October 22, 2002
Wimmin playin' f'ball

Texans, schmexans. Houston already has a championship football team. And their owner plays cornerback. Take that, Jerry Jones!

Robin Howington awakes on a Saturday, makes a pot of coffee, turns on the VCR and studies a game film for the third time in a week.

Howington plays defense on the Houston Energy, the two-time national champions in the Women's Professional Football League -- and undefeated again this season.

The Dallas quarterback mostly throws slants to the right, Howington notes as she sips her coffee. And the receivers don't run patterns out to the sidelines. Her job as a starting cornerback will be easy -- even for a rookie.

Satisfied with her observations, Howington turns to her more challenging role on the Houston Energy -- as owner.

Howington has been chief cook and bottle washer for her team, which she's run at a loss since the WPFL doesn't have a whole lot of fans or any kind of corporate sugar daddies. That doesn't mean that it doesn't have some things in common with the better-known sports leagues:

The first two years as owner were rough, so overwhelming she didn't have time to play the game. Howington changed her coaching staff early in the first season, parting ways with former Houston Oilers wide receiver Haywood Jeffires.

Meanwhile, she dealt with the invariable problems of leading 60 people. Players complained they weren't playing enough, others demanded money or special perks for their talent. One even hired a lawyer to make Howington pay for her Super Bowl ring.

I assume the writer meant "inevitable" problems, but whatever. Howington has spent $100,000 of her money on the team. I wish her luck in getting funding for the future.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on October 22, 2002 to Other sports