Danica Patrick and Lauren Silberman: Why Even Small Firsts Are Still Important

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Danica Patrick has been around, even in NASCAR driver form, for a while now, and if you are like me you’ve gotten used to rolling your eyes at whatever dumb thing the 13 year old boys who run Go Daddy’s marketing department are making her do now and moving on.  So unless you’re a diehard NASCAR fan, you might have missed that this week Danica became the first female driver to ever capture the Daytona 500 pole.

Unless you are a NFL junkie (and I mean a serious, I-am-dvring-the-scouting-combine-footage-on-NFL-Network junkie), you may have also missed that next weekend Lauren Silberman will become the first woman to attend an NFL regional scouting combine as a prospective draftee.

In the context of the wins-oriented sports world, these are not mind-blowing achievements.  No one has won Daytona from the pole in over a decade, and anyone meeting the NFL’s general eligibility requirements (and ponying up the registration fee) can attend a regional level combine (it’s the Draft Combine, which is invitation only, that gets all the media coverage, usually).

But tell the little girls suddenly swarming Daytona that Danica’s pole doesn’t really matter.  Tell the eleven year old in Philadelphia who still is being forbidden to play football solely because of her gender that the best football league in the world accepting a woman’s application to enter their scouting process as if she was any other player is no big deal.  Just think for one minute about SportsCenter Sunday night ending with the traditional celebratory winner and what that looks like if it’s Danica amid the confetti. Think about watching Fox’s Game of the Week on Sunday, and hearing Joe Buck casually announce “Silberman out to attempt the field goal.”  We may be a long way from that actually happening (particularly the latter), but the path to both of those endings just got a little bit smoother.  And that’s something to celebrate.

Why I love being a curling mom

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Curling cuteness from my favourite Olympics

My seven-year-old daughter played in her very first out-of-town tournament this past weekend. It was a big moment for me: a small part of me felt like I finally “arrived” as one of the millions of North American parents who every year pile their kids and their big stinky bags of hockey gear into a minivan and hit the highway to cheer them on in a chilly rink and remind them not to press all the buttons in the hotel elevator.

Except that I drive a Civic, her gear fits into a small backpack, and she’s a curler.

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A Bunch of Strong Men in Silly Hats

In the last few months of the NFL season, I have developed an obsession with the striped pom-pom hats which have popped up on the sidelines. There is just something incredibly amusing about a player trying to maintain his game intensity on the sidelines while wearing something that looks like a present from their grandmother. Since the Super Bowl is in both a warm climate and the dome, this Sunday will likely be the last hurrah for their fuzzy majesty.  Let’s bask in the goofiness with a slideshow!

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Advent Calendar of Hotness Day 22: Daniel Conn

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Yeah yeah, so I might be a little stuck on Australian rugby players. But can you blame me? After being introduced to Kayne Lawton, I ended up on a two hour long tangent that led me to several other um, delightful looking young fellows, and given that it’s almost Christmas, I can’t not share this. Meet Daniel Conn – model and second row forward for the Sydney Roosters. NSFW warning, though I’m hoping you’re all on holiday break by now…

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Hanukkah Hunks Night 6: Merrill Moses

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Water polo? Merrill who? Don’t worry, you can always leave it to your girl buffalita to find hot, shirtless Jewish athletes no matter what sport they play. Mr. Moses is the goalkeeper for the US Olympic water polo team who won silver at the 2008 Beijing games. Call it cheating if you must, but it’s too easy to find an unnecessary amount of half/mostly naked photos if an athlete plays a water sport. Just sayin’.

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