ESPN Soccernet - Correspondents - FC Bayern Munich
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FC Bayern Munich
Posted by Susie Schaaf on 05/02/2012

This blog is not about Bayern Munich. It is, however, about football and a woman's place in this most beautiful of games. On Monday, Simon Borg, a writer for and panelist for ExtraTime- MLS' official podcast- prefaced a sexist, ignorant rant by saying, "It's going to be a little unpopular to say this..."

If he only knew how unpopular it would be for him to continue. But, he did, stating, "It's fine if you're a female and you want to be a super-fan. Clearly go for it, that's your choice. But there is something to be said for how appealing that might be to the other sex. Having a woman that's such a fan, like painting your face, tuning in to every podcast. I don't know how many males would be into that.

It's great that in Kansas City there are a lot of women in the stands, it's great, but for the guy who wants maybe a serious relationship... If you are following just casually, but if you're such a die-hard, I don't know, it comes a point that it is a bit of a... turn-off..."

Ouch. Now, just looking at the statement itself? I hear this kind of thing a lot. Or, to swing the other way, more than a few men have tried to talk to me about Bayern Munich, or football in general, telling me what I think I should know. Even while saying, "I don't watch the Bundesliga, but..." or "German football is so clinical... You have to understand their tactics." To which I exasperatingly reply, "I. Write. A. Column. About. Bayern. For ESPN. Perhaps you've heard of them?"

The difference is, those poor, misguided souls are regular Joe-Schmoes whose opinions will never be taken seriously, while Simon Borg is an official writer for MLS. And indeed, the MLS has taken this seriously, suspending Mr. Borg for a week and forcing him to undergo sensitivity training.

Admittedly, I do not watch a whole lot of Major League Soccer. My oeuvre lies in Europe, Germany specifically. If there were only more hours in a day to commit to this sport I love over everything! But, this latest incarnation of the MLS is facsinating; succeeding where earlier league attempts had failed, with female supporters being a huge reason for its present success.

Women, in general, have another reason for watching football. It happens to be incredibly appealing to watch 22 fit men running over a pitch. Those thighs! Those abs! And after 35 years of watching professional matches, I'm still not immune. One only has to look at my fawning tweets about Mario Gomez and Bastian Schweinsteiger, the success of the deliciously snarky and American website to get proof.

Many come for the eye-candy, and come back for the action. I regularly tutor women who want to increase their footie knowledge: Whether they are trying to impress their partners or just get a more fluid understanding of the sport, I am more than happy to do it.

Whatever the reason for watching, the ladies are here to stay. And no, Mr. Borg, we don't want to date you. We've got our husbands / boyfriends / significant others who like us just the way we are: Kit on, shawl over our shoulders, beer in hand, willing our team to win with thousands of other like-minded individuals.

Auf gehts, ladies!

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Posted by Travis on 05/02/2012

"We've got our husbands / boyfriends / significant others who like us just the way we are: Kit on, shawl over our shoulders, beer in hand, willing our team to win with thousands of other like-minded individuals."

One of the smartest, sexiest things I've ever heard...

Posted by frank on 05/02/2012

A Congo never getsboring if a girl that you like or are just friends with knows about about football and its a great ice breaker anyways. I couldn't imagine going to the Offenbach games without our crazy drunken girls lol.
Also I personally know Susie and I love playing our football quiz at our local puband seeing her put many of the guys to shame except for me of course ;p

Posted by mik on 05/02/2012

Very Nice article. My wife and I never miss a Bayern game on TV from the east coast of the US. We go to about one game a year in Munich.
She makes breakfast in the morning and we of course have Bayern #1 on our sports watching list.
Just fantastic to be able to watch all the games. goltv could do a little better in broadcasting more games, but espn3 picks up the rest.

Posted by frank on 05/02/2012

A convo never getsboring if a girl that you like or are just friends with knows about about football and its a great ice breaker anyways. I couldn't imagine going to the Offenbach games without our crazy drunken girls lol.
Also I personally know Susie and I love playing our football quiz at our local puband seeing her put many of the guys to shame except for me of course ;p

Posted by Jacob on 05/02/2012

I could only hope to find a girl that loves Bayern as much as me. this guy is a fool

Posted by Damien on 05/02/2012

I have know Susie since high school, and she was just as an ardent footbal fan then as she is now. And she was sexy then, and she is sexy now. Hell, even more so because she has a blog on ESPN, one which is intelligent and insightful. What an idiot this Borg is! Next thing he opines about will be that women's football is unsexy. Crazy talk!

Posted by bb on 05/02/2012

i have been a die hard bayern fan for 14 years i love playing football, doing the quizzes and doing all the stuff i do when there is an international tournament on as i cheer on die mannschaft what a sexist pig that borg is, like we care what he thinks? women fans now in my opinion are just as knowledgeable, passionate and important as the men amazing article thank you for writing it

Posted by Boston Derek on 05/02/2012

We love you susie....we DO!

Posted by Nathan on 05/03/2012

Susie, as a die-hard Bayern fan and a Colorado Rapids Season Ticket Holder I only hope I can find a sexy lady who loves footie the way I do, or can at least tolerate my trips to away matches and my need to be at every home match. So ladies, keep growing in your passion for all things football, there are many men who'll find it a very big turn-on :)

Posted by Ruud on 05/03/2012


BORG is not turned on by female fans of the game! My wife and I watch every Bayern, Champions league, Euros and World Cup games there is (of course i go on and watch all other games from around the world as well;)), there's nothing sexier than a woman who knows and appreciates how beautiful this game is...

Back in the days, a football match was a good place to get hooked, with all the passion and the excitement following a good game.

I say Borg got turned DOWN by some Hottie at a football match, and is trying to get back at her :)

Seriously i don't know what he's been watching, but i can give him a couple of links to show him how hot female supporters can be, OR he can go ask that couple in Bayern Hoffenheim game of last year, what were they doing in the stands :)

Sexy as always Susie, Auf Gehts!

Posted by Grant BHAFC on 05/03/2012

The amount of women coming to watch Brighton and Hove Albion is huge...and they're just as fanaticle and fanciable as the rest of the female population! My lady, though not a footy fan has even been tuning in to the radio when I'm at a match and was amused when she found out she used to hang out with one of our players as a kid when they were neighbours. Damn it's much better than when you get a woman who looks at you weird when you say how much you like,no, love at team! Sort 'em out Susie. Up The Albion!

Posted by AHeartOfGoal on 05/03/2012

Yeah, I second what Jacob said above. If I found a girl that loved Bayern the way that I do I would flip out.

So far, I haven't even met a female Bayern fan in the US, much less a passionate fan like myself :(

Posted by Jon on 05/03/2012

Sorry, more of an editorial question: What does the word "ouvre" mean? I've googled it and can't find a proper definition.

Posted by latibaba on 05/03/2012


Gute to see another version of your blog,this time around not Bayern,really good,i would say again!
I think the guy got wrong everywhere,not because he does not know but he allows his emotions to rule him totally out of proportion...I agree he was turned down by a hottie.

The passion for the game has gone beyond gender,a number of evidences to prove that,but only base on your exposure.Here in Nigeria,some female can outrightly defeat and outshine the male counterparts on the it on the pitch or off-the pitch.

The game has graduated from men ideology to general philosophy.And am proud of that.

And now we can have a complete beauty of the game of soccer.

Posted by Susie on 05/03/2012


Yikes! I missed an "e". An oeuvre is a body of work. A term used mainly by artists (of which I am one), composers and philosophers.

Everyone else-

Thanks for the outstanding support! :)

Posted by Jorge on 05/04/2012

Simon Borg is an ass-clown. I've been trying desperately to get my girlfriend to follow sports for the last two years. I told her she had to pick a favorite NFL team, or else I would leave (it was a joke, of course). Then it happened. Last year, during the second leg against Inter (bummer dude) she came home from work early and discovered that she really liked watching Bayern! And much like you, Susie, she has since decided which players are worth watching more closely and which are not (she actually prefers Manuel Neuer and Mario Gomez). My point is that Simon Borg needs to stick to commenting on things he knows. You wouldn't go to a mechanic whose cars are all on cinder blocks; you wouldn't go to a marriage counselor who has been divorced five times; and you shouldn't get hooking up advice from Simon Borg, who is CLEARLY a virgin and an ass-hat.

Posted by Samrin on 05/04/2012

Hi Susie,

Fantastic blog here. I like you am a girl and I have a friend at school who thinks he knows more about the damn team I spend every moment of my day thinking over and worrying about. Otherwise, I spend a lot of time talking to guys about football and girls as well- one of my friends tells me he really likes a girl who loves football. Honestly that dumbass you talked about can go to hell- I bet we girls know ten times more about Bayern than a casual fan who checks in say only for CL games or something.

Posted by Ben on 05/05/2012

Hey Susie,

I just wanted to say that I love your blog. Your football knowledge shadows over mine. My wife is a huge Liverpool fan (for my sake she does support Bayern as well) and I absolutely love the fact that she is a fan of the same sport that I am. Borg doesn't know what he's talking about. She is rarely hotter to me than when she is, as you mentioned, holding a beer and screaming for her team. We just had a baby girl and I am so glad that there are women in this world like my wife and like you who will be a role model of what it means to be a strong independent woman and not letting BS like this convince her otherwise.

Posted by Charles Cherry on 05/08/2012

This is how you debate Simon Borg. You do not call for his firing nor throw expletives out there on twitter and other social media showing your own ignorance. This will not change his attitude nor will this "sensitivity" training do anything but change the external side of Borg, his internal beliefs will remain the same. MLS did nothing to change the discussion by editing the original ETR and posting a disclaimer. Only by offering an opposite picture of Simon Borg's assertion that Superfanatical female fans are unattrative can the discussion be changed. By producing an alternative idea of the female fan I, the person on the outside, allows me to make up my own mind. This constant call for the axe or boycotts, because someone stepped on your feelings really gets tiring. You have a good article here because instead of calling for Simon Borg's head you gave an alternative view of his out of date reasoning on the female fan, in which I wish more had done.
Charles Cherry

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