In the run-up to this year's Super Bowl, two of our regular contributors, Alyssa Rosenberg and Hampton Stevens, will be discussing the challenges that face female sports fans, who are perhaps in greater number than ever. Alyssa begins the conversation today with a note to Hampton about sexism at the stadium and in sports journalism.
Under normal circumstances, I'd be jealous of you for heading off to the Super Bowl next week. But after the Patriots' ignominious collapse against the Jets, I'm still in a fog of grief that makes trying to enjoy football seem like a fool's errand. And trying to find a secondary rooting interest is particularly difficult this year. I find both Aaron Rogers and Troy Polamalu quite winning.
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But it's not really a matter of deciding between two good options. Players on both teams—Ben Roethlisberger of the Steelers and Green Bay's Brad Jones, Clay Matthews, Josh Sitton, Khalil Jones, Korey Hall, Matt Flynn, and Brandon Underwood—have all had serious sexual assault allegations made against them recently (the most recent allegations against Roethlisberger were dropped because the victim didn't want to go through a trial; Jones, Matthews, Sitton, Jones, Hall, and Flynn were cleared; Underwood remains under investigation). As a result, I'm trying to figure out who I want to lose less: the quarterback around whom there seems to be a perpetual fug of ugly sexual behavior towards women, or a player who may have assaulted two women at a single party.