I’m a girl who was raised playing sports. I’m the youngest of three girls and in terms of activities for kids where I was raised, sports were pretty much it. National law had finally dictated that public schools had to offer girl and boy teams and I was a product of one of the first generations to benefit from that law.
So I played softball, basketball, soccer, ran track, tried gymnastics and even played ice hockey in college (intermural). I watch football every Sunday during the season and pretty much know the rules of most US sports. I can cheer with the guys and debate calls with the best of them. Does that make me a tomboy? No. What it makes is a modern female.
The old stereotype that women can’t and don’t like sports is exactly that—old. I just heard a statistic that almost half of NFL fans are women. Yes, there is still a good portion of women who don’t like sports, but that can also be said for men. The idea that our gender defines whether or not we like sporting events is as old as the stereotype.
This is why I love reading sports romances. I gobbled up Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ books about the Chicago Stars back in the nineties. That was the first series I found that combined three things I love. Reading, romance and sports. Do you remember these books?
Thankfully, sports romance have become more plentiful and popular in the last five or so years and have broadened to cover all kinds of sports. I’m theorizing this is because there are more women like me who grew up on sports and love reading stories centered around them. But hey, that’s just a wild guess. I’m also betting that there are more women like me who grew up on sports and are now writing sports romances. And isn’t that pretty dang cool?