Tackling a myth-conception

WET AND WILD: Eric Blevins proudly shows off his silver medal in the 1-meter board diving competition at the FINA World Championships Aug. 12 in Kazan, Russia. Blevins was also scheduled to compete in the 3-meter competition on Thursday. The out New Jersey resident raised about a quarter of the travel costs through an online fundraising site over the past two months, but you can still contribute to the expenses. Go to gofundme.com/v8rmbx9h to support our returning champion representing the LGBT community of greater Philadelphia. Photo: Nate Stypinski

Jess Taylor is as big an advocate for women’s tackle football as you’ll find.


With the regular season and championship play for 2015 having just wrapped up, Taylor is already marketing the Philadelphia Firebirds for next year. The first priority? Bulking up the team with 30 or more new players.

The biggest misconception around women’s tackle football is that everyone needs to be large, muscular and tough, she noted.

“Not so,” Taylor said. “We need women of all body sizes and types. Not everyone is built for blocking.”

In other words, if you’re agile and fast, you could be a running back or receiver. And if you have talented legs, kickers are in demand. Any body type you see in American football works here also. Taylor said that, as long as you have the heart, desire and drive to play, there’s a place for you on the team.

Typical tryouts include a 40-yard dash, some box drills and ball-handling skills, for starters. Tryouts will be every month beginning Aug. 16 at Kendrick Rec Center, 5822 Ridge Ave. The 2016 season begins in April.

Don’t play but want to be a part? There’s a place for you as well. The Firebirds are always looking for people to work the chains, help with stats and do videography.

Taylor said the team is like family.

“We travel to play,” Taylor said, “and between practices and games, hanging out and fundraising, there’s a lot of bonding. These are good-hearted people all pulling together.”

For more information, visit philadelphiafirebirds.com.

Short stops

• Reading Fightin’ Phils Gay Night is approaching. Watch local drag mom Sandy Beach throw out the first ball before the Aug. 17 game. A charter bus is going from Venture Inn for only $20 round trip and includes game ticket. Other info at milb.com/index.jsp?sid=t522.

Fall approaches! What is your sport about to do? What are you about to do? Email [email protected].