Patricia Gannon: The real reason women don’t do sports talk

With another football season upon society, women are still markedly absent from the conversation. Not from serving the snacks and cheering from the sidelines, but from the real narrative, the men in suits on the air who define what is and isn’t happening on the gridiron. These are the advisers, the consultants, the panels of pundits who speak about coaches, predictions, drafts and preseason practices.

This last bastion of maleness remains closed to female opinions, although women can contribute eons of tactics when it comes to outrunning men, dodging meaty grips, avoiding tackles and escaping a clinch. Who better than those inured to housework to understand how to pancake the quarterback, move the pile, shake and bake, and clothesline a wide receiver? Females also have an archaic connection to football, whose ancestor was played by both single and married women in medieval times. There were no rules or referees, and games often had to be outlawed to curtail the violence.

It’s not a question of chops or stamina, as women have proved they can expound at length about nothing much (“The View,” “The Talk”) and be equally as entertaining as men expounding at length over nothing much (“The Sports Reporters,” “Outside the Lines,” “The Best Damn Sports Show Period.”)

What really underlies the lack of women on sports talk shows is men’s fear of being judged. Men can bear the criticisms of other men, indeed they are brought up to take it, suck it up and walk it off. A man’s censure won’t kill, but a woman’s will: “You dropped the ball? What kind of man are you, anyway?

And there you have it. Game over.

Patricia Gannon covers society for The Acadiana Advocate. She can be reached at pgannon@cmaildrop.com or at pgannon@theadvocate.com.

Reggie Jones does Lafayette layover

What a man. Former NFL player Reggie Jones crossed paths with Kiki Frayard at a boutique book signing, one brief stop on his Stilettos on Gridiron: Women Getting a Feel for the Game tour. The ex-cornerback turned motivational speaker seemed totally at ease among the high-end accessories. “My mom never understood football past touchdown and first down,” said Jones. “I knew they (women) would be a good market, and I ran with it.” In his book, Jones compares football teams to relationships and says they parallel one another. “For a successful team, you want two team players,” he explained. “What you often get is a team player and a selfish player or two selfish players.” Currently based in Memphis, Jones plans to promote his book outside the U.S, including the UK. “They love American football,” he said.

Petroleum Club hosts kickoff luncheon

There was a lot of testosterone in the room as Delta Media’s 103.7 The Game presented its 2014 Kick-Off luncheon to benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Acadiana. Former NFL quarterback Jake Delhomme, super-Saint Chris Reis, “Voice of the Tigers” Jim Hawthorne and broadcasters Jordy Hultberg and Dave Schultz talked about the upcoming football season in South Louisiana. Basking in the discussion were happy guys Wayne Hebert, Glenn Hebert, Tommy Kreamer, Stuart Clark, Jeremy Oubre and Delta GM Chuck Wood. “I’m just excited to be a part of it,” said Chris Martin of the Boys & Girls Club. “For those attending it’s a good investment, and we’re proud to be the beneficiary.”

RCAF rallies at the Cajundome

The Cajundome Convention Center bled red as Lafayette sports society gathered on behalf of University of Louisiana at Lafayette coaches. “We’re shooting for $350,000 this year,” said Ragin’ Cajun Athletic Foundation committee member Ceci Thomassie. “All proceeds go to the coaches.” Jake Delhomme agreed to do his sign-up board again, and shouldering their way through the throng were Dr. E.J. Savoie, UL Lafayette’s Aaron Martin and Raoul Blanco, Paul and Julie Falgout, Athletic Director Scott Farmer and wife Jackie, Hizzoner Joey Durel and the missus, Margaret and Keith Trahan, worker bees Ken Blanc, Craig Melançon, Charles Sarver and Blaine Barrilleaux, political racehorses Mike Harson, Keith Stutes, and Susan Theall, director of football operations Troy Wingerter, and, of course, the man of the hour, Coach Mark Hudspeth. “In exactly one week, we’re going to be singing the fight song across the street,” said Hudspeth. “We can make history.”