While working in the Graduate Programs Office earlier this semester, one of the student ambassadors came up with idea to start a co-ed flag football team made up of ambassadors from the various programs (MBA, MAcc, MLHR, and SMF). As the idea caught on, Jennifer Jones and Tara Bailey signed us up and put together our team for the league. Our team name was Helmer’s Heroes, named after the beloved dog of Rob Chabot, our boss in recruiting and admissions.
Going into the first game, there was a lot of uncertainty as to how good we were as a flag football team. While we were a predominantly inexperienced group when it came to flag football, we had a highly competitive group and even a few former college athletes, so we thought we had a good chance of being successful.
Our season got off to a great start as we assembled a solid team for the first game. We won sixty-something (I don’t remember exactly) to zero, with the opposing team only gaining a few first-downs throughout the game. We poured it on with an Urban Meyer offensive philosophy of scoring touchdown after touchdown without letting up. We quickly learned the key to having a successful co-ed flag football team, which is to have girls that can carry your team. Girls are crucial to the success of the team because you cannot make back-to-back passes from guy-to-guy. Furthermore, touchdowns involving a girl were worth 9 points as opposed to 6. We took advantage of these rules as we had several girls that could run, catch, and throw, allowing us to score several touchdowns worth more than the usual 6 points.
When the second game came around, we only won 16-15, largely due to the fact that we played the first half short-handed with only 7 players (each team plays with 8 – four guys and four girls). With our busy schedules, it became apparent that the only way we could lose is if we beat ourselves – most likely due to a lack of attendance. This became even more evident during our third game when we only had 6 players. We struggled to cover the extra bodies on defense and, on offense, failed to get much going given our depleted roster. As a result, we lost the game by 2 or 3 touchdowns.
Despite the loss, we made it to the playoffs with a record of 2-1. We won our first playoff game with a score of 30-10 on a cold Thursday night. We had a solid showing of 10 people, leading to a great team victory. Our second playoff game was postponed due to weather and was rescheduled at an inopportune time – 5:30 on a Wednesday night, which conflicted with the evening classes of several of our team members. Unfortunately, we did not have enough players to play and had to forfeit the game and the remainder of our season, leaving us to wonder what could have been if we had a full roster for all of our playoff games.
I had a lot of fun playing in the flag football league and was disappointed to see the season come to a close. It was a great way to spend time with the other ambassadors outside of the class and work settings and I look forward to the upcoming intramural seasons next semester.