COUNT THEM IN | Extra ladies than ever specific curiosity in sports activities
Not only do women fill the seats at games, they also spend billions showing their love for their favorite teams.
HOUSTON – Over the years, you’ve probably seen a lot of ads suggesting that women would rather do something than watch the game.
“I’m not listening because I’m ‘what?’ Say, “laughs Brandy Betancourt.
If you can’t tell by her zoom setup, she’s quite a big sports fan. Debbie the Texan and Janvi Oza too. All three women represent the 46 percent of women who enjoy exercise.
Debbie the Texan found her passion through her daughter Alli.
“She’s super obsessed with football,” explains Debbie. “When Texans first started, she said, ‘Hey, mom, let’s get some tickets.’ I said, ‘This is a great idea.’ “
The rest is history. Now, Debbie is one of the most famous Texan fans out there.
“I love representing my Texans everywhere. Every opportunity to speak to Texans, I speak about Texans,” she says. “I could bore you to death talking about Texan’s football.”
This means she occasionally gets into trouble on social media when someone tries to explain the sport to her.
“A lot of men try to argue with me on Twitter: ‘Oh, you don’t know what you’re talking about.’ I kind of do it, but I just let it slide, “says Debbie.
At the end of the day, she says she is a Texan fan through and through. She is loyal to the team and other Houston sports, including Astros and Rockets.
During her time in the stands, Debbie says she has noticed more women are filling the seats.
“I like that,” she says. “Lots of women are out there and not just with their husbands. They are with their girlfriends.”
Like Debbie, many of these women in Texan outfit are armed with lots of team memorabilia at home. Studies estimate the amount that women spend on sport running into billions. What about Debbie?
“Oh my god. Thousands. Thousands. Yes, thousands,” she chuckles. “A little bit.”
I get the same laugh from Brandy Betancourt when I ask how much she spends on tickets, equipment, and the like.
“Yeah, it’s a lot. Sometimes I sit and think, ‘We’re going to send our kids through college and sell everything,'” she says. “We could probably buy an SUV. A nice SUV that drives itself.”
It helps that her husband Lee is also passionate about the sport in Houston. They went to an Astros game on their first date.
“When we first went to dinner, our entire conversation was about high school football,” recalls Brandy.
In high school, she fell in love with soccer, but thanks to her aunt and father, she was already a fan of baseball and basketball.
“I just enjoy having someone to put down roots for, the attitude and the spirit when you’re in the stadium,” said Brandy. “It’s just collective camaraderie.”
So she turns off the sexist message that women are not interested in sports.
“We’ll do that,” emphasizes Brandy. “We’re very worried.”
Janvi Oza, a student at the University of Houston, cares enough about making sports a career.
“I wanted to be a sports reporter because I love being able to tell the story while the story is playing right in front of my eyes,” she says.
Oza was a little late. Exercise wasn’t something her family saw much of. It wasn’t until she started paying attention to her middle school soccer team that something clicked. Oza explains that when she discovered soccer she knew she wanted to work on the sports field but wasn’t sure if she should report back until her junior year of high school.
“These athletes work so hard for their special moments on the field. They celebrate that moment on the field with the fans, their coaches and the team,” says Oza. “I have the special honor to be able to share his story and his message.”
She worked as a sports reporter for CoogTV while in school and recently joined the Houston Texans as a Battle Red assistant.
“Girls like me who watch the game see the impact women have on the field and on the field,” says Oza.
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