This feels like a confession and I’m not sure it has to be. (I’m sure each reader will have and express their opinion about that.)
In my lifetime I have tried and enjoyed countless sports and yet, playing tackle football as a kid might be one of my favorite sport memories (unless you count crawdad fishing a sport).
For me there was nothing like the thrill of going out for (or throwing) a long pass on a crisp January afternoon. Still today, at least once a year, I feel the urge to tackle my spouse or kick a football as far as I can. Yes, there are issues with the game—traumatic injuries and the corrupt dealings and behaviors within professional (and college) sports are just two of many potential problems. Still, when I heard there was a women’s tackle football league in Kansas City, starring two Mennonite gals from KS who I knew when they were young, I was in those football stands before you could count to ten (with posters, friends, and family/church members to boot!
I even rushed the field a couple times, threw and kicked some balls, and began to contemplate whether my 40 year old body could try out for the team (and whether the church I pastor would support this side gig).
That dream of trying out for the Kansas City Titans ended when, during one of the games I watched, the ambulance was called onto the field for an apparent neck injury. That’s the moment I decided to continue sticking my neck out as a preacher and not a football player.
These two gals I mentioned earlier will be in Miami this weekend for the Super Bowl. Katie Sowers will be serving in her role as the 49ers offensive coach and her twin sister Liz will be cheering her heart out. I hope to see both of them rush the field at some point. These two are inspiring to watch as they compete, support each other, and support athletes of all genders inspiring people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities. They take after their parents—both of whom are inspiring in their own ways. (Floyd Sowers was my college basketball coach who taught me the power of the bounce pass.)
Here are some pictures of Katie and her friends leading a football clinic for our Rainbow Summer Program.
You can read all about Katie and Liz online. There is so much wonderful press out there about these two. I am thinking about adding to that press and writing a sequel to “Mennonite Girls Can Cook,” called “Mennonite Girls Can Tackle.” What do you say, Katie and Liz, are you game?
I hope to see both of your contagious smiles on the big screen on Sunday. And Katie, on Sunday how about wearing that Rainbow scarf we gifted you when you preached at Rainbow?
Here is a video link to that sermon she preached at Rainbow in June of 2019. (Katie, your mom gave permission for me to post this on your behalf! Does she do that often?)