Friday, June 12, 2009

Last Pride Home Game

The Corvallis Pride (The women's football team I mentioned last year) are playing their last game of the season tomorrow morning against the Portland Shockwave.

The team isn't the same this year. I first noticed something was different at their first home game (also against Portland) back in April. I recognized Simone Shepherd playing quarterback (and defensive back, place kicker, and punter), and I recognized Natalie Nash and Coach Buglione, but where was Michelle Derry? or for that matter, anybody else from last year's squad? I mean no disrespect to the athletes on the team who are all better football players than me, but the level of play was unexpectedly amateur compared to last season.

I looked it up when I got home and learned that they had in fact lost a lot of players this year and had been demoted to the League's Tier II classification. I found this article that described how the team was facing the possibility of not having enough players to play at all this season and they merged with the Redding team in order to play.

It's a remarkable story, but it doesn't seem sustainable. I hope they manage to recruit enough local athletes this off-season to stay afloat on their own, preferably Tier I caliber athletes so the games will be more competitive.

I wouldn't even mind if they were Tier II if there were other Tier II teams in the region to compete with. Wikipedia lists Bend, OR, Medford, OR, and Kennewick, WA as possible Tier II expansion cities.

If they can't recruit more players, there's a certain probability that they won't be able to field a team next season, and tomorrow would be the last chance to see them play.


Teresa said...

I had no idea there were women fotball teams of any kind. I hope they can keep it going. I would have loved to play.

Teresa said...
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akrizman said...

I was excited when I first heard there was a Women's Football League, but I'm embarrassed to admit that until I actually saw it, I expected it to be different, somehow. I don't know how exactly, I just figured they would "throw like a girl" or be timid tacklers or something. When I finally went to a game and saw that it was indistinguishable from "regular" football, I felt foolish for expecting anything else; I had always thought I had progressive attitudes on gender issues. It's humbling to realize just how much gender expectations are ingrained in my psyche, especially considering all the evidence to the contrary: as kids we always had girls on our teams when we played on the playground or in the park, and we never expected them to play any differently than the boys. When did that change?

Anyhow, I would have loved to watch you play football 20 years ago, Teresa, and I wish there had been a league with a team in Denver for you. Not now though - no offense but these athletes are pretty tough, and I don't think your back would survive it.