Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01



Sami Grisafe: On the Ball

This article shared 5639 times since Wed Jun 20, 2007
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

By Ross Forman

The coaches rant and rave on the sidelines, barking profanity-laced commands. The quarterback talks Xs and Os with ease, and admits to being a 'big fan of the spread offense,' carefully mixing an aerial and ground attack.

Oh, yeah: Quarterback Sami Grisafe and the rest of her Chicago Force teammates are all females, part of the national 32-team Independent Woman's Football League ( IWFL ) , which has such teams as the Seattle Majestics, Tucson Monsoon, Montreal Blitz and New York Sharks.

'Everyone on the team works real hard, makes a lot of sacrifices and gives it their all, both physically and mentally. It just happens to be an all-woman [ as opposed to a ] mostly male team,' said Grisafe, 22. 'Actually, I would say there's probably more commitment and love of the game' on the Force versus male-dominated teams. That's because—although the Force carries a 'pro football' tag—the players have day jobs and each is required to pay $800 to play.

Although a Force rookie, Grisafe is one of the top players on the team. After all, she's the only one with varsity playing experience at the high school level. Grisafe played four downs for California's Redlands High School during the fourth quarter of a win in 2000, thus becoming the first female quarterback at a Division I school, the largest school classification in the state.

And it wasn't just any win for Redlands; it was a victory over archrival Redlands East Valley High School.

'I started playing football when I was 10 years old and I remember then going to high school games with my mom,' Grisafe said. 'And I remember telling her, 'One day I'm going to run out onto that stadium and I'm going to play on that field.''

And that she did, six years later—in a game marred by hail. Some of the team's seniors started chanting her name, and the crowd quickly joined in. As quarterback, Grisafe drove the team downfield, moving about 40 yards on four plays.

'It was amazing, a dream come true,' she said. 'When the coach called me over and said I was going in, my adrenaline shot up; I was overcome. The guys on the team were very supportive of me. It was unreal.

'Redlands is the oldest public high school in California ( established in 1891 ) , so, to me, the challenge was breaking through the tradition. The hardest part was winning over the coaches. But, luckily, I eventually did. I was nervous when I went out there, but excited. I didn't want to let my boys down.'

Grisafe's childhood also included pitching for boys' baseball teams from ages 5 to 14. 'I knew I had an arm, so [ being a ] quarterback seemed natural,' she said.

Grisafe doesn't have her high school jersey anymore, though she does have a team-signed ball … and loads of memories.

And she was the homecoming queen as a senior.

'The biggest difference between the Force and high school is the time commitment,' Grisafe said. 'High school was a bigger time commitment. Now, the players have full-time jobs and we don't practice nearly as often.

'Still, I enjoy the Force a lot; I've learned a lot from the team—as a human being, not just as a football player.'

And what about the raunchy sideline language?

It's no big deal, she said. 'It's a game about passion,' Grisafe said. 'If they were talking to me all polite on the field, that wouldn't be right. We want them to treat us just as other [ male ] players are treated, such as on a high school team or elsewhere. Truthfully, I don't even think about it.'

Grisafe graduated from Roosevelt University in May. She will appear in a play called Railroad Backwards, which opens July 12 at the Prop Theatre ( 3502-4 N. Elston Avenue ) . The show will air on Thursdays thru August 15, then move to New York City.

Getting To Know … Sami Grisafe

Age: 22

Birthday: March 26, 1985

Status: Single. 'I'm attracted to sexy people, regardless of gender. I date people on an individual basis.' She said she is not now dating anyone on the team.

Why Chicago?: 'Chicago has a fantastic theater community, probably one of the most prolific theater communities in the [ United States ] . And I wanted to be a part of that.'

On archrival Detroit Demolition: 'Detroit is the team that we want to beat more than any other team, and we know we can; we know we have the personnel to beat them.'

Favorite quarterback: It's Joe Montana, who she met once and got his autograph: 'I told him how he inspired me.'

QB Grisafe: 'I'm a quarterback who likes to lead her team. I want to be a general for the team.'

High school memories: 'It was fantastic.' After the last game of her sophomore season, one of the senior captains came up to her and told her to not stop playing. She still talks to most of her prep teammates. 'They'll be my brothers for the rest of my life.'

High school teammates: 'My teammates didn't treat me like I was less than them because I was a woman. They treated me the same, just like any other teammate. I learned a lot of life lessons from that team, such as trust and sacrifice.'

It's a fact: 'It wasn't about [ breaking the gender roadblock ] . It was about being a football player.' Heck a coach once told her that she could do girl push-ups, but Grisafe responded, 'Those aren't football push-ups.'

The Chicago Force plays its final regular-season game on June 30, against the Detroit Demolition. Game time is 3 p.m. at North Park University ( at the corner of Foster and Albany on the city's north side ) .

This article shared 5639 times since Wed Jun 20, 2007
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gay News

SPORTS Chicago Bulls win season opener 2021-10-21
- On Oct. 20, the Chicago Bulls defeated the Detroit Pistons 94-88 in the Motor City to win the team's first season opener since 2016, according to It's also the first time the team (1-0) has ...

Gay News

Lightfoot, Chicago to celebrate WNBA champion Chicago Sky Oct. 19 with parade, rally 2021-10-18
--From a press release - CHICAGO — The City of Chicago will celebrate the 2021 WNBA Champion Chicago Sky on Tuesday, Oct. 19, with a downtown parade and rally. The parade will begin at 11AM when the team departs from Wintrust ...

Gay News

Chicago Sky win their first WNBA championship 2021-10-17
- The sixth-seeded Chicago Sky defeated the fifth-seeded Phoenix Mercury 80-74 in game four of the 2021 WNBA Finals on Oct. 17 to close the series and secure the franchise's first WNBA championship in front of a ...

Gay News

SPORTS Red Stars top KC 2-1 on Fan Appreciation Night 2021-10-17
- On the team's Fan Appreciation Night (Oct. 16) at SeatGeek Stadium, the Chicago Red Stars (10-8-5) defeated Kansas City (3-13-6) 2-1 in NWSL action. The Red Stars scored behind an own-goal from Kansas City's Kristen Edmonds ...

Gay News

SPORTS Sky one win from first WNBA title after routing Phoenix 2021-10-16
- On Oct. 15 at Wintrust Arena, the Chicago Sky defeated the Phoenix Mercury by 36 points (86-50)—the largest margin of victory in a WNBA Finals game—to take a two-to-one series lead in the best-of-five series. The ...

Gay News

SPORTS Sky's Vandersloot named to All-WNBA Second Team 2021-10-15
- Chicago Sky guard Courtney Vandersloot has been named to the 2021 All-WNBA Second Team, per a team press release. This is the fourth consecutive season and fifth time overall Vandersloot is an All-WNBA honoree. It also ...

Gay News

SPORTS Blackhawks drop season opener against Colorado 2021-10-14
- On Oct. 13, the Chicago Blackhawks fell in an early hole and couldn't recover, falling 4-2 to the Colorado Avalanche in the season opener. Colorado scored thrice in the first 10 minutes of play, which proved ...

Gay News

SPORTS Chicago Red Stars power past Orlando 1-0 2021-10-14
- The Chicago Red Stars, behind an early Kealia Watt goal and a clean sheet from Cassie Miller, defeated the Orlando Pride at home (Bridgeview's SeatGeek Stadium) Oct. 13 by a score of 1-0. During the game's ...

Gay News

SPORTS Chicago Sky lose in OT to Phoenix; finals tied at 1-1 2021-10-14
- On Oct. 13, the Chicago Sky fell to the Phoenix Mercury 91-86 in overtime in game two of the 2021 WNBA Finals at Phoenix's Footprint Center. Sky guard Courtney Vandersloot dished out a team-high 20 points ...

Gay News

SPORTS White Sox eliminated from playoffs 2021-10-13
- The Chicago White Sox's season has ended. The Houston Astros advanced to their fifth consecutive American League Championship Series on Oct. 12 by defeating the White Sox 10-1 at Chicago's Guaranteed Rate Field in game four ...

Gay News

SPORTS Raiders coach resigns after anti-LGBTQ, racist emails surface 2021-10-12
- Following recent articles in The Wall Street Journal and New York Times detailing the use of racist, homophobic and misogynistic terms by Jon Gruden in emails reportedly dating back to 2010, he has resigned as Las ...

Gay News

SPORTS Chicago Red Stars fall to OL Reign 3-2 2021-10-11
- Mallory Pugh returned to the scoresheet with a first half goal and Tatumn Milazzo scored her first career NWSL (National Women's Soccer League) goal in the second. However, the Chicago Red Stars fell to the OL ...

Gay News

SPORTS Chicago Sky win first game of WNBA finals 2021-10-10
- The Chicago Sky are going into game two of the WNBA finals with a 1-0 series lead after defeating the Phoenix Mercury 91-77 in an away game on Oct. 10. The Sky had six players in double figures (all five starters ...

Gay News

SPORTS Chicago Sky win, advance to first finals since 2014 2021-10-07
- The Chicago Sky are headed to the WNBA Finals for the first time since 2014, as the team defeated the Connecticut Sun 79-69 in game four of the 2021 WNBA playoff semifinals on Oct. 6 to win the series three to ...

Gay News

Chicago Sky player named to WNBA All-Rookie Team 2021-10-05
- Chicago Sky guard Dana Evans has been selected to the 2021 WNBA All-Rookie Team. Evans is joined on the squad by Aari McDonald (Atlanta Dream), Michaela Onyenwere (New York Liberty), Charli Collier (Dallas Wings) and DiDi ...


Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.