The loss of Laurel Creel as the starting quarterback for the Seattle Mist was certainly a visceral one. After a 2013 regular season that saw the Mist enjoy an undefeated campaign and a division title, Creel had certainly grown into one of the elite passers in the Legends Football League.
Looking to build on such winning momentum in a promising 2014 campaign, the Mist have enjoyed an embarrassment of riches. With two new quarterbacks on the roster, not only have the Mist bolstered their lineup, but their names are very familiar with football fans in the Pacific Northwest.
Angela Rypien, whose father Mark earned Most Valuable Player honors in Super Bowl XXVI, and Mary-Anne Hanson, who led the BC Angels to the inaugural LFL Canada championship in 2012, have provided the Mist with two terrific options at the quarterbacking position. Although there are big shoes to fill in the absence of Creel, the solid team chemistry on the Mist reinforces that any outcome on the field is the result of a team effort.
The Canadian connection between the two runs strong. Rypien’s heritage can be traced back to Calgary, Alberta, the birthplace of her father. Had the 2013 LFL Canada season not been cancelled, Rypien had committed to competing for Calgary’s expansion franchise, otherwise known as the Fillies.
Mary-Anne Hanson was one of the charter players during LFL Canada’s inaugural season in 2012. Helping to lead the BC Angels to the first-ever league championship; she is joined on the Mist by Stevi Schnoor, who played alongside Hanson in 2012. As a side note, Hanson and Rypien are also mothers, providing them with another bit of common ground.
Rypien, who was once featured in Sports Illustrated (and graced the cover of FHM Indonesia) is certainly one of the most recognized and popular figures in the league. Having played for the Mist in 2010 and 2011, she is looking to rebound after a 2013 season with the Baltimore Charm did not meet championship expectations. Having started in the Mist’s season opener, she helped the squad to a 38-24 triumph over the Green Bay Chill.
As the demands of pro football (male and female) require two top-notch players at the quarterback position, Hanson and Rypien bring a tremendous stability to said position for the Mist. With a significant player turnover during the LFL offseason, no other franchise can boast two such strong acquisitions to replace their outgoing quarterback.
While the Mist have the most loyal fan base in the LFL, their fans are known affectionately as the 8th Man, anticipation towards a championship only grows with every season. Considering how other elite quarterbacks such as Anne Erler (formerly of the Chill) and Nikki Johnson (formerly with the Las Vegas Sin) are not playing this season, the level of competition may not pose as big a threat. As Rypien and Hanson continue to mature in their sparkling careers, it would be a fitting finish this year if the two could contribute towards a title in the football mad city of Seattle.