Girl power and all that other jazz
by Saralyn Norkus Banner Sports Writer
Mar 04, 2013 | 1338 views | 0 0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print
February certainly has turned into quite a monumental month for females in the world of sports. We had Danica Patrick win the pole position for the Daytona 500 and witnessed the first ever women’s MMA fight on UFC. As a woman who is also fighting for her position in a male-dominated career field, I have nothing but praise to sing of these ladies.

Two years ago Dana White said women would never fight in the UFC; my how the times have changed! Two weekends ago we saw the undefeated former Strikeforce star Rhonda Rousey take on Liz Caramouche at UFC 157 in a headlining fight.

While I was unable to watch this fight, from what I’m hearing and reading online it was everything that folks had hoped the first women’s UFC fight would turn out to be.

As of Feb. 25, White had just signed on four more fighters, bringing the women’s division roster up to a total of 10.

I have overheard some griping about “having to watch girls fight” and I’m positive I understand the reasoning behind some of these naysayers. So guys, it’s rather intimidating to have to acknowledge that there are indeed some females who could beat you to a bloody pulp with one arm tied behind their back, isn’t it?

It’s OK, I won’t judge you. I find these ladies incredibly intimidating as well! These fighting gals are tough as junkyard dogs, and just the fact they are willing to train and compete so fiercely has earned my respect. Women fighting in MMA should probably be considered the very definition of “girl power.”

I am looking forward to hopefully seeing Rousey actually defeat someone without using an armbar submission in the near future. Like I said, she’s undefeated and every one of her seven victories was accomplished using her go-to move. One good KO punch is all I’m asking for, is that too much?

Now it’s time to turn the spotlight onto NASCAR and its lone, current Sprint Cup female driver and her history-making past couple of weeks. I’m sure you’ve already heard the news, though — this is the South and it is NASCAR that we’re talking about.

Patrick won pole position for the Daytona 500, becoming the first female to have won the pole in a Sprint Cup race. By doing so, she was also the first woman to start in the lead at the Daytona 500.

Sadly, Patrick was only able to finish in eighth place, but hey she still finished in the top 10! I consider that impressive, how about you?

What I’m finding perplexing right now is the slight uproar about how James Franco kicked off the Daytona 500. Now, I might not know squat about NASCAR, but I do know it starts off with the grand marshal saying, “Gentlemen, start your engines!”

Franco wound up saying “Drivers and Danica, start your engines!” Apparently this was a huge NASCAR faux pas, although me using the phrase “faux pas” in the same sentence as NASCAR might be a greater one!

Anyways, some people are angry with Franco for butchering the phrase while others are mad because they considered it disrespectful toward the lone female driver in the race. Supposedly by him saying it that way he wasn’t crediting Patrick as being a driver, or something like that. Personally, I feel that people need to loosen up. It’s not like he said “Drivers and that chick, start your engines.”

Does it make me an unsympathetic female if I truly don’t see anything wrong with what was said? If anything, I would think all the other drivers would be offended she was the only one the attention was given to.

Perhaps Patrick would have even more success if she could go a full season without wrecking her car.

It’s a man’s world out there, and the ladies I’ve referenced in this column are navigating their way through it, and having quite a bit of success while doing so.

To these trailblazers and all the other females out there trying to make a name for themselves in the sports world, I say good luck and keep plugging away.

Oh and, girl power!