It’s not the NFL, but to running back Jennifer Welter, it’s just as sweet. The 36-year-old, a veteran linebacker for the Dallas Diamonds of the Women's Football Alliance league, made her debut with the men's Indoor Football League's Texas Revolution this weekend after signing up to try out for the team last month.
According to Fox Sports on Sunday, the Revolution easily won over the North Texas Crunch by a score of 64-30, but Welter “wasn't able to find the end zone.”
Fox Sports picks up the play-by-play:
“Inside the 5-yard line midway through the third quarter, she took the handoff from the quarterback and saw a wide open hole, but that gap closed quickly and the 5-2, 130-pounder was knocked back for a loss.”
Welter said she immediately started with the smack talk after she got knocked back. AS the video shows, Jennifer took quite a wallop.
“I said ‘Is that all you got?’” Welter told the 6-4, 245-pound Crunch defensive lineman Cedric Hearvey. “I didn't want them to think I was intimidated.”
Welter also was hit hard on the next play, another carry and 1-yard loss, as well as on a 1-yard run in the fourth-quarter in which she was smothered a yard from the goal line.
“It was amazing,” Welter said of her experience. “I have the best team in the world and I proved to everyone I could get back up when I got hit and that’s all you can ask.”
According to USA Today, though Welter was the first woman to play a “contact” position, she “was not the first woman in a men’s professional football league. Patricia Palinkas appeared as a holder for the men’s semi-pro Orlando Panthers in 1970. Julie Harshbarger and Katharine Hnida kicked in men’s pro games four decades later.”
Welter lives in Addison, Texas. She is a doctor, a practicing sports psychologist, a personal trainer, an endorsement model and a motivational speaker. There appears to be nothing this woman can’t do, even taking on men twice her size.
“Dr. Welter is an amazing athlete who has proven herself to be amongst the top female tackle-football players in the world and we are excited to bring her into training camp” said Revolution general manager and former Oakland Raiders wide receiver Tim Brown in a statement released by the team before the game. “Though she may be considered a long shot to make the final roster, this event will showcase her talent as a female athlete.”