I have been playing football in a coed rec league for 7 years, two seasons a year. When I first started I was playing on like 5 teams and hung out all day drinking and grilling out in Fairmont Park. We'd hit the sponsor bar after that and then go out later. We were a huge group that everyone knew because of our colors, our size and our playing.
Now, I am old and play on one team and hang out for a little while drinking a couple beers. When you play as a girl on these teams your participation is crucial because one play out of three plays has to be a 'girl play', either qb-ed by a girl or caught by a girl. We always have had girls that can play really well. That's how we won championships. We even had a team with a girl qb and mostly girls on the field and won a championship. We were the girls that other teams would ask us to sub when they were short girls, you had to have 3 on the field at all times out of eight. Anyway, we could do it all catch the bombs, come up with the ball in double coverage, intercept, you name it.
This is why this season is extremely disappointing. We girls are being treated like window dressing. Plays are never called for us specifically, we get the "Girls, get open." crap. It's pretty damn sad that we all have been playing for this long and we have a qb who is basically causing us to lose games because he forgets that we can actually play. I would never play for a team that did this 5 years ago. I would see this happen with teams we would crush because they didn't put faith in their girls. I would see it in teams that asked us to sub when they were short girls and I'd leave them after the first half.
I have been actually thinking that this will be my last season because of this problem. It is just very hard to let go for many reasons, I have so many good memories. I met my husband through this league, I met most of my friends though it as well when I moved back to the area. All of the people I play with, with few exceptions (newer people causing the problems) were at my wedding. I have never missed a season and the only time I missed more than 2 games in a row was when my Dad died. Since they were all at the viewing though, standing in line for 2 hours, they were there for that too.
It's not that I think that all my friends will fall off the face of the earth. I know we'll still be friends. It's the, "I play football. I am a girl, I am 35 years old and I am good at it" mentality that is kinda like a badge of honor. I don't look like an Amazon who's gender is questionable and yet I am still an athlete that would take on a guy on the field any day. Maybe it's silly and vain but it's part of me and it's what I am struggling with today.