Pink 42, Hike!

Remember when football was a “manly” sport? Full of aggressive, testosterone-fueled athletes ready to sack, block and tackle 250-lb. opposing linebackers? Those were the good ol’ days! Lately, however, it’s devolved into this:

For the record, I think the NFL’s “A Crucial Catch” campaign to raise breast cancer awareness is a good thing. The league partnered with the American Cancer Society to promote the importance of annual screenings in women over 40, by kicking off (see what I did there?) this marketing campaign featuring pink uniforms, pink apparel, and even pink penalty flags and coins throughout the month of October. There’s no doubt that it’s a worthy cause, and I support certain facets of the program. Like this one.

That, my friends, is an effective use of pink. Yes, sir. Message received loud and clear.

But this one? Not so much.

Please keep in mind, I am anti-cancer. Cancer sucks. I hate cancer. I wish we could eliminate cancer from the face of the earth. I just have my doubts that making football players wear pink is going to have much of an effect in the overall battle to eradicate cancer. Aren’t most women over 40 too busy watching The Bachelor or Dancing With The Stars or some Lifetime special to tune in to the NFL? I realize that’s a stereotype and not true of everybody. My girlfriend, for instance, is a huge football fan. Look how cute she is!

And not a bit of pink anywhere, I might add.

But Tara’s the exception to the rule, at least in my experience. Most of the women I’ve been in relationships with haven’t known diddly squat about football. Nor have they cared to learn. Sure, I’ve tried to explain concepts like “third and long” and “play action fake” and once, for god’s sake, I even made the mistake of delving into the definition of a “flea flicker.” Man, did her eyes glaze over.

And the guys who do pay attention to the message? I’m deathly afraid they’ll start showing up in the grocery store dressed like this.

Courtesy of

I have nothing against the color pink, either. But the fact is, it’s the most feminine color in the world. It reminds one of flowers or Mary Kay Cosmetics or dainty birds that like to stand on one leg. A symbol of the most masculine sport on the planet? Fail.

I think if the NFL is going to support breast cancer awareness, they should do so in a more subtle manner. This, for instance, is perfectly okay.

But here? You’ve crossed the line.

Anything more, and I’m calling a foul.


Published by Mark Petruska

I'm a professional writer and editor living my best life in south central Wisconsin.

24 thoughts on “Pink 42, Hike!

  1. My main problem with the whole merchandising blitz (see what I did there) to support cancer awareness is this…buying pink plastic crap will NOT help find a cure for cancer. We may discover carcinogenic compounds contaminate soil, water and air in the diluting of artificial red#40 to create fake pink #5.
    Time and resources being wasted to hawk this crap while we keep losing loved ones to that vile thief sucks. Knowing that disease is big business sucks more.
    Oh, and Roll Tide!


      1. No joke man, inject some lab rats with the pink stuff and let’s see what happens! We’ve got some rats around here that I gladly donate to that “cause” 🙂 Gawd!


  2. You’re gonna catch #^%~ for this one, Mark. I think the idea is to raise awareness among men so that they will encourage and support the women in their lives to get tested. Brace yourself for the comments coming your way. Just sayin’.


    1. Really, Mike? I never even remotely considered that idea…I think (hope) this is so tongue-in-cheek that people will simply laugh, as was my intention. I did add a link to enable people to donate to the American Cancer Society at the bottom of my post. I’ve lost loved ones to this beast and want nothing more than to wipe it off the face of the earth forever.


      1. That would be a good move. I hope I’m wrong about the reactions and people take it the way you meant it. I just think this is such an emotional issue for so many…


      2. Mark, I wouldn’t worry about it if I were you. Real women can handle it. If anything those damn pink booty shorts you like so much are atrocious! That’s what should piss off the ladies!


    2. Mike, dude, women don’t need to be encouraged to get “tested” If you have the parts, they’re gonna get probed, prodded and completely smashed or you’re at least gonna get reminded every single time you go to the doctor. Every woman with access to healthcare gets the yearly exam. The issue is access. I’ve lost friends from age 22 to 52 to cancer because doctors tell us things like “let’s take another look in six months” “we’ll wait and see if it grows – you’re not in the age range for that type…your HMO blah, blah, blah” 🙂


    3. Mike’s probably right. People are quick to get pretty worked up about this topic, so I’ll fit my comment in before. I get what you’re saying. I LOVE that such a masculine sport is aware of its social reach enough to embrace charities/ causes to help support research against an awful disease. I have thought the pink football gear was distracting. I guess it’s a tricky situation, though. From what I’ve been told, a majority of the players/ personel sporting the pink gear do so by choice and typically in support of a loved one who’s suffered or even passed from Breast Cancer. If this is the case then I say let the boys wear what they want. It’s a personal way to honor or remember or admire someone they love who’s been affected. On the other hand, I get what you’re saying. If mostly feminine shows/ sports started making female participants sport beards or other manly accessories to raise awareness of a male specific disease, viewers would probably think it was weird.


  3. “I have nothing against the color pink, either. But the fact is, it’s the most feminine color in the world.”

    I think that’s because we were taught that from the beginning.

    Pink is for girls. Blue is for boys.

    “or dainty birds that like to stand on one leg.”

    Yeah, but think about it….even “male” flamingos are pink.

    Personally, I think it’s kinda cool that the NFL is supporting breast cancer this way.


    1. Next you’ll be telling me there are male ladybugs!


      I agree with you. Anything we can do to spread the message is great! Even lightheartedly poking fun at the whole overabundance of all things pink on our blogs, for instance.

      Hope you survived the storm unscathed, Ron.


  4. There are players out there who have wives and mothers that are cancer survivors. I applaud the fact that they do support breast cancer awareness. If I’m not mistaken, those big, burly men are the only big, burly men who do support awareness. It is only for October then you can enjoy the manly colors of red, white, blue and orange. Can’t forget the orange!


  5. I think the visual awareness is awesome. I’ve had so many individuals, men and women, who’ve had family members dealing with breast cancer and I think having a manly sport like Football demonstrate pride and support for this cause is fantastic. I know you meant this one humorously, but I can’t imagine you truly believe pink has no place on the football field. In my opinion, if you’re going to force the girls to wear booty shorts and tube tops while they shake pom poms, your boys can wear a little pink tape on their shoes and catch with pink gloves.

    Buck up, lil’ Bronco! It was Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Don’t be a rainbow scrooge!


    1. I just thought it was funny that these big, strong athletes were showing up on the playing field dressed in pink. Doesn’t fit their “macho” image, but Ron brought up an excellent point: it’s because we, as a society, are conditioned to believe that pink is feminine and blue is not. I’m honestly not trying to be a scrooge!

      You’ve just reminded me about doughnut boxes. They’re pink, too. I love doughnut boxes!


  6. They do the same thing in Canadian football for a whole week beginning around Canadian Thanksgiving. I love it! I am a HUGE FOOTBALL FAN! I know the Canadian rules very well & can understand all the nuances of the Canadian game. I watch at least 2 football games each week because I still cheer for Winnipeg & I cheer for Edmonton.
    I like the support the football league shows for Breast Cancer Awareness – it reminds men to support their friends, lovers, mothers & sisters in the struggle. And pink is a great complimentary color!


  7. Don’t make them wear that much pink! All I can hear now is the song from WestSide Story and the men going out to dance to “I Feel Pretty” during half time.


  8. See , the commies use pink to worm their way in so when they get in control, the red comes out. I was schooled by the John Birch Society and they are not fooling me one bit. The only thing pinker than wearing pink on pro uniforms is flag tag football and that is so pink it is vomit inducing.


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