Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Modern Girls' Guide to the Gridiron by VF Castro

By Shawn

The synopsis here is actually pretty simple.  Most items out there discussing and explaining football are both geared towards and created by men.  Though this book could also be titled 'Football for Dummies' the fact is that most of us women aren't dummies.  We, in general, know little about football because we just don't care.  Football has taken away our spouses, brothers, fathers, uncles and children for far too long!  Why would we care about football when it takes so much attention away from us?  Not to mention the fact that it comes with a language all it's own.  They might as well be ignoring us while speaking a new form of Vulcan.

So here's the deal; you can't just sit back and ignore football if it's a part of your  life.  You can't pretend to slide it under the rug and not care about it if it does indeed affect you.  You don't have to love it.  You don't have to pick a favorite team and cheer for them.  But at least making an attempt to understand it can open up some serious new opportunities in your relationships.  Not only that, but when you hear the men in the next room talking and you begin to understand what they're saying, it can really do wonders for your self esteem.  It's exciting learning something new! (Even if you think you have no interest).  There's also the 'broccoli effect'.  You never know...once you try it, you may like it!

Castro is a sports journalist and has seen the gender gap first hand where football is concerned.  She writes in a humorous and down to earth way.  Each chapter takes you step by step into the world of football, but don't worry.  She holds your hand the entire way.  It's sort of like sitting back with an old friend and sipping wine.  Then you say 'OK So this football thing...what do I need to know so I can impress my husband?'  And then...she proceeds to tell you.  Everything is easily spelled out so that it's difficult not to understand it.

As a read through book, I was actually pretty bored.  DO NOT pick this book up with the belief that you'll just read through it really quickly and become a football expert and impress all your friends and family!  Instead, think of it as a guidebook.  Pick at one section until you understand it.  Better yet, start mentally jotting down the words you don't know and the things you want to understand better and then use the handy spandy guides in the book to get the information you seek.  If your loved ones are yelling at the quarterback...wouldn't it be great to know what a quarterback is?

Now, I don't mean to imply that women have no interest in football or sports at all, nor that they're idiots.  I know that this applies to a lot of women out there, and the above is what this book has to offer you.  It can easily and quickly give you enough knowledge to understand what's going on and bridge that gap.  Now, if you are a sports fan, and more specifically a football fan, this book still has lots to offer you.  There are anecdotes and history sprinkled throughout the book.  There's also a section at the back that I personally enjoyed that lists the different NFL teams and their histories.  There's also a section on Canadian Football League, a glossary, and all sorts of interesting information.  Whether you're just seeking a basic knowledge of the game or interested in adding to your cache of football knowledge, this is a pretty handy book.  Personally, it's going on my keeper shelf just in case I need it.  I sort of consider it my 'Football Cheat Book'.

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