A heck of a lot of DVR’s were recording the Olympics Saturday night because the real action locally was at the Cotton Bowl. There, 2,000 Blondes vs. Brunettes fans just knew their gals were to be taken very, very seriously, both on the field and in the fundraising arena. It was just five years ago the Dallas powder-puff football game benefiting the Greater Dallas Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association held its first game, raising $65,000 in front of 450 fans at Griggs Field.
Like Dallas Symphony Orchestra maestro Jaap van Zweden, BvB mother hen Erin Finegold with headset firmly in place did a masterful job of coordinating the event all year-round.
But once the anthem was sung and the coin flipped in favor of the Brunettes, the teams, fans and commentators took over. While The Ticket’s Ty Walker did the play-by-play, Ticket brothers Mike Sirois and Cash Sirois took mics to the sidelines for color commentary. With the first quarter ending with the Blondes ahead 7-0, Cash was relentless in shoring up his Bru team, going so far as to wear a “rally parrot” on his shoulder.
In the stands, the fans showed their true colors. Wearing a hot pink wig, Jennifer Wells supported her roomie/player Kelly Rice with a poster — “50 Shades of Blonde.” Natural brunette Tina Schlapprizzi betrayed her natural colors for Blonde player/BFF Rachael Piperby wearing the only pink Indian headdress in this ZIP code.
The Blondes stormed the field around 7:35, breaking through a banner that read, “Go Blonde or Go Home.” Two or three coaches ran around holding up “smoke bombs” that let out pink-colored “smoke.” The Bru’s doubled their entrance with two mega banners (“We’re Coming for the Trophy & that ain’t No Maybe!” and “Hey, We’re the Bru Crew and we ain’t Crazy”).
Both sides warmed up while the song with Gun N’ Roses’s “Welcome to the Jungle” blaring over the P.A. One bleacher bum observed, “The Blondes look very sharp and aggressive during the warm-up routines. The Brunettes look slower, like they’re just going through the motions.”
Before the game got started, they announced the outstanding members of the team including
- Blondes vs. Brunettes 2012 Awards — Sara McArthur (Miss Blonde) and Kelly Cushing (Miss Brunette)
- Rookies of the Year — Emily Michel, Andrea Wooden and David Niven (Blondes) and Devon Alter, Melissa Robertson and David Klotz(Brunettes)
- MVP’s — Brooke Fawcett (Blonde) and Katie Hicks (Brunette)
Then it was coin flip time and once again the Bru’s won the toss and opted to accept the ball. Hmm, was this boding a repeat of last year when they won the toss?
Speaking of the coin flip, Ebby Halliday CEO/BvB vet coin flipper Mary Frances Burleson was fully prepared for the game. Wearing neutral colors (black and white), she came with DEET wipes in hand. Although official government-type State Rep. Dan Branch was a no-show for the second year in a row, he was easily forgiven for being “under the weather” thanks to sponsoring the Uptown trolley ad. His District Office Director Ryan Trimble subbed once again.
Brunettes started on their own 10-yard line. On very first play, No. 18 (Greer Fulton) caught a pass from quarterback No. 4 (Michelle Rowden) and made it to the 25-yard line. Then a nice run for a first down followed by two incomplete passes. Blondes took over on their own 23-yard line.
After some incomplete passes, Blonde quarterback No. 44 (Whitney Long) completed a pass to No. 11 (Rachael Piper) to get to 16-yard line, near goal. Touchdown pass is fired to No. 6 (Holly Aldredge) or No. 8 (Amanda Brown), not sure which, and the extra point is no good. (Are all blondes starting to look alike?) Score: 6-0.
Brus take over. Two good passes moved the ball down the field, including one really great catch by No. 55 (Rachel Johnson). Then several incompletes and Brus were stopped about two yards from goal and announcer applauded the Blondes’ “rock star defense.” He said: “What a stand by the Blonde defense!”
Blondes take over. Pass completed to No. 77 (Chelsey Rothe) who got to 30-yard line. QB ran it to 20 or so. First quarter ended, 6-0 Blondes.
Blonde QB No. 4 (Jenn Thompson) connected to Chelsey for a good gain. No. 28 (Jill Nix) caught one for a first down on the 5 yard line. Then a pass was caught in end zone for another TD. Extra point no good. 10:50 left on clock, score is 12-0.
Brus took over. Two quick catches, then a long pass was good to No. 19 (Devon Alter). Then another complete to No. 91 (Mikki Bailey) and Brus scored. Extra point was good, so score now 12-7, Blondes in lead.
Blondes’ ball. Two nice completions followed, one to Chelsey (her third catch of night). Rachael Piper also caught one and fell but held onto the ball. Announcer said, “Rachael Piper with the good hands.” Then a TD was made, extra point was good, so it was now 19-7 Blondes in lede.
Brus took over. They couldn’t get anything going, so Brus “punted” on fourth down. Blondes took over mid-field. No. 12 (Andrea Wooden) caught a long pass, another completed to No. 70 (Katie Titus), then another good pass. Couldn’t make it into end zone, though. Half ends.
But the Brus weren’t giving up. They’d won the trophy last year and liked the taste of being #1, according to Bru Katie Hicks. Bru hunky coach James “JB” Brady admonished all, “It’s still early.”
Blonde QB Whitney made a long run, then threw a long bomb to No. 19 (Ashley Young), but then there was an interception of a pass by the Brus’ No. 66 (Sophie Healy Roth) in the end zone!
Brus’ ball. Bru No. 4 (Michelle Rowden) made two completions, including a good long catch by No. 55 (Rachel Johnson), then a TD pass was caught by No. 3 (Meredith Wilson, team captain) in end zone. She was hit hard but held on. Extra point no good. Score 19-13.
Blondes took over, with 9:48 to go in quarter. Reception took it to 15 yard line, then the QB Whitney ran it, then completed a pass to 5 yard line. Then a pass for the score. Now score is 25-13; point after is good, now 26-13.
Brus took over. They have a couple of complete passes, including a bullet caught by No. 55 (Rachel Johnson). Another completion, quarter ended.
Bru QB Michelle passed to No. 21 (Rachel Neumann) was good and they scored. Extra point good, too. Score was 26 to 20, with 12:30 to go! It wasa good close game to this point!
Blondes took over. QB Jenn completed good passes and took her team to 24-yard line. Jenn ran for some, then there was a great diving catch by No. 8 (Amanda Brown), got them to 20-yard line. They passed for another touchdown, so it was now 32 to 20. Extra point good, 33-20, as Chelsey caught another pass.
Brus took over, but couldn’t do anything. Blondes took over with 4:18 or so to go in game. QB Whitney completed some more passes for another TD. She was able to “scramble” like Joe Montana! So now it was 39 to 20 with 1:50 to go. Brus took over, couldn’t do much of anything but were still trying right up to the end. Over the PA system, a commentator said: “39 seconds left. The Blonde team is contemplating putting the girl with the broken leg in.” Actually, Christina Jarmolowski, the “girl,” actually had suffered an ACL tear in an earlier workout. But she was sporting a pink cast in support of the sisterhood.
Blondes took over with 29 seconds left. Game ended.
In a post-game interviews with the winning QB’s, Whitney claimed the secret to the Blondes’ success was, “We worked really hard all summer. I give ‘big ups’ to the coaching staff, too. We all worked hard.”
Jenn admitted that last year’s loss did have an effect on the Blondes: “It did add so much more. There was also a lot more at stake. We had a lot of rookies this year. [Last year the Brus] were thirsty for a win. It was important for us to contain the enthusiasm we had, to channel it, into our play.”
Before presenting the trophy (known by some as “Dolly”), Erin announced that not only had they surpassed their original goal of $275,000 and their second goal of $325,000, they had hit $340,000. Translation: The Dallas BvB was the first in the nation to raise more than $1 million in five years.