It seems like every positive story these days comes alone with a negative slant. This started about 4-5 years, and I think Twitter is largely to blame. Everybody wants to find a reason to “cancel” basically any person that comes into the public eye. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about #MeToo and movements like that which are bringing to light a lot of shady people and a lot of terrible things that have happened. I’m talking more about how we couldn’t even enjoy weird red sweater guy Ken Bone for a couple of days without Twitter trolls diving deep to figure out that he loves pregnant women porn.
Cut to last weekend when Sarah Fuller became the first female athlete to play in a Power Five Conference FBS football game. Due to Vanderbilt’s ineptitude on offense, she was never given the chance to attempt a field goal or even an extra point, but she was able to deliver the second-half kickoff in their game against Missouri. The kick was a designed squib (executed perfectly) that was down at the 35-yard line.
At the end of the day, the play was inconsequential to the outcome of the game, a 41-0 Missouri victory. But it was a very important play for young women across the country who have dreams of doing things that were once thought to be reserved exclusively for men. There have been two other women to kick in FBS games, but they played on smaller scales at New Mexico and Kent State. Fuller doing what she did at Vanderbilt put her story on the center stage. Now young women with dreams of playing major college football know that they at least have a feasible chance.
I’ve been waiting all week for this story to get tarnished, like all good stories do. I’ve been waiting for a report about Fuller cheating on exams or a think piece about how this only could happen in a COVID season. But we haven’t gotten that. Instead, it’s been nothing but love and positivity for Fuller, which I think is exactly what this world needs right now.
I found the story to be inspiring, and I know that so many others did too. And I’m happy to hear that Fuller will be on the team again this weekend as Vandy takes on Georgia. According to ESPN, Interim Head Coach Todd Fitch told reporters that “if she’s our best option, we’ll continue with her.” So know that this Saturday when Vandy’s offense (hopefully) puts a drive together and Fuller trots out onto the field, it’s because she’s earned the right to be there. This isn’t a charity play or a publicity stunt. This is a case of the best player being given an opportunity, and I think that’s pretty cool.