I can’t remember the last time I was this excited about a possibility that was entirely out of my control. Last week, US Soccer’s Carli Lloyd went to Eagles training camp to kick some field goals for fun. She has done this before, with the Patriots and probably others. It does not surprise me that she can kick a 55 yard field goal. She scored one of her 3 goals in the World Cup final in 2015 from half field. There is probably a girl or two on every pro soccer team that can kick a 55 yard field goal. Soccer players are natural kickers. Granted she didn’t have a bunch of dudes running at her and a much shorter run up due to those dudes, but I feel she can definitely learn what she needs to do and do it well. Having a woman in the NFL would be SO AMAZING. I would be elated.
There is no better woman to do this than Carli Lloyd. She has the leg, she can hang with the boys as far as team bonding and locker room stuff (they will have to figure out when and where she showers), she works harder than anyone (read her book “When Nobody Was Watching”), she loves being under pressure, and if there is any USWNT member than can take a hit it’s probably her. Kickers rarely get hit and rarely even go for a tackle on the return, but it can happen and it will be brutal make no mistake. I wonder what her hubs thinks of the possibility of a giant man running her over. I am sure there will be guys in the NFL that say they aren’t comfortable hitting a woman…and then let’s think of all the men in that league that have NO PROBLEM doing just that..not on a field. Disgusting, we will save that for another day.
I can’t even imagine the records she would break on jersey sales. I’m so ready to buy one I thought about making my own…but I don’t even know if it’s the Bears she would end up on. I think she would easily outsell any kicker ever in the history of football for jersey sales. And can you imagine the sponsors that would come running? Nike and Gatorade, obvi, and then Secret and on and on and on and on. Who wouldn’t want a part of the first female in the NFL? Teams will want to take her on that alone. There are A LOT of women watching football these days. I actually think the NFL was the first to FINALLY make apparel in women’s sizes and styles. Thank you! We finally don’t have to wear oversized squares you call shirts!
They do have to make sure she is set up for success. That she does not jump on the field too early. That is she is ready and confident. And I don’t think she would want to step on the field before that. But you also have to strike while the iron is hot and teams are calling her now. So she needs to learn how to properly kick a game time field goal and extra point ASAP. She will have so much added pressure on her. If she misses it’s because she’s a girl, not for any other reason, although men miss all the time. And if she doesn’t do well, the team signed her for the publicity and not because she’s good. She doesn’t want any of this and neither do we. We want her to be on equal footing.
I have joked for some time now I don’t want my boys anywhere near a football field, except for the kicker position. I don’t want them to end up with CTE or any other injuries, but I’m a soccer girl who loves football and kicker is an awesome position that rarely gets hit and has a long career. I am excited for every field goal even if the kicker making it would hurt my team. I am continually amazed how little emphasis goes into this position as far as training, recruiting and drafting. There have been SO MANY times a kicker has decided a game. When are people going to look into this position as much as others?
Anyway, the most important thing out of all of this, is being the first woman in the NFL and what that means. Women are continually making strides in every area. It’s complete and total BS we have to at all, but we are doing it nonetheless. When I was a little girl I played sports with my older brother and my best friend. I pretended to be Cobi Jones and Tony Meola, Chipper Jones and Ken Griffrey Jr., Wayne Gretzky and Luc Robitaille, Joe Montana and Bo Jackson, Spud Webb and Mugsy Bogues (I’m short so let’s be honest about my fantasy NBA career). I looked up to men. And then the USWNT came into my view, right before the famous 1999 World Cup. All of my posters of my wall of Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Elijah Wood, Andrew Keegan, Vinne Kartheiser, Jonathan Brandis, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Mike Vitar, and more Jonathan Taylor Thomas came off my walls and up went Mia Hamm, Michelle Akers, Kristine Lilly, Briana Scurry, Tiffany Milbrett, Brandi Chastain, Julie Foudy, etc. I knew every players first and last name, number and position. I was obsessed. I bought my ticket to the Women’s World Cup final a year before it took place and I told my mom the WWC was gonna be HUGE. She wanted to temper my expectations and said something like, “I know this seems like a huge thing to you, but this is women’s sports. I don’t think it will be a big thing.” She had every reason to think that too. The WWC was a record breaking phenomenon around the country and the world and I remember when it came time for the final my mom said, “You were right. This is huge.” There were awesome commercials, oversized men sized t shirts I bought, wheaties boxes, interviews on tv, and a record breaking 90,000 at the Rose Bowl. Lucky for me I was one of those 90,000 and thanks to being very intuitive, I realized after the game that this tent in the middle of the concourse where NO ONE was, was the press tent and the players would have to walk out from the stadium and into this tent at some point. So I stood there by myself on the barricade waiting. And then more people joined me and then they came out. Inches from me. I got high fives, and photos and I even touched the World Cup trophy. I was on cloud nine for weeks. The USWNT has lead so much of the charge for little girls and women everywhere. They are good role models, they are fighting for equality again and again, and they are damn good, the best in the world in fact.
I am seeing things around the internet that little boys are asking their parents for Megan Rapinoe jerseys. How great is that?! Even boys are looking up to these women. They will pretend to be Megan and Alex and Carli. That is a beautiful thing. I can’t even imagine the power it will have if Carli Lloyd takes the field in an NFL game. This will be a glorious moment for little girls and little boys everywhere. I am on the edge of my seat waiting for this to unfold.
She has won an Olympic Gold Medal, she has won 2 World Cups, she has even won the Ballon d’Or. She has won every major trophy there is to win in soccer. It’s a good time to move on. Her coach the last few years, Jill Ellis, is the only person on this planet that knows why she didn’t play the full 90 minutes of every World Cup game this year…and maybe she doesn’t even know. Carli was wronged for that and struggled with it publicly and that is a crappy way to retire. So even though they have a new coach, which may change that, maybe this is a good time to hang it up…she could always figure out a way to still play in the NWSL perhaps. I know she still wants to play in the 2020 olympics but this opp could be bigger than her. Maybe she can play after the 2020 olympics and be more prepared. She will certainly make more money in a week than she did her whole soccer career sadly.
I am for whatever she wants to do and I can’t wait to see it. LFG.