Although the last few months have been difficult for indoor female football, the Seattle Mist continue to serve as a shining beacon. Despite the controversy surrounding Nikki Johnson no longer being a member of the Las Vegas Sin and the collapse of the ill-fated Women’s Indoor Football League, the Mist have solidified Seattle’s standing as one of the great football cities in America.
Similar to the NFL’s Seahawks, the Mist have a remarkable loyal fan base and acknowledge it every chance they have. The last year has brought several milestones for the proud franchise. From an undefeated regular season in 2013 to the powerful performance of Stevi Schnoor in their second consecutive Pacific Cup victory, the future holds great promise for even better performances.
Currently, the league they belong to is enduring a degree of turbulence. From issues including compensation, turnover and two franchises not competing this season, the Mist remain a figure of stability amidst difficult times. Should the league fold or cease operations in 2015, it may be worthwhile for the Mist to consider a change. As one of the most popular female football franchises (indoor or outdoor) in the United States, the Mist could help set a new standard, while helping the sport maintain its growth.
The concept of the Mist helping to form a new player-owned league would not only bring innovation to the sport, but help the franchise and the players have better control of the game. Of note, the National Lacrosse League is a player-owned enterprise and has existed since the 1990s.
With the popularity of indoor female football in many areas of the Pacific and Southwest United States (along with several areas in Western Canada), a player-run league could definitely have legs. Each team could have a player representative to assist with administrative issues such as by-laws, schedules, financial management and obtaining health insurance.
In addition, such a league could borrow from other female football leagues in having rotation at the executive levels. The Maritime Women’s Football League in Atlantic Canada holds annual elections for its executive positions. Of note, those positions are held by the players themselves.
Although the focus for the Mist is to emulate the Seahawks and field a team that can win its respective league championship, a player-owned league is merely food for thought. Such a strong organization deserves to continue to thrive in another environment, should the current one no longer be sustainable. Its loyal fan base would certainly appreciate it.