June 14th, 2011
Blondes vs. Brunettes: Philanthropic Football
On Saturday afternoon, the sun wasn’t the only thing blistering. On sidelines designated by hair color, brunettes and blondes (and even a few redheads) faced off and torched Skip Lee Field at St. John’s School. For the cause of raising money for the Alzheimer’s Association, lines were drawn, blood was spilled and touchdowns were scored during the annual Blondes vs. Brunettes powder puff flag football game.
Being a newbie to the event (and being a dude), I really didn’t know what to expect as I found my way into the stands on Saturday afternoon. All I really hoped for was a cloud to block the sun for three or forty-five minutes and the patience to deal with a girlfriend screaming “Go [insert name]! Great job!!!” time and time again. I was there for support, not necessarily for entertainment. Because pssssshaw, girls can’t play the football, amirite?!
Actually, I was quite wrong.
Not only were these girls playing (and better than most clumsily organized men’s intramural leagues, I might add), they were playing for keeps. Diving for flags, for passes and most of all for the honor of their team’s hair color. Chipped nails, be damned. In fact, chipped teeth, be damned. These girls had the game down from the intensity to the touchdown celebrations.
Let me iterate, none of this is intended to be misogynist. It is as much of a comment on the event itself as the people playing it. A flag football charity game seems pretty innocent. No matter the sex of the person taking the field, you can imagine a person or two phoning it in and not giving their all. It turns out that quite the rivalry has developed over the time that Blondes vs. Brunettes has taken over the gridiron for one hot day each summer. I saw everything from someone trying to steal the other team’s playbook to tackling the person you’re supposed to be “de-flagging.”
When it was all said and done, the Brunettes won the game. The final score was in doubt up until the last play, a heave by the blondes to the endzone that never quite made it across the line. Competitive until the last second, the game had me trying to pick sides in ways that I never had before. Blondes or Brunettes? It doesn’t really matter which one you choose, because the combination of both put on one of the best and most entertaining charity events that I’ve gone to in a long time (or even ever).
After the game, the teams (tried to) put their differences aside and converged upon Blanco’s barely a block away. The keg party began (14 free kegs available to the ticket-buying public) and where the game had ended the competition hadn’t. The field was replaced with a flip-cup table and the match-up continued, albeit with less ankle-spraining opportunities. It was at Blanco’s that I ended up running into one of the captains of the Brunettes to whom I wished congratulations. Her reply: “It was a good game. The blondes are troopers. If we had lost I would never have come here.”
That says it all.
From the cleats to the cutthroat mentality, Blondes vs. Brunettes pretty much does everything right on the field. And off the field? Just ask the Alzheimer’s Association about how much money just hit their coffers. This is definitely an event that needs to be marked on your calendar for next year.