|Never throw like a girl|
By Whitney Casey
Special to Page 2
Every woman should know how to throw a football.
When I posed this question to a group of twenty-something guys, this seemed to be the consensus (and sarcastic, I assume) answer: "Girl throw" occurs because guys and girls are somehow born with different kinds of arms and shoulders. Wink wink nudge nudge, hardy har har.
Sure, there are a lot of physical differences between guys and girls, but the arm just ain't one of 'em. It seems that since birth, guys have been proficient at tossing around all sorts of balls.
In my pursuit of the answer, I was ... er, thrown. Was the P.E. playbook cooked?
It might take a village to answer this one. So I wrote a letter to the Junior Senator from New York, Mrs. Hillary Rodham Clinton.
I can only imagine her reply:
I'm still waiting to hear from Messrs. Star and Bush.
Seeking professional help
Chad: "Let's see just how bad it is"
The ball is tossed to Tracy, and we aren't off to an incredible start. (Of course, this isn't a column on women "catching" a football.) Tracy, eyes closed, reaches out with both hands, as if she's both hugging and shooing a bug away while simultaneously trying to catch the ball. Once the ball is under the control of her chest, she lets it roll down until she gets it together ... somewhat.
A lefty, Tracy grasps the ball with her newly-manicured bright red fingertips on the opposite side of the laces, and exuberantly pushes it sideways (along with her entire body, it seems) about 20 feet. She's strong, so the ball has some control and goes somewhere -- in a sort of shot-put kind of way. She seems satisfied, and turns to Chad for her review.
Chad: "I believe in positive reinforcement. At least she doesn't throw with the same foot and the same arm. That's usually impossible to cure. She's got a soft touch. She just needs to put her hand in the right place. Errr ... like on the laces!"
And he blushes.
Making a pass at Tracy was not in the playbook for the charming and very happily married Mr. Pennington.
Can your girl "pass" this test?
It worked for "Tina Fabulous"
I know this is so "April" of me, but remember the third season of ABC's "The Bachelor"? If you missed out (what a shame! I hear it's out on DVD), here is the lowlight: Hottie but mildly slow-minded Andrew Firestone ends up with equally-vapid and vanilla Jen. But, because of a football, it almost didn't happen that way.
Tina was back in the game -- and now an MVP. With every "throw on the rope," Andrew's ardor increased exponentially ... goo-goo. Tina's new moniker became Tina FABULOUS. Reality-show nuts were writing letters and emails by the droves. Everyone wanted to marry the girl who could throw a football. Later, Tina Fabulous confessed she had brothers; and now, although she doesn't have the surname Firestone ... she has a full dance card!
My pigskin posterity
At age 13, my team won the girls Little League fastpitch World Series. Ten years later, I graduated from the University of Virginia -- an Academic All-American volleyball player. My indefatigable quest to cure my "girl throw" was probably fueled all along by a young girl's desire to be closer to her divorced Dad, who had once been an All-American record-setting wide receiver at Florida in the Spurrier-Heisman era. (Go Gators!) Perhaps that endeavor was overthrown.
Instead, I married my college sweetheart at the ripe age of 23. He plays professional football. After a staccato series of hardships and heartbreak, we were divorced. But four years, three cities, and a meteoric television journalist career later ... I can still chuck a football. Every woman should know how to throw a football.
That's advice to pass on.
Whitney Casey formerly worked as a correspondent for CNN. During her tenure as a television news journalist, she has covered a number of breaking news stories, including the explosion of the Space Shuttle Columbia, the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the crash of American Airlines Flight 587, the Anthrax investigations, the Elian Gonzales custody battle and the Florida 2000 Presidential election recounts.