I went to bed last night with this subject on my mind as I have all week. Since the announcement of Jen Welter trying out for the Texas Revolution of the IFL at Crest Cadillac of Plano January 24, 2014, I have been asked by several people - what do you think about it?
Should the Texas Revolution let Welter try out? Why should she get the chance in place of a guy? Can she handle the physicality of the game today? Is it all a publicity stunt? And the questions keep going on, and on, and on, and the comments on articles posted are everywhere.
I have been quiet on the subject and here is the reason why.
I have to admit, I think I am a little puzzled by the reaction of some players and coaches regarding Welter trying out for the Revolution. I say this because of some of the things I am hearing and reading from players, want to be players, and coaches, and former coaches.
Now, I am not a guy who claims he knows everything about today’s rough and tumble game of the IFL. I do however see how much of a physical game it is. If I had my choice regardless of money, an NFL game or an indoor football game, I would go to the indoor football game, and DVR the NFL. That includes the Super Bowl and the United Bowl as well. That is just me.
But what I think everyone is getting away from on this issue of Jen Welter trying out for the Revolution is - everyone is different. Welter is different. She is of a different sex for crying out loud.
All though out history, woman have been fighting these types battles and discrimination, long before the announcement last Friday. Women have always been told by men, and by some women in fact as well that, they were not good enough - not smart enough - not tough enough. But guess what - there have been women out there that have blown those theories out of the water for years.
I have heard people say, she should go play with the girls.
She has folks - four championship and two gold metals with the girls. But let’s be real just for a moment. If there were real opportunities for women to play in the game of football professionally, that didn’t include her doing it in her underwear, don’t you think she would have taken it by now? And let's face it, she has to do it. You know what they say about opportunities knocking - you have to answer them!
That is what Welter is doing here - answering a knock of opportunity that was given to her. And let’s just say for argument sake, it was all just a publicity stunt and there is no way she was not going to be included on the final cut day. Does that mean she shouldn't go out there and at least try? Why shouldn’t Welter go out there and try to break the sex barrier of football?
That brings me to another question...
What about those guys who were told they could not play, but they went out and tried? Maybe some players in the IFL were told the same thing, but yet there they are - sitting on the roster of a team in the IFL.
What about those guys who feel like they could make it on another level, and say, “If I only had the chance”? There are literally thousands of stories just like that in this league alone, never mind in other leagues.
So that begs the question to any IFL player:
Would you go to an NFL camp, if you were invited just as publicity stunt?
The answer is, and should be
“Hell Yes!”, and you know you would. If not just for that chance to prove you can, even if it was thought of as a joke - because you don’t think you are. Or for that chance to break the barrier between leagues.
I know she can play on the ladies level, but here is the thing - we can talk about size - we can talk about she is a girl - but what we have not talked about is her heart.
There is something to be said about desire, passion, drive, and then there is something also to be said about those who play the game on any level, because of the love of the game.
Heck, maybe she won’t make the team! However, the fact is, bashing, or telling Welter she is not good enough, or shouldn't try isn’t going to effect her or stop her. My impression of this comes from a one on one interview with her.
All I know is, that every person who plays or has played - coaches or has coached in the IFL, know what they know about the game, and what it takes to play. But there have been times when everyone on this level has been told “you just are not good enough.” Has that ever stopped you from trying, or doing it at least on the IFL level?
Is she good enough?
I don’t know! All I know is, I call what I see when I do the play by play. I am not the coach. I am not a scout. I am not a person who makes the decision if someone is good enough to play on any given team. But what I will not do is call Welter out on something I do not know about, and that is her heart, or for that matters - her ability to play on this level.
Like I said before, there is something to be said about desire, passion, drive, and playing for the love of the game.
And in defense of the Revolution (not that they asked me to or need me to)...
If it works out, why shouldn’t they get the credit of giving Welter a chance? And if it doesn’t work, is everyone going to discredit them for trying to be an innovator in their field? Again, you can’t make history if you don’t try. Come on now!
But here is what I think I know. Head Coach Chris Williams is not going to have her if she really can’t be a productive member of the team. I think Welter believes that same thing.
Some think this is a joke. Some think there is no reason to do this.
All I have to say, there have been those that have laughed at many people though out the course of history. Those that tried and succeeded have had the last laugh. Will that happen here? I hope so. If it doesn’t, so be it. She tried, and then everyone who said she can’t do it, can say “I told ya’ so.” Hey - if that is what gets you though the day.
But let's not forget everyone on the IFL level have all been told they are not good enough in one way or another.
And again I will ask you:
Would that stop you?
Hear my interview with Jen Welter >>>>Here<<<<
Note from Sonny Clark:
I did not write this because I was told to. I did not write this because I feel like I have to defend the Revolution or Jen Welter in their decisions. I did not write this because I feel like I have to be an advocate for women or the Revolution.
I wrote this because, we all have dreams of something. Who am I, or anyone for that matters, to get in the way, or stopping someone for trying to fulfill that dream if offered. Welter can say she did it. No one can take that away from her.
This could be a very positive thing, if people will let it. There are always going to be envious people and (to put it in today’s terms) haters, in the world. All I have to say to Welter, and anyone who tries out for any team on any level - good luck. And for the record Jen - I do hope you make the team.