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Flipping the Coin for Female Football

August 18, 2022

Thursday Thoughts, Inspiration, Wisdom for Women Entrepreneurs, Women in Sports

Colorado Freeze Photo

The call came in on a random business afternoon by a female leader of a new women’s semi-pro football team called the Syracuse Sting. I met her at one of the business networking events I was leading as she promoted her new team, looking for sponsors and supporters to fill the stands. There hadn’t been a woman’s football team in CNY at that point so promoting it was essential for its success.

Cabrina Gilbert of the Syracuse String Women’s Football Tetam

Always willing to help another woman out, especially a woman who owned her own football team, I embraced Cabrina Gilbert with open arms willing to help in anyway promote the team for her. Memories of watching my father play football and coach football resonated in my memory. Only a powder-puff football player for one game in Highschool, but an avid watcher of my favorite team the Denver Broncos because of John Elway, made me an instant fan of the Syracuse Sting.

With a promise to host a women’s business night out at the football game – played at our AAA baseball field of the Syracuse Chiefs – we promoted one of the Sting’s games. Along with the promotion came a really cool request. “Tracy, would you honor us by flipping the game coin at the start of the game?” Cabrina asked. “YES! I would love to,” I replied. How cool was this going to be, I thought to myself.

The night of the game I bought a Syracuse Sting sweatshirt to wear onto the field to look the part. Merchandise for an entity like a women’s semi-pro football team was an important revenue stream and promotional tool. When I was called, I walked onto the field with Cabrina and three other very tall, big, cool female football players to the middle where we met the official. The lights of the stadium glowed as the sun was setting and what felt like my “Superbowl moment” minus a million fans occurred. I don’t remember what I called – heads or tails – but the flip worked and our team got the option to choose if they wanted to receive or play.

Sadly, as I walked back to the sideline; I noticed how few spectators were in the stands. Why wouldn’t our community support a woman’s football team? Where were the young girls to inspire? Or more business women to financially support this feminine corporation? Well, the game happened in the late 1990s when even the NFL wouldn’t support the Syracuse Sting, as Cabrina explained to me when I asked her. Sometimes a novel idea, is too novel for most people. But hopefully the world will keep changing for women interested in the sport.

The team didn’t last long mostly due to lack of an audience and financial support but I will never forget being impressed enough that there as a women’s football team in Syracuse and walking out under the summer lights sandwiched between tall football players. I still have my Syracuse Sting sweatshirt and wear it once in awhile to remind myself that women in all aspects of sports, business, and life still need my support…..and yours too.

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