Meaghan Kirby
February 02, 2018 4:07 pm
JEFF HAYNES/AFP/Getty Images

For one outdated patriarchal reason or another, the conversation around sports generally tends to revolve around men. From the notably male-focused advertisements to decades worth of often blatant sexism from male-dominated commentators, there’s a frankly bizarre shadow cast over the notion that women are legitimate fans of a particular sport or team — and that extends, of course, to football.

Oddly, this all continues despite the fact that women make up just under half of the NFL’s audience. But just like it’s totally fine for men to be entirely disinterested by sports, women have come to claim their lucky seat on the left side of the couch, closest to the buffalo chicken dip — because it’s time for the “women just aren’t interested in sports” narrative to be retired.

A new study from Ticketmaster and Fan Up!, which surveyed 1000 fans from various NFL franchises regarding fan traditions in anticipation for Super Bowl LII, actually laid out some pretty surprising facts about female football fans, from their preferred pump-up methods to their commitment to their beloved team — through the good and the bad.

Here are 5 surprising facts about female football fans that’ll have you doing a touchdown dance:

1Female fans are committed to in-house morale.

The study found that 90% of female participants believe that being in the stadium cheering on their team can make a difference in the outcome of the game. Additionally, more women than men found the energy at a stadium to be more exciting than watching the game elsewhere.

2Women have their own superstitions.

Much like some men won’t wash their lucky shirt for a whole season, the study found that 40% of women watching the NFL considered themselves to be superstitious. They’re also extra committed when it comes to their game-time attire, as they were twice as likely as men to say that an outfit could increase the energy inside the stadium. Seriously though, anything to bring in that win.

3Women tend to stand by their team even in times of defeat.

The study showed that women are half as likely as men to miss a game because of a losing record. Additionally, women are more likely to go see their team even when the team has a losing record late in the season — because true loyalty has no time for the fair-weather fan.

4Women are committed to a successful tailgate.

The pre-game tailgate is one of the most important aspects to the complete game day experience. If it’s not perfect, the whole synergy of the day is off…and that can lead to catastrophic results. Naturally, most women believe that a combination of the right food and the right people will bring the right energy to the stadium. That means you don’t have to invite Mike, the guy who likes to root for the other team just to spite everyone, to the next tailgate.

5Women know how to bring the energy to a football game.

While male fans in the survey were committed to wearing a costume and dancing to secure a win, the women responding to the survey were willing to go the extra distance, going for a combination of cheering, costumes, dancing, and face paint to show their team some love.

So next time someone questions your loyalty to your favorite team, let them know what’s up — and definitely keep them away from your tailgate.

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