One thing I've always noticed in the 24 years I've been covering sports in South Dakota, attendance at games isn't just for men only.  Whether it's high school, college, or even our minor league professional teams, women are always well represented in the stands.

Well now it appears the rest of the country is catching up where at least one sport is concerned: professional football.  According to the most recent NFL stats, females make up 44 percent of the league's fan base.

A classic example of the explosion in numbers is in Boston, where 63 percent of Bean Town women identify themselves as Patriots fans -- double the 32 percent who said they were fans in 2001.

Even just a quick look at my Facebook page on a football Sunday proves the point, as just as many of the women I know are commenting on teams like the Vikings, Cowboys, Broncos, and Bears, as are the guys on my friends list.  I don't see that kind of response with any other sport.

So why the increase in female fan interest?  My theory is that as NFL popularity has skyrocketed in the past decade or so, so has male viewership.  As more amd more men flock to the NFL, the women in their lives take notice and either by choice or obligation start to make pro football part of their lives as well.

It's also easier to follow than the other major sports because it requires just one day of the week to watch. You can't do that with basketball and certainly not with baseball with games six, and sometimes, seven days a week.

The uptick of female interest is go great that it caught the attention of GQ magazine, who chose to facous their attention on the fans of one particular NFL team - the Oakland Raiders.  And if you think the women of 'Radier Nation' are just there being supportive girlfriends and spouses - think again.

Click here to read the full GQ story.