October 30, 2006, - 11:30 am
By Debbie Schlussel
Holley Mangold is the 16-year-old sister of New York Jets starting center, Nick Mangold.
She, too, is a lineman, playing football with the guys. No lie. At 5’9″, she weighs 310 pounds. A back-up offensive lineman–er, linewoman?–she plays on the men’s football team at Ohio’s Archbishop Alter High School. There are only two male players her size or bigger on the team.
I have mixed feelings about this, but am generally against women competing in men’s sports involving physical contact. On the one hand, she’s a big girl and will never be a supermodel (or even a cheerleader). She definitely has the size to play high school football as a lineman. It’s admirable that she’s not insisting that the school create a women’s football team or that the requirements and standards are lowered to allow her to compete with the guys. The evidence is that she’s pretty tough.
Her coach told the New York Times:
“She’s an in-your-face, knock-you-on-your-tail offensive lineman.”
But is it in the best interest of men or women to have this “in-your-face, knock-you-on-your-tail” girl playing on the high school football team? What do guys say or do when they are tackled by her and sacked to the ground? They then become the embarrassment of all embarrassments, whether or not they play for her team or the opposing school. They become the player beaten up by a girl. Is her self-esteem so important that they get to be emasculated emotionally? Then, there’s the contact issue. What of it? How is it addressed? Can male players get disciplined for molestation because they hit her in the wrong place on the field?
Holley Mangold says,
“I like to hit people.”
All fair and good. But what happens when Mangold wants to “hit people” in college and try out for the pros? The two most prominent women college football players–both kickers–ended up in scandals, with one suing her team (Duke) because she couldn’t kick on par, and the other claiming her Colorado teammates raped her. Imagine what will happen with a female linemen?
This isn’t one of those “Homecoming Quarterback Princess” TV movies of the week. In real life, women really can’t handle playing in a men’s sport. It puts everyone in an awkward position. And creates problems for everyone–men and women–involved, all in the name of women’s lib.
We’ll be watching Holley Mangold to see what happens in her case.
Tags: Archbishop Alter High School, cheerleader, coach, Colorado, football, Holley Mangold, Holley Mangold Her, Homecoming Quarterback Princess, lineman, New York Jets, Nick Mangold, offensive lineman, Ohio, Ohio's Archbishop Alter High School, player, playing football with the guys, The New York Times