'Hurricanes'gear up for pro footbal
By Jan Cunningham
From the sidelines the
Houston Hurricanes look like a
small Texas high school football
team. Dressed in standard football padding and helmets and
sporting assorted jerseys,
shorts and football pants, the
Hurricane backfield runs and
reruns intricate hand-offs and
passing drills. The linespeopJe
slug it out in the "pit." The
linebackers pursue the running
backs with ferocity.
Up close though, any resemblance between the Hurricanes
and 99.9% of the football teams
in Texas is quickly dispelled
Beneath all that padding are 25
Houston women with one
thought in mind-to make the
Houston Hurricanes a member
in good standing of the eight-
team Women's Professional
That's not simple. In professional sports it's not merely a
matter of getting together a
team, finding a coach and a
sponsor and joining a league.
Professional sports is, after all,
Like the NFL, the WPFL has
stringent financial entry requirements for teams. Under
the current WPFL set-up a team
must exhibit financial responsibility by purchasing a $10,000
franchise. (A real bargain compared to NFL franchises, which
cost millions of dollars.)
At this point the $10,000 is
the largest obstacle facing the
Hurricanes. Without the franchise the Hurricanes cannot become official members of the
league which includes established teams in Toledo, Dallas,
San Diego, Los Angeles,
Oklahoma City and New York.
However, until they can come
up with the $10,000 there is an
alternative. They can play exhibition games with league teams
or with other teams which are
trying to get established, like
San Antonio and Tulsa.
These exhibition games are
important. They are a gauge of
the local support the team can
expect. Local support puts the
bread and butter on the table.
Even if the Hurricanes do
find a franchise underwriter
(it's a tax write-off, folks),
they still face fearsome financial
burdens. Under the present
league format the home team
pays for travel and housing for
the visiting team. This
wouldn't be too much of a problem if Houston were playing
Dallas but, (all of the games are
scheduled on weekends so that
league players can return to
their "other" employment during the week) a game between
the Hurricanes and San Diego
could be very expensive for the
Hurricanes since San Diego
would have to be flown to
Houston. Naturally a team that
isn't generating support at the
gate is not going to be in any
position to play in a home and
away series with the well-known
In addition, teams must be
properly uniformed and
equipped. Hurricane members
now assume the burden individually at a cost of between $75
to $125 per player. They must
finance adequate publicity for
the team and pay rent for practice facilities and game facilities. And they certainly should
provide major medical coverage
for all the team members. All
this before the players can become "professionals"-that is,
But the Hurricanes continue,
full of enthusiasm and looking
forward to their first year in the
The team was started by
Marty Bryant, who read a
womenSports article on their
1975 Sportswoman of the Year,
Linda Jefferson of the Toledo
team, and wrote the WPFL to
get assistance in establishing a
team in Houston. Several
letters and phone calls later,
league officials provided Marty
with all the assistance they
apparently could muster: "Put
an ad in the local newspaper."
The present Hurricane roster
represents the healthy and fit
who answered the ad and survived the first rigorous weeks of
training. Hurricane members
had reasons for joining as diverse as their jobs, which range
from student and teacher to
welder, printer and home-
Quarterback Gwen Flager
went out for the team because
as a small girl in Louisiana and
Alabama her athletic opportunities were very limited. Dodie
King joined because her six
brothers always got to play football and she never did. Several
members of the team, like
Marty and Renee Becham,
played Softball together this
summer in the Northeast
Coach Richard Perry coaches'
the team because his wife plays.
A veteran of coaching in boys
programs in Europe, Coach
Perry feels that the only difference between male football
players and female players is
that the females have less background in the sport.
The Hurricanes will play their
first game in Houston on
October 23, against San Antonio
at Houston's Delmar Stadium at
8 p.m. Admission is $3.50 for
adults, $1.50 for children.
Breakthrough will print their
season schedule as soon as it is
made available and will keep
you up-to-date on their games.
The support of the Houston
feminists is vital to the
Hurricanes. Those who have
worn themselves to a frazzle
over Title IX and the inequities
in all sports programs for women should see the formation
of the WPFL as the beginnings
of the change they seek.
Many can help the Hurricanes. The financially able can
provide the franchise fee. Anyone can certainly attend their
homes games at Delmar with
husbands, lovers, children and
friends. Some don't want to go
to the games but will buy tickets
and give them to someone who
would enjoy the games. Those
interested in playing football
will go out for the team. A
doctor, advertising person,
printer or what-have-you can
help the team.
Anyone wanting more information on" the Hurricanes
should contact Gwen Flager at
YES! I'LL HELP KEEP BOB ECKHARDT IN CONGRESS!
'A democratic society has
not reached its fullest expression until equal rights
are constitutionally guaranteed for women. Nor has a
society reached its goal if
there are not the day care
centers, adequate health
programs and the jobs to
provide the opportunity to
Enclosed is my contribution for $
I can help:
□ as a neighborhood block captain.
D at campaign headquarters.
□ by telephoning my precinct.
□ with a yard sign in my yard.
Please fill out and return to 103 Little York, Houston 77076.
Paid for by Bob Eckhardt Campaign Fund, J. Edwin Smith, Treasurer.
A copy of our report is filed with the Federal Election Commission and is available for purchase from the Federal
Election Commission, Washington, DC 20463.
With a Continental jerk, Katie
Sandwina, the strongest woman
weightlifter, raised 286 pounds for
the greatest overhead lift in 1911. She
unofficially lifted 312^ pounds and reportedly once shouldered a 1200
pound cannon taken from the tail
board of a Barnum and Bailey Circus
wagon. Born January 21, 1884, the
German weightlifter stood 5'H" tall
and weighed 210 pounds.
send your revelations about women to Cheryl at Roots.