Tackle football has been primarily viewed as a male sport, but at a time when men’s participation rates are decreasing, an increasing number of women are entering the gridiron-and they have a long history of doing so. Women’s American Football is a narrative history of girls and women participating in American Football in the United States since the 1920s, when a women’s team played at halftime during an early NFL game. The women’s game became more organized in 1974, when the National Women’s Football League was established, with notable teams such as the Dallas Bluebonnets, Toledo Troopers, Oklahoma City Dolls, and Detroit Demons.
Based on extensive interviews with women players and focusing closely on leagues, teams, and athletes since the passage of Title IX in 1972, Russ Crawford illuminates the rich history of the women who have played football, breaking barriers on and off the field.
Speaker for this program:
Russ Crawford is Professor of history at Ohio Northern University. He graduated from Chadron State College with a BA in History in 1985, and again in 1991 with a BS in Social Studies Education. He taught high school in South Dakota and Iowa. He received his MA in History in 2000, and his Ph.D. in 2004 from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He has published three books: The Use of Sports to Promote the American Way of Life During the Cold War: Cultural Propaganda, 1945-1963 (2008), Le Football: The History of American Football in France (2016), and Women’s American Football: Breaking Barriers On and Off the Field (2022).