A lot of folks thought the brutal August heat and overpowering sunshine would be a real problem for the annual BvB Dallas Powder Puff Football Game on Saturday, August 8, at the Cotton Bowl. But whether it was a stroke of good luck or someone checking the setting sun, Old Sol hid behind the stands at the Cotton Bowl, causing a shade to cover the stadium’s stands and field.
On the other hand, the Fair Park parking lots were spilling over, especially with Rascal Flatts performing in nearby Gexa Energy Pavilion. But that didn’t really matter. Nothing was going to stop the BvB Dallas fans, players, coaches, sponsors and media.
But before the sun set, the pre-game preparations were buzzing. BvB Dallas Founder Erin Finegold with clipboard in one hand and walkie-talkie in the other was seamlessly juggling all questions, issues and people. She even managed to do it all with a non-stop smile, never giving a hint that she wasn’t all that happy. For the first time in the BvB Dallas history, they weren’t going to make their goal. Instead of writing a check for $600,000, she was disappointed that it would be for $475,000. Still, that was a record-breaker of an amount for the teams raising funds for Alzheimer’s research and treatment.
Erin and the other BvB vets had had such high hopes this year. They were returning to the Cotton Bowl. They were stepping back to let an executive director raise efforts to the next level. They had an outstanding group of sponsors, both old and new. Yup, they had come a long way since that first game back in 2008. Since then they had raised more than $1.8M.
Still, the game must go on. It was easy to tell the two teams — Blondes in pink and Brunettes in blue. The BvB Dallas leadership like BvB Dallas President Jennifer Bergman was in black. Sunscreen replaced perfume. Instead of makeup, faces were painted with Blondes or Brus.
The media was on hand to sweat through the event, too. Univision’s Pedro Silva did pre-game interviews. The Ticket was well represented Brothers Mike Sirois and Cash Sirois warmed up to do the play-by-play. They made it clear that they had their favs — Mike in his pink cowboy hat and Cash in his blue one. Ty Walker was the special guest and announcer and announced that “Cash will pound one Bud Light for every touchdown Team Brunette scores!”
For pre-game entertainment and between quarters, there was Dallas Cowboys DJ EJ and the Dallas Mavericks ManiAACs, who have more costume changes than an Academy Award emcee.
Longtime sponsor Ebby could be seen throughout the stands and on the field. No, not Ebby herself. Instead hand fans with “Ebby” stamped on them fluttered throughout the bleachers. Along the sidelines Ebby’s President Mary Frances Burleson and Marketing Guru Cody Baker arrived in a golf cart. Right at home, Mary Frances in white Puma sneakers, white blouse and slacks and black “shirt” was being diplomatically correct in taking sides. She swapped stories and laughs with others before the game commenced. On the field, the two teams worked out.
Other BvB vets on the sidelines included Erin’s dad Jay Finegold. Father of three girls, he was proud of what his daughter had created in the memory of her grandmother. But then he felt that way about the other original organizers of the fundraisers like 31-year-old Greer Fulton, who was just 23 at the first BvB when she was quarterback along with Erin that first year. And then there was Erin’s sister, Toby Finegold, who at the ripe old age of 14 ran the scoreboard way back then.
A difference this year was that the two teams would not be on the same side of the field. The first half the Blondes would be across the field, while the Brus would be on the side where the fans were gathered. At halftime they would switch. Seems that the coaches wanted it that way. However, the Brus coaches in blue-and-white argyle socks were just too cute to complain. Luckily, there were big Coppus fans blasting cool air.
Not so cute was one of the scoreboards. Evidently, it was having a glitchy day. The right upper part of the screen just took a long coffee break, creating a black hole.
But once the announcement of teams arriving on the field came, nobody really cared. The Brus were first. They could be heard hollering their arrival as they walked down the tunnel arm-in-arm. There was no doubt that losing was not a part of their game plan as they smashed through their banner.
As they lined up along the goal line, someone suggested that they move to the far left. The Blondes were about to make their entrance.
With the confidence of having won all of the previous games except one, the Blondes in pink broke their banner with smiles. Co-Captain Becca Elinor held high a flag with a picture of the ultimate blonde babe — Dolly Parton — and Co-Captain Lindsey Kluempers carrying a Go-Pro on a selfie stick to be used for future promotion.
Like any other football game, the teams went through last minute warmups as the crowds in the stands filled. Someone noticed that one of the Brus was “firing bullet passes for the Brus.”
Over the PA system they announced the outstanding fundraisers on each team like MVP Billie Jo Davis, who raised $21,100. Unfortunately, that tricky scoreboard only partially showed their photos.
Then the drama built as over the PA was heard, “Last year the Brus knocked on the door, kicked on the door, this year they will knock down the door!” and “The Blonde beast has once again been awakened. The dynasty. Victors in six of the last seven games!”
Then it was time for the game to commence with the coin toss. Oops, instead of years past when Mary Frances did the toss, she was escorted to the center of the field only arriving just as the coin landed with the Brus happy as can be.
But before the fun began, a moment of silence was held for those who suffer from Alzheimer’s and the singing of the national anthem.
The game was then on. Here’s a bit of play-by-play recap:
Blondes’ first possession is unsuccessful. Brus take over. #4 quarterback is Michelle Rowden. Hits a bullet pass to receiver #81 Vanita Krouch for a first down. But there’s a busted play on fourth down and Blondes take back over. Blonde QB #6 Becca Ellinor completes pass. But they give it up on fourth down, back to Brus. Michelle hits Vanita again for a long gainer. Then they’re just short of goal line. Completed pass to #14 Kristen Kramer for a TD. With extra point good, it’s now 7-0.
Blondes have ball. Drive down field. #39 Katie Tull is QB now. They score TD on completed pass to #57 Natalie Crittenden. Extra point no good, score now 7-6, and first quarter ends.
Between quarters, the Dallas Mavericks ManiAACs perform to the delight of the fans in the stands. Somebody noted that the quarters were lasting 20 minutes instead of the traditional 15 minutes.
The second period begins with Brus making a few long catches, including one to #91 Mikki Bailey and they score. Extra point is no good, so it’s 13-6 with 15:57 left in second quarter.
Over the PA is heard, “I speak for Team Blonde when I say, ‘Whatever.’”
Blondes with ball now. But, they soon turn it over to Brus. Says announcer: “It feels like a whole new year, Ty. Very Brunette-ish.”
A long pass is completed to #33 Jody Schueler and the announcer says, “Who are these girls? Do they even live in Texas? Brought in some ringers this year!” Then, #76 Jade Randle is all alone in the end zone and catches a pass. On extra point try, #42 for Blondes Lindsay Kluempers intercepts and runs the ball back 100 yards to give the Blondes 2 points. So, score is now 19-8. Blondes take over with 6:55 to play in quarter.
Can’t do anything. Brus take over. Vanita makes a nice run, then next play QB hands it off to V and she throws long pass to #33 Jody Schueler for a TD. Now 25-8. Blondes take over. #0 Kelsey Wasmer is QB. Makes nice long run. Completes some passes. Runs again. A fellow in stands yells: “Can you do anything but run?!” Brus take back over with seconds left. Half ends, score is 25-8.
At halftime the check presentation of $475K is made to Baylor AT&T Memory Center and The Center for Vital Longevity at the University of Texas Dallas.
Second half starts. Vanita runs long. Completes a couple of passes, near goal line again. Completes a pass to #76 Jade Randle for TD—score now 31-8. Lots of stroking of chins among the blonde coaches.
Football fan Will Braaf in pink headband and tank top with a couple of Buds in hand is not happy. Chris Neidhardt and others are with Will to support Blonde #9 Kristen Schoellhorn. Will yells, “No. 9, it’s all you out there!” and then: “Stop losing!”
Blondes deep in Bru territory now, but can’t do it. Brus take back over. Long pass completed to #91 Mikki Bailey and she does a long run. Quarter ends.
With another outfit change, Mavs Maniacs perform again to the delight of the fans.
The fourth quarter starts. TD pass is made to Jade and it’s now 38-8. Will yells out: “I encourage you now to disappoint me again!” Announcer says: “Come on Team Blonde. We’re only down 30.” Will: “You guys give me your best effort. It’s really working for you. Everyone gets a trophy.”
With mic in hand, Mike Sirois calls Will out to tone it down, but evidently Will doesn’t hear him and keeps up his remarks.
Vanita is QB now. Brus have it. Then Blondes. Back to Brus. Vanita completes pass to #4 Michelle Rowden, who started at QB for TD. Now 45-8 with 5:30 to go in game.
Blondes take over. Incomplete pass and someone in stands yells, “Hey, catch the f–kin’ ball!” Brus get it back with 2:18 to go. They threaten a TD but Blondes repel them, take over the football with :26 to go. They complete a pass and game is over. Final score: 45-8. Someone says it’s the most points ever scored in this game.
Following a presentation of the trophy to the Brus and the Blondes graciously accepting defeat, the fans, players, coaches and friends emptied the stadium for a party with Empire 6 on stage. Someone mentioned how the last time the Brus won was also the last time that Vanita had played. She evidently brought them luck.