BYU fans know the story of how coach
Bronco Mendenhall righted the football ship with his band of brother’s team. What
they don’t know is how a certain society of sisters started some football history
of their own on this campus. I never thought I would end up being a football player, but here I am after my PhD playing football. I was in a
PhD program, and I was roommates with Sarah Olson Brinton, and she told me that
she had a dream to come to BYU in some kind of faculty capacity and to start
an all women’s faculty flag football team. So playing against students is an
interesting proposition. It’s mostly really discouraging because it turns out
that the like 20 years between their average age and our average age like you
lose a lot of speed and agility and on top of that like, let’s be honest, most of
us are pretty nerdy, and so we were never like top athletes to begin with. I think one of my favorite things about the A Lot is our sort of–it’s kind of like
sassy humility. We named ourselves the A-lot, and that is to remind us that at the
end of the day, we still have great parking, and we you know we can take this
loss. Our cheer at the end of the game is great parking always wins because we may
not have won the football game, but we know that when we come to campus we can park
closer than the students can. (Speaking in Xhosa) That
means good parking always wins Xhosa, and Xhosa is the language I use in my
research in South Africa. Most of the people on the team have at least three
degrees. I’m usually pretty introverted, fairly soft-spoken, I do a lot of my work
one-on-one with people, so that works really well. On the field however I yell, I’m
far more gregarious, willing to take someone down if they’re in my way. Easily
the most competitive person on the field is Kif. She’s a lawyer. I don’t know if that has
anything to do with it. It’s really fun to actually play against a student that
you know, so I always scan the faces of the team before we play just looking for
a familiar face. I think it’s just fun to be able to connect with them outside of
the classroom. Managing the BYU football roster gets tricky with so many
student athletes coming and going to serve missions, but juggling a roster of
professor athletes that gets exponentially more complicated. We’ve had
a couple of teammates playing while pregnant carrying the ball and the baby.
Pulling this reverse play and just running down the sideline high stepping it,
and I mean it was fabulous. Jen had her flags like up above her sort of belly,
and, you know, the ref was like your flags are up too high, and she was like, um, what
do you want me to do like it’s either up or down, but there’s no middle. My biggest supporter as I’ve
been on the a lot team is definitely my husband, Scott. Every time we make a first
down Scott’s always leading the cheer it’s pretty unusual for us to and we
celebrate our first downs as if they are touchdowns That was our last game of the season and
the clock was almost running out We’ve managed to march down the field we were
very close to the end zone And I was running into the end zone and I actually
didn’t see the other teams player Jen threw the ball just about the time I collided
with that other player I don’t remember exactly what happened I just know I kind of turned in
the air and I threw my hand up to try and knock the football down and got my
hand on it, knocked it down and then I caught it And then the ref called a
penalty and the ref is actually Well, was in my political science 150 class so
pretty gutsy to do that I started saying things like oh you should deny the
penalty, you know, decline the penalty and you know finally they said “okay,
we decline the penalty” and the ref’s like, “really?” And so we ended up getting the
touchdown If we were there to win this would have been over a long time ago Mostly what we do is we make friends and then those friends often turn into
academic collaborators Kara Stowers in chemistry and myself had been working
together looking at a possible NSF grant To actually promote women in science and
that collaboration and that friendship may not have happened if not through A
lot There’s another member of the team who is also in the chemistry department Kara Stowers and she and I along with some other colleagues have actually put
together a chemistry camp BYU chem camp that’s for elementary school children to
come learn about chemistry during the summer and our goal is really to
encourage young girls to pursue studies and careers in the stem field I ran for a position on the faculty’s Women’s Association and I won And I don’t think that would be the case if I hadn’t joined the A Lot team The A Lot is easily the best thing that’s happend to me while I’ve been at BYU I just feel like we’re so close together because we do play together that if I needed help they would be there for me We are a team both on and off the field
and we’re there for each other We think it’s really important for our female
students to see a little bit more of our lives and see us more well-rounded
people and give them an idea of the variety of things that adult women can
do with their lives Fourth and goal coming up for A Lot. Quarterback takes the snap, drops back to pass Throws to a slanting Stephens tip ball and after a
collision, touchdown A Lot! Stephens Stephens came down with it! Great parking always wins!