Blondes vs. Brunettes Diary: Have I Become a Footballer?

Melissa Robertson pulls Jody Schueler's flag during a Brunettes practice. (Staff photo: Andrew Buckley)
Melissa Robertson pulls Jody Schueler’s flag during a Brunettes practice. (Staff photo: Andrew Buckley)

I may have graduated from Highland Park High School, but I was about as far away as you could get from being a star athlete. Or even a normal athlete.

The last organized sport I played was in fourth grade, on the Hyer Huskies basketball team. I almost didn’t graduate from both high school and college because I failed to fulfill physical-education requirements.

But when my editor, Dan Koller, asked me to participate in the Blondes vs. Brunettes football game, I jumped at the chance because of the beneficiary: Alzheimer’s disease. I lost my maternal grandmother, Mertie Goss, to the disease almost three years ago.

Founded by Highland Park graduate Erin Finegold, the Dallas edition of Blondes vs. Brunettes is a charity football game where — you guessed it— the flaxen-haired ladies challenge the dark-tressed ones to a flag football duel. In the past five years, the game has raised more than $1 million for the Alzheimer’s Association’s Greater Dallas chapter.

We brunettes (also known as the “Bru Crew”) have been fine-tuning our football skills at practice every week in anticipation of the final showdown on Aug. 17 at Bishop Lynch’s Roffino Stadium.

I wasn’t nervous about playing football until I showed up to our first practice — this may come as a shock, but I didn’t know a single thing about flag football.

After our warm-up, I started taking mental notes of things like positions, rules, and the most effective ways to pull flags. Basically, I’m watching the girls who are really good and attempting to mimic them. Only time will tell if my attempt is successful.

Now I’m three weeks in, have a jammed ring finger, have been assigned to play defense, and have even pulled a flag or two. Yesterday morning, I woke up early and ran because I want to make sure I can keep up on the field. Have I become a footballer?

Editor’s note: This is the first entry in a three-part series. It originally appeared in the July 19 edition of Park Cities People. Check back Friday for Part 2.

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