Written on September 15, 2014 at 11:14 am , by FITNESS Intern
Written by Jacklyn Kouefati, editorial intern
We’re all about crushing those double standards. But when it comes to athletics, specifically the NFL, women are losing the fight for dominance, which is why we’re so excited Hera Sport is now a thing.
Launched just a couple of weeks ago, founder Elizabeth Vagianos created the online community specifically for female sports fanatics looking for a place to get their fashion fixes. Because let’s be honest: The whole sports-crazed fashionista thing is pretty badass.
“I grew up watching sports with my mother and my three sisters,” she says. “My father would cook Sunday afternoon lunch for us while we watched football.”
Role reversal for the padres, much? We’re into it. “I saw that I wanted to have this community my mother had built for us in our home,” she says, “I wanted to have that with my peers, but I really couldn’t find anything out there that was a community of women who enjoyed sports but were still feminine and enjoyed fashion and stylish things.”
The website features an array of topics, including fashion and beauty—outfits to wear and fun nail art, aka “fanicures”; food and health; travel; playbook—lots of fantasy football and baseball coverage; and Words of Lizdom, where Vagianos gives her own bits of advice.
“I’m Greek American and I’ve always loved Greek mythology. Hera to me symbolized the ‘it’ girl,” the Patriots fan says. “She was Zeus’s wife and she was powerful. It wasn’t about her beauty, like maybe Aphrodite or other goddesses. It was her strength and her power as a female. I really wanted my brand to be driven by a strong female name.”
Mission accomplished? “A lot of women are telling me that they finally found their home—a place that they can be feminine but be fans in an unintimidating community. It’s been really nice to hear.”
Vagianos envisions Hera partnering with the NFL to bring about an even bigger community of women who can “enjoy sports with style.” We’ll be rooting for her—and Hera—but in the meantime, join us as we make our own fanicures.
“Hands down, the biggest misconception is if you’re feminine and stylish that means that your knowledge base is nil,” Vagianos says. “So basically being a woman means really not knowing about the game, and that’s something I really want to address with this site.”
Photo courtesy of Hera Sport
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Written on September 5, 2014 at 6:33 pm , by Bethany Cianciolo
NFL season is officially on, and we’re pretty sure the men in your life (husbands, boyfriends, fathers, brothers, uncles, grandpas, distant cousins, etc.) are already glued to Sports Center and planning what type of beer they’re going to grab for game time. And while most of us are led to believe the male-football obsession is the only one that exists, it turns out things aren’t so one-sided. In fact, nearly half of the NFL’s fans are female, according to recent Scarborough research. So instead of rolling your eyes at every angry gesture your man and his friends make at the television, let yourself get caught up in the emotion too. Because not only are there things they want you to know (trust us, they’ll find it incredibly sexy when you rattle off player stats), but the players wish you did, too. New York Giants linebacker Jon Beason gave us some scoop:
1. Football requires brain power. Yes, the game is actually more than just a mean arm and fancy footwork. The guys have to think fast and memorize each play beforehand, so nix the “dumb jock” stereotypes, stat.
2. It is a job. We all know players in the NFL are making some nice chunks of change, but they don’t just show up, play the game and leave. There’s a ton of preparation that goes into each game, and when they travel, they have a curfew and bed check. No special guests allowed!
3. Not all players are the same. ”The majority of guys have a lot of stuff outside of football that makes them unique,” says Beason. “Football is a reflection of who you are, but it’s not all you are.”
4. They, too, have fitness mantras. “Talk is cheap; play the game” and “No toughness; no championship” are some of the quotes we found splashed across the Giants’ locker room when we took a tour with actor Taye Diggs and Duracell. Right on, boys.
5. Those headsets the coaches use are crucial. Angry coaches screaming into mics ring a bell? Communicating to the guys on the field is harder than it looks! Games get really, really loud, and they need to get messages to their players fast. Before technology, coaches had to use hand signals. Yowza!
Want to see how NFL games are powered? Check out Duracell’s infographic for some interesting facts on the technicalities of the games.
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Written on August 2, 2013 at 3:00 pm , by Lauren Cardarelli
Sarah Thomas is about to tackle some major gender barriers, evening one of America’s biggest playing fields—football. The 39-year-old Brandon, Mississippi resident and mother of three is set to make history as the first permanent female ref hopeful in the NFL this upcoming season. You go, girl!
Discovered by a scout after working her way up from peewee to college-level (she was the first female to officiate an NCAA game in 2007), Thomas is currently one of the 21 official finalists in the NFL’s higher-level training pool. Oh, and did we mention she has a full-time job in pharmaceutical sales? Plus a 7-month-old? No big deal.
The mentally demanding career is not all about snap judgments or pros/fans not approving your calls (insert obnoxious booing and trash talk here)—it’s also physical! Referees have to be fit so they can keep up with the players, plus agile enough to get out of a quick running back’s (or scary linebacker’s!) way. Not a problem for Thomas. According to The New York Times, she was the first athlete at her high school to letter five times in a sport (softball) and went onto the University of Mobile on a basketball scholarship.
Confidence is another one of Thomas’ strong (striped) suits, according to the NFL’s vice president of officiating, Dean Blandino. Being a woman doesn’t make her any less qualified or capable to officiate in her eyes. “I don’t feel that it’s been harder for me because I’m a female,” she told ABC News. The only time she ever felt out of place? When she sported her uniform during her pregnancy. “The spouses of my crew made me a maternity referee shirt,” Thomas told The Times in 2009.
Thomas did not set out to break a glass ceiling; she just followed her love of the game. And for that, we applaud Thomas and wish her nothing but the best of luck. Talk about girl power if she makes the cut! As she told Bloomberg last month, “If you’re doing things because you love them, then things have a tendency to just kind of fall into place.”
Now you tell us: What are your thoughts on Sarah Thomas becoming the first female NFL referee?
Written on December 22, 2012 at 10:38 am , by FITNESS Intern
Written by Jennifer Fiorentino, editorial intern
Homegating [verb]: Bringing the spirit of football games into the comfort of your own home.
That’s exactly how we would describe what happened when actress and singer Holly Robinson Peete invited us to the NFL homegating kickoff here in New York City. Along with celebrity chef Laurent Tourondel, who whipped up some of his favorite game day bites, we experienced the art of homegating first hand. It just may become a new tradition for some of our staffers!
How exactly does homegating work? It’s simple: if you love the spirit that surrounds tailgating, but want to ditch the unpredictable weather or can’t always afford to hit up a game, homegating is a fun alternative. Invite some pals over, decorate the house in team décor and serve the foods you’d see cooked up at your typical tailgate.
“Our fans have an incredible passion and we are pleased to bring them more ways to connect with the game and each other,” says Tracey Bleczinski, NFL’s vice president of consumer products.
To find out more about how to bring a little health to the fan-friendly fun, we sat down with Peete and learned about her own family’s homegating routine. Check out the secrets this NFL wife (she’s married to former Panthers quarterback Rodney Peete) practices below!
Written on September 7, 2012 at 3:54 pm , by Lauren Cardarelli
Are you ready for some football? If so, you’re in luck because the season kicks off this week! Speaking of “luck,” regardless of whether you have a killer lineup set for your Fantasy league or are forced to tune in because of your significant other (hey, those tight pants aren’t that bad on the eyes!), one name that should certainly sound familiar is Andrew Luck.
The 22-year-old Heisman runner-up was taken first overall in April’s 2012 NFL draft and has quickly but efficiently shifted from Stanford student to a pro as the Indianapolis Colt’s starting quarterback. We caught up with Andrew to get the dirt on preparing for the season, what it has been like making the leap from college to the NFL and more! Here’s what we learned:
Playbook vs. “real” book smart. It’s important for any player on the field to have football intelligence, but playing smart is imperative for the quarterback while calling plays to gain yardage. Andrew has the brains—he was the valedictorian of his high school’s 2008 class and recently earned his undergraduate degree architectural design—to match his athleticism. “Learning a new playbook has been a learning process but it’s going in the right direction,” he said. For his first in-season game against the Chicago Bears, Andrew has been fully immersing himself in the opponent’s defense, analyzing and developing strategies that will put his team in the best possible position come game day. Read more