancied Demons, and as such, I wanted them to win. They were determined to show that footy north of the border could match it with, perhaps, the more knowledgeable and more AFL-experienced southern counterparts. The skill level and the flow of the game – despite the heavy rain, thunder and lightning – was evident, and was matched by sheer guts and determination to get over the line in the final quarter.
I enjoyed all four games over the weekend; this one the most.
What has struck me, above all else, is the fact that the teams have had little chance to even train together, let alone play together, and so many players were playing just their first real game of Australian Football. Remarkable really, and a good foretaste of what the women’s game can eventually become: highly skilled, extremely competitive and as professional, hopefully, as the men’s teams we’ve all grown to love.
Having read all of the Almanac stories of the games over the weekend, the passion for the women’s game has been evident, and not just from women. The men who’ve written their stories have shown just what it means to them and their families as well, and one has to hope that the wider community feels the same – or will in time.
The only thing I read in the Almanac that left me a little perturbed was a comment about women’s breasts – especially larger ones – in relation to the game. It was not a put-down, but it got me thinking.
Almanac writer Bring Back the Torp (who no doubt knows a lot more than I do about women’s footy history and footy knowledge generally), had enlightened us all with his very informative piece on January 25th this year Almanac Footy History: A chronological history of women’s Australian Football, and was showing his concern when he posted a Comment under Kasey Symons’ article: AFLW Round 1 – Carlton v Collingwood: This was no exhibition match of Feb 4, 2016. (See linked article at end of piece).
The latter part of his Comment disturbed me, notably when he questioned whether heavy-breasted women could play in the AFLW if they are constantly required to run up and down the oval (7-18kms per game) and whether it could be painful and damaging to the breasts.
I felt obliged to have my say (as is my wont sometimes) and made mention in my subsequent Comment about men and their dicks, and whether they hindered the men in their running capacity on the footy field.
I do realise that my mentioning of the male appendage was perhaps a little sarcastic, and that breasts (I imagine) weigh more than the male appendage, but I honestly can’t imagine that women’s breasts could have any influence on the performance of a woman competing in a footy game – nor men’s penises for that matter.
Bring Back the Torp, still concerned about our breasts, then pointed out that women playing footy could be expected to jog/sprint for 7-18 kms and that female distance runners are slim, and asked whether I/we knew any Olympic distance runner with a Serena Williams-like body.
I have not, as yet, replied to his last Comment. But I will say, here, that female distance/Olympic runners have absolutely nothing to do with the women playing AFL footy. To my knowledge, none of them is an Olympic distance runner. They are simply women with a wide range of differing shapes and sizes: some slim, some not so; some tall, some not so; some who run faster, some not so fast, and certainly some with bigger breasts than others. So what?
Surely it is the overall size of the person – and fitness – (male or female) that counts, when talking about the distance run in a footy game, and nothing to do with the size of the mammary glands.
Well, that is my belief.
To be fair to Bring Back the Torp and his far more detailed comments, see Kasey’s article: AFLW Round 1 – Carlton v Collingwood: This was no exhibition match