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History was made rather quietly last weekend. I’m not talking about Bode Miller becoming the oldest person to medal in an alpine skiing event or the amount of alcohol consumed in celebration of sports that Americans typically don’t care about. I’m talking about women playing professional football.
Jennifer Welter, a former linebacker for the Dallas Diamonds (of the Woman’s Football Alliance) became the first female in football history to take the field in a men’s professional league at a position other than kicker. She had not one but three carries when the Texas Revolution drive brought them to the goal line.
What impressed me, however, was her ability to get back up after the hits she took. Welter isn’t a particularly large woman, standing 5 foot 2 and weighing 130 pounds. She’s a bit beefier than your average sorority girl, but still small in comparison to 6 foot 4, 245 pound defensive lineman Cedric Hearvey, who dropped her for a one-yard loss. Louis Ojeda, Jr., of Fox Sports recorded her three attempts and posted them on Instagram:
After the play, she even engaged in a little bit of shit-talking, too. She hopped right back up and asked Hearvey if that was all he had, and apparently it got to him. She got lit up twice more during two different goal line stands:
While her play doesn’t necessarily warrant a contract–she hasn’t officially made the team yet–she is very happy with her results and with her teammates.
“These guys have been what I would have hoped for in a perfect world… They’re the best guys I’ve ever been around.”
Football, in my opinion, is a man’s sport. I don’t believe we will ever see any women play meaningfully on professional teams, and based on size and weight alone, they wouldn’t be useful at any NFL position. But you still have to respect Welter’s grit. Even if she doesn’t make the team as a player, owner Tommy Benizio says he wants to keep her around the franchise–beyond having enough talent to be considered to play in a men’s league, she also has a doctorate in sports psychology. Keep at ‘em, Jennifer.
[via Fox Sports]