We’ve all heard the lines before; “you throw like a girl”; “you hit like a girl”; and “you kick like a girl”. The meaning behind them is, sorry ladies, you are not as big, fast, strong, etc. as a man, and so you are not their equal on the sports playing fields. Well, tell that to Mo’ne Davis, the 14 year-old pitching prodigy from Philadelphia. Last summer she became the first girl to earn a win and pitch a shutout in Little League history, all while throwing like a girl. Ronda Rousey is the consensus #1 pound-for-pound female MMA fighter in the world. Undefeated in mixed martial arts, and having won nine of her eleven fights by submission, Rousey certainly doesn’t hit like a girl. As for kicking like a girl, all one had to do was watch the USA Women’s World Cup winning soccer team to find examples (Carli Lloyd, Abby Wambach, etc.) that dispel that myth. Well, on Monday afternoon, the Arizona Cardinals hired Jen Welter as an assistant coaching intern for training camp and the preseason to work with inside linebackers. She is believed to be the first female coach of any kind in the NFL. We will get our first professional football chance to see if, “you coach like a girl”, holds any weight.
Cardinals head coach, Bruce Arians, was asked a while ago, when he thought there would be female coaches in the NFL, and his answer was; “the minute they can prove they can make a player better, they’ll be hired.” So, who is Jen Welter you ask? I had the same question myself. The answer to that is a very accomplished 37 year-old woman. Here are some of the firsts she’s achieved:
- She was the first female coach in a men’s professional football league, hired by the Texas Revolution of the Champions Indoor Football league to coach linebackers and special teams.
- She was also the first woman to play a non-kicking position in a men’s professional football league, as a running back and special teamer for the Revolution.
- Welter played professional football for 14 years in the WFA, (Women’s Football Alliance). She was a linebacker with the Dallas Diamonds and Dallas Dragons.
- The Boston College graduate also has a master’s degree in Sport Psychology and a PhD in Psychology.
It is obvious that Welter knows the game of football, but will NFL players listen to her? I saw new New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall asked this question on television yesterday, and his answer was (I’m paraphrasing), “if a woman can help me improve as a player, absolutely”! On the heels of what Becky Hammon was able to do, coach the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs Summer league team to the Las Vegas Summer League Championship, Welter has a great blueprint to follow. To that I would like to tell her, You go girl!
And that is My 2 Sense for this week. As always, I would like to thank the good people here at More Sports Now, and I look forward to seeing you next Wednesday.