The Best Quarterback In Women’s Football History Is Back For One Last Ride

Sami Grisafe just might be the best quarterback in the history of women’s football. In 2000, she became the first female to play quarterback in a Varsity Division I high school game for Redlands High School in California. She played professionally for the Chicago Force of the Women’s Football Alliance (WFA) and Team USA before retiring in 2014. Grisafe, a two-time Championship Game MVP and a two-time WFA offensive player of the year, came out of retirement to play one more season with the Force in 2017. She recently spoke with me about her return to the field.

How did you get started in football? Were your parents on board?

When I was a kid, it was much less physical for women in sports. This was in 1995. I was 10 years old and playing boys baseball, so my mom was kind of already used to the idea of me being the only girl in a male sport. But it was a little difficult to convince her [to let me play football]. She had to have an hour-long conversation with the head of the youth football league. He explained that the first week would be just grass drills with pads and the second week we’d start hitting. If I didn’t like the hitting, he told my mom she could pull me out. During that entire second week, my mom was hoping to God that I was going to hate it. But I didn’t. And I’ve been playing ever since.

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