Pigskin Princess #3: Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Ball Carrier

Written By: Dawn - Nov• 08•12

When I watch Survivor I always wonder about the women’s beauty habits. Sometimes their hair looks like it’s been combed. I know mine would be a tangled mess of epic proportions. So how exactly do those girls on Survivor do it? The world may never know.

The idea of having a beauty routine for coaching football is futile, but it isn’t so much about beauty as it is about grooming. The male coaches and I all had to make adjustments in our grooming habits during the season, especially during June through mid-September when we practiced in temperatures that ranged from 108 degrees to 90 degrees even with the sun down.

If you know me, you know that I’m a girlie-girl, a fashionista, a Carrie Bradshaw fan. In other words, I’m high maintenance. I’ve always know this about myself, but I also knew I couldn’t bring that girl to the field if I wanted to be taken seriously by the players or my fellow coaches.

Our Arizona heat eliminates the need and ability to look good on the field. The unspoken dress code for football is that you wear Husky Football gear. Thankfully the booster club gave us plenty of T-shirt options. Obviously as a woman, I had an additional need in the garment department and I soon discovered  how thankful I was for the Under part of Under Armor.

My rule of thumb for practice attire went like this- can I sweat like a pig in it? Some garments are easier to sweat in than others it turns out. Part of the football wardrobe included a Husky baseball cap. I figured out that my best option for my long hair was a pony tail or bun on top of my head. Function, not glamor was my rule of thumb.

There are no shortcuts in football. Coaching, while not as physically demanding as playing, is hard on your body. In the heat your body works on overdrive to stay cool and hydrated. Sweat would drip down my back after about three minutes on the field and it didn’t stop until I got in my air-conditioned car to drive home.

I’m not sure there’s enough room here to list all the adjectives that describe how we, coaches and players alike, smelled. Just take my word for it- nasty beyond belief.

During summer we practiced two evenings a week, very manageable since I was off work. When school began and practice shifted to six days a week, looking good became a challenge. Being clean and showered was a challenge. The energy it took to be clean and showered was non-existent.

Presentable became the new standard for grooming. I stayed on top of brushing my teeth and wearing clean underwear, but other things I let go because they didn’t matter.

One of the nice aspects about spending twenty hours a week on a football field is that what you look like is not part of the agenda. As a woman this concept felt unfamiliar at first, but I quickly adapted. The less I thought about how awful I looked and smelled, the less it bothered me. No one else cared, why should I?

It’s not that I enjoyed being a stinky mess. My favorite shower of the week happened on Saturday, after our morning practice.  I’d go all out- hair wash, shave my legs, even use a floral scented body scrub to make feel like a girl again because I had an entire forty-eight hours before I decomposed back into a stinky mess.

I won’t lie and tell you I have a new personal paradigm about beauty expectations. High maintenance is a life long condition. I did enjoy the break from feeling like I had to look good and the freedom that brought. Women are hard on ourselves and each other. My male colleagues gave me a gift they weren’t aware of- they looked past my face value.

The truth is that what I looked (or smelled) like had no relationship to my duties on the field. We were busy during practice. Beauty has no place on the football field unless you’re talking about a perfectly executed slip screen.



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  1. BFF says:

    It’s a football miracle!

  2. Kathryn says:

    So, are you saying there is no “girlie” in football?

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