(Photo by Ayrika L. Whitney – The Tennessean)
Today, Vanderbilt’s Sarah Fuller became the first female in history to play in a Power 5 football game. It was a monumental moment, opening the door for females to potentially be given the chance to play football at universities all across the nation in the future. However, as with all things football, we must look at this through a football lens.
To narrow it down, let’s look at this from the perspective of a Vanderbilt fan. Let’s begin with the glaring issue here – their team just lost 41-0. I’m not sure about anyone else, but if West Virginia just lost by that score, I wouldn’t be very happy. To be even more brutally honest, I wouldn’t give a damn what what the gender of the kicker was who had a 26-yard squib kick to begin the second half.
I would be more concerned what the hell was going on with the team, not a female kicker. We also have to look at the kick in itself and the coaching behind of it. Obviously the 26-yard squib kick was a part of the strategy from the coaches, but the fact that is all they let her do today shows their lack of confidence in her.
In this instance, it is not her inability to kick. Instead, it is her coach’s incompetence. You’re getting destroyed, and you’re scared to let her kick the ball downfield? It was honestly a damn shameful play.
Fuller deserves all of the attention she gets for this moment, and there is no denying that. But this is still Vanderbilt, and they are still 0-8. If it wasn’t for Fuller, nobody would even be talking about the game right now. It wasn’t Fuller that did a disservice to Vanderbilt today, but Derek Mason and Vanderbilt that did a disservice to her.
There is a reason that the Commodores are the worst Power 5 team in the nation, and today proved it. They couldn’t even get in position to give Fuller the opportunity to score for the team, and they truly restricted her from doing much.
In the end, it may be a huge moment, but it was embarrassing all the same. Fuller did her job, but her supporting cast failed her. This moment will be cheapened for Vanderbilt fans by the 41-0 loss. Nonetheless, I hope to see her get her chance to truly shine in the future, as well as many more females all around the nation.