There's plenty to dislike about a recent effort in lazy writing from Kent Sterling at 101 ESPN. It's about Sam Bradford, specifically why he isn't a more popular athlete in the St. Louis market. We'll get to that in a minute. What really stood out, though, is the casual sexism Sterling uses to dismiss female football fans.
I hate to link to the piece, giving the site more page views than it deserves, but you do kind of have to read it to believe it.
Here you go, ladies, the essence of the female football fan distilled into one easily understood paragraph from the program director at 101 ESPN, which has a deal with the Rams to be the team's "flagship station" ...
Women love a narrative. Guys want production and wins, but women are a little tougher. They need the story. Bradford has no story that fans are aware of. Without a narrative, affection can't exist.
Ah ha! Now we understand what makes the female football fan tick.
Honoring the the spirit of Betty Friedan wasn't even the most ridiculous aspect of Sterling's column.
Here's the program director of the city's top rated sports talk radio station bemoaning the lack of narrative surrounding St. Louis' starting quarterback. Think about that for a minute. A major media outlet pointing to the lack of narrative about a first-overall pick in the NFL draft. Even Sterling's 1950s version of the American women would understand the disconnect there.
The whole point of the article was to ask why nobody in St. Louis loves Sam Bradford, so over-simplification was in the cards from the start.
Bradford's a quarterback for a team that, prior to this season, didn't win many games. Regardless of how much responsibility you attribute to the quarterback for that mess, it's not exactly the kind of thing that makes a player a superstar. Take Bradford and replace him with Chris Long or James Laurinaitis ... it's the same thing. The reason Steven Jackson is so well-know is that he's been here since 2004 posting big, obvious numbers for fans and fantasy football players to love in spite of the three crummy regimes he played for prior to this one.
101's program director then dares make a point about expectations:
There is no image at all in the minds of St. Louis fans when they hear Bradford's name or watch his trot on to the field. Expectations simply do not exist for Bradford, and without them there is nothing for him to live up (or down) to. There is no trust, and without trust, love cannot exist.
Again, here's the local media pointing out the lack of expectations for a player and a team they cover. A program director for a major sports media outlet complaining about the lack of expectations for a player and his team ... think about that.
Reading the whole mind-numbing thing a second time, I did at least come away feeling a little better about it all. Sure, female football fans take a direct hit from his stereotype, but it's more inclusive than that. He insults the intelligence of all Rams fans.
The Rams are already a better team. More winning seasons are coming. When that happens fans will definitely expect more, more from the team and more from the outlets that cover it.