OK, so a little more than a year ago I wrote this post, which contained the following:
Here’s a recent conversation between Backseat Coach and me regarding upcoming games (certain sensitive information has been removed for security reasons):
Me: Do you ever worry about what would happen if redacted ? I mean, what if someone just redacted ?
BSC: Nah. If redacted , then redacted would totally redacted .
Me: Ooh! You think so?
BSC: redacted yeah, I do.
Courtesy of the Freedom of Information Act and also the It Totally Doesn’t Matter Anymore Act, here is the original, uncensored conversation:
Me: Do you ever worry about what would happen if Whit got hurt? I mean, what if someone just fuckin’ broke her leg or something?
BSC: Nah. If Zelee got hurt, then Asia would totally step up and kick ass.
Me: Ooh! You think so?
BSC: [Some curse word] yeah, I do.
And guess what? He was totally right. Last year, in the Militia’s eight regular season games, Asia rushed for a total of 298 yards, averaging 37 yards per game. And this year, Whit did get hurt in the first game, and what happened? In the FIVE regular season games, Asia rushed for 459 yards – an average of 92 yards per game. HOLY CRAP.
Who does that? Who says oh, looks like my team needs me, time to triple my friggin’ production, la la la? Not many people. But here’s one of them.
I would say the biggest difference between running the ball at back and running the ball on kick return is that at running back, my running route is almost predetermined. Ideally, I know where my blocks will be before the play starts. Whereas on kickoff, the defense is a little more unpredictable no matter how many times we practice it. I do love my position at running back, but to successfully achieve a touchdown on kick return is way more thrilling. I did that for the first time last season against the New York Sharks at the very start of the game. Aside from my first career touchdown and the game-winning two point conversion I scored against the Divas [which was effing awesome, by the way – mc] that caused the Militia to win our last regular season game by one point, that kick return TD is my favorite. I wish I could have run another one back this season, but teams don’t kick the ball in my direction much this year, heh.
There are some moments when our offense huddles and I can hear everyone, at all positions, breathing heavily and Cahill says “C’mon, we’re all tired, don’t quit on me now.” It’s things like this that zap me with a little bit more energy. There are other times – like in practice and during games when Whitney Zelee plays four quarters without a sub and she never complains and she never gets lazy…that in itself is inspiring. Lastly, during heavy conditioning practices, Coach is constantly yelling “The other team will get tired before we do!” So in short, when I get tired, I play for my teammates and I play for my coach because they count on me to do my job, so I try to complete my job regardless of being tired or hurt. Being a part of something great is rewarding just by contributing to the greatness. Quitting is hard when people depend on you, so when I get tired I remember that my teammates and coaches are counting on me.
This is technically my fourth season, although I’m not sure if my first season counts because on the first play of my rookie season in Connecticut I fractured my tailbone and broke my hand; I ended my rookie season on the injured list. One of the things I know now that I wish I had known before is the importance of working hard in the offseason. Whitney Zelee shared a quote with me last year after she achieved 2,000 yards in the regular season: “Winners are made in the offseason.” I’ve worked harder during this post/pre-season than I ever did during any other and now I can proudly say I was awarded first team, all-conference runningback [in the 2014 WFA All-American Game]. When you’re constantly thinking of football, the game becomes slower on the field.
I feel most support from my teammates and coaches. I wouldn’t have made it past my rookie year if Coaches Robert Perryman and Donnie Williams hadn’t called to check up on me throughout the postseason. In fact, I thought about giving up football last season, but talented players like Whitney Zelee, Dorothy Donaldson and Allison Cahill believed I had the talent to become a great asset to the team if I chose to work harder. With such great players as those cheering me on and checking up on me during the offseason, I HAD to come back and give football another try. Don’t get me wrong; I love the support from the fans, my friends and my family but when the ladies I look up to – the ladies I bleed and sweat alongside with – recognize and support my efforts, it influences me in an impactful way.I would really like for women to start being paid for playing football. We make a lot of sacrifices to be able to play – not just Militia players but female tackle football players everywhere. I strongly believe that if women were paid to play football, the athletic level would increase. Let’s face it: playing semi-pro tackle football is pretty much a second job and some careers don’t allow time to train for and play football. Player’s name redacted has played this season with tears in her Achilles; currently player’s name redacted is choosing to complete her season with a torn ACL and a damaged meniscus. Nose guard Noriko Kokura – whom we call Niko – once told me: “We are football players; our bodies are different than men’s but we play with the same heart, the same passion for football.” We all make sacrifices to be a part of this game; it would be nice to be recognized for such.
Also, HBO has a show that follows professional football players during their preseason so fans get to know the players in a more personal light; I would love to see the female semi-pro level get the same treatment. I think that if football fans saw all the work we put into football, we’d build a wider fan base because they’d be able to witness how serious we are about this sport.
#TeamRebel! I love Hashtags…I don’t even have Twitter but I hashtag all the time, even during text messages! And I don’t plan on stopping either.