Sunday, April 14, 2013

Putting Saturday's Loss in Perspective

The Outlaws are part of the Women's Football Alliance.  The alliance includes something like fifty-eight teams from all across the country and from big cities like Boston, Chicago, Dallas.  (I'm fudging on the number of teams because the WFA websites says forty-five but I count fifty-eight team logos in the website banner, and fifty teams in the standings list.)

A lot of teams.  Drawing from some serious population centers with large talent pools from which to recruit. 

The Dallas Diamonds finished the 2012 season as one of the top four teams in the league.  They were one game away from the national championship, losing in the semi-finals to the San Diego Surge. 

Look at the protection the O-line provides for the Dallas
quarterback throwing a pass.  They are good.

In 2012 the Dallas Diamonds scored an average of 74 points per game while allowing an average of only 4. 

And they completed a lot of their

They were also pretty good at the run game.

They started the 2013 season with a 41-6 victory at the Houston Power. 

And we all know what happened in Austin Saturday:  Diamonds 49, Outlaws zip.

Don't let that loss get you down.  We lost to a great football team.  Lots of talented athletes.  Lots of experience.  A large Dallas/Fort Worth community from which to recruit athletes.  A top-four team in the league.  A lot of teams will lose to the Diamonds this year.

We should be proud of the Outlaws holding Dallas to under 50 points.  The Outlaws are a better team this season than last. The Outlaws will be a match for every team we face.  Maybe even a match for the Diamonds when we visit them on May 4.  But don't start looking ahead to that game. 

On April 27 we'll travel to Houston where we'll meet a strong team.  A team we can beat.  Winning in Houston won't be easy.  Like Dallas, they have a large community from which to recruit talent and they have had a great history, marred with some ups and downs.  But they are a team we can realistically expect to defeat. 

Forget about Dallas.  Get ready for Houston. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Roster Reading

I didn’t visit a single tryout, a single practice, a single team meeting.  I missed the season opener, a 50-10 victory over Tulsa. 

But I did read the roster.

And the roster says 2013 could be a very good year for the Austin Outlaws.
This is an older photo of Shadan Hurd, wearing her original jersey
number.  Now she's #24.  She is one of my all-time favorite
Outlaws.  One of these days we'll feature her in a player profile.
 The roster says Shadana Hurd is back.  Shadana is good!  Great!  She is both quick and fast.  She was the nicknamed BoPeep because she didn’t want to get her uniform dirty.  Everyone gets tackled but Shadana ended a lot of her runs in the end zone, standing on both feet, uniform untarnished.  She’ll be wearing #24.  Watch her.  Watch fast.  She moves so fast she sometimes looks like a blur on the field.

Bridgette Brown is back.  Unlike Shadana, Bridgette wants her uniform dirty, as long as she brings an opposing runner to the ground with her.  I first noticed Bridgette a few years ago when I saw runners go from up to down so fast I almost missed it.  Bridgette is an amazing tackler.  She is listed on the roster as on the defensive line.  I like her better at linebacker but wherever she plays on defense, she will be a force for opponents to reckon with.  She’ll be wearing #42. Watch her when the Outlaws are on defense.  She’ll be around the ball.
Bridgette covers a lot of the field.  If you've played football you
know the open field tackles are difficult.  Bridgette brings runners
down wherever they are, open field or in a crowd. 

I don't have many clear shots of Patricia
because she's always in the middle of
a bunch of players.  I like this shot because
it shows the kind of determination I like,
making the tackle even from the ground.
Patricia Kincheon is back.  She joins the Capers-Christobal sisters to make three three-hundred pound players in the line.  I’m pretty sure this is a first for the Outlaws.  And a welcome first.  Football loves big.  She’ll be wearing #54.


My friend Tiffany “Crash” James is gone.  She was one of the early Outlaws who retired for a couple years and returned in 2012 for one more season.  I’ll miss her reckless-abandon style of play, that earned her the “Crash” nickname.  More, I’ll miss her positive personality and ever-present smile.
Tiffany James inspired a blog posting titled "Socks."  It was so much
fun I did several other posts along the same line.  She is one of the
first Outlaws I profiled on the Outlaw website and she will always
be one of my favorite people.

Tara Andrickson, #33 and the 2012 defensive
player of the year, chasing down an
opposing ball carrier.  She did a lot of that.
Tara Andrickson is gone.  She was the 2012 defensive player of the year and she will be missed.

I don't think Ski likes this shot as much as I do.  I like it
because it shows her determination to make the play.  In this play the
runner was going  up a lane not Ski's responsibility but Ski responded,
dove to the ground, grabbed what she could, a foot, and hung on while
teammates joined her to finish the tackle. 
Great down and dirty football!

Amazingly, Grandma Ski Tejeda, #8,  returns for her thirteenth season, a women’s pro football record.  I absolutely love her style of play ranging far and wide on the field in pursuit of the ball carrier, hitting with power, getting her uniform dirty. 

Scanning the roster gives Outlaw fans reason to be optimistic about this season.  Lots of last year’s rookies are this year’s veterans.  The year of experience will make them more competitive this season.  Want proof?  Look at the first game win, 50-10 over Tulsa. 

The roster lists eight coaches!  Including the return of Frank Brown.  I recognize some of the names but three are new to me.  Football is a complicated sport.  Many Outlaws hadn’t played the game before joining the team.  Football is a sport traditionally reserved for men (and boys).  The Outlaws ladies are eager to learn more.  They’ll take all the coaching they can get. 

I want to compliment whoever is doing the Outlaws website this season.  I especially appreciate  the roster providing more player information.  It is giving me subject material for this blog.  Expect at least one more posting inspired by what I noticed “roster reading.” 

Personal Note:  This blog has been idle for about four months as I’ve been involved in some family projects.  The blog has been fun and I hope to keep it going.  There are some obstacles.  More on this later.