Posted by: Ethan Johnson | June 12, 2010

The Outlaw Becky Lahmann

I have another blog called Actionless Activity. Back when I used to write about sports over there, before opting to create this spin-off blog, I wrote, in part:

As I am childless by choice, I can only empathize with how my would-be daughter might thrive in the world today. My hope, if I were a parent, and I do hope this for your daughters presently, is that if she wanted to play any sport you can name, that opportunity exists. And if it didn’t, that people would recognize and fill the void. I hope that if she asks, “teach me how to play,” she will learn. I hope that if she says, “I want to be on the team,” she will be welcomed aboard. I hope that if she says, “I want to do my best,” there will be mentors, team-mates, friends, teachers, coaches, and most importantly, her parents to help her realize that potential.

That article concluded with an iconic – to me, anyway – photo of a smiling female pro football player.

Now it is time to tell the rest of the story.

That player was #11 on the Austin Outlaws, Becky Lahmann.

When I learned that Austin was coming up to play the Lone Star Mustangs (recap of that game here), I made a point of making sure I was present for that game. As fate would have it, not only did this conflict with the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, but the much-hyped and anticipated USA/England game. And normally, this would be a conflict, except there were two variables in my favor: One, I have a mission. And two, I have a DVR.

Making the trek out to the game did not guarantee that specific players would be there. Either way, I have a thing about bringing things full circle, and while Jen Welter was the first Dallas Diamonds player I learned about by name prior to seeing my first live game, the Austin Outlaws were the first team I learned about when I “discovered” women’s pro football.

To my surprise and delight (if not relief), when the Austin Outlaws took the field earlier today I saw #11 standing on the sidelines. My objective was to meet her and exchange a few words and get a photo.

I can’t speak for Becky Lahmann (maybe she will write something in the comments box below), but I got the impression that I fell out of the sky and I think she spent most of the trip home scratching her head in bewilderment. She had an air of “why me” and “who the [bleep] are you” but was very gracious and we indeed did exchange a few words and we did get a photo together, courtesy of an equally gracious teammate. This after a road loss.

And again, not to speak for Becky Lahmann or anyone else, perhaps the Mustangs or the Outlaws or Jen Welter or the Dallas Diamonds put in the hours and make the various commitments to women’s pro football “just because”. Maybe it’s not a Big Statement, or a Great Cause. Maybe they all just want to play football and that is the long and the short of it, and anyone who tells you otherwise is an ego-filled blogger making something out of nothing.

Speaking for myself, I appreciate the dedication and commitment of people like Becky Lahmann who are redefining the possible. It wasn’t that long ago – and still happens today – that girls were told that football wasn’t for them. That the closest they’d get to the field is with a bullhorn and some pom-poms. That football is too rough for “weaker” women.

When I saw photos of the Austin Outlaws for the first time, everything I thought I knew about not only football, but women’s athletics changed.

And if I couldn’t contribute anything else of value to the global discourse, that is my hope for you, the erstwhile reader. Women are playing full contact, full pads football because people like Becky Lahmann didn’t accept that football was for men only.

And people like Becky Lahmann are my heroes.

Meet Becky Lahmann, #11, Austin Outlaws.

I did.

Me and Becky Lahmann




  2. Becky was hands-down the best team leader I ever had the privelage of serving under in the Army. She was a hero to her country as well, and if you tried to tell her that, she’d probably give you the same “why me?” look. Becky is a fantastic and selfless person, on and off the field.

  3. I am so happy you wrote this piece on Becky, She is an amazing person, She has a big heart, and a great attitude about life, She works hard at whatever task is at hand and is always willing to help others out! But most importantly for this article she Plays ball hard and definitely is not afraid to get hurt in the process! I am proud to call her my niece! We love you girl!
    Michele, Jake and Joseph Lahmann

  4. MY BEST FRIEND IS FAMOUS!!! Your eyes look beautiful in the picture Becky! I have known becky for 5 years and I have never met another with as much dedication and desire for not only FOOTBALL, but in everything she does…. your drive inspires me babe and I am so glad that others agree and can now read a little into your life and get to know how amazing you truly are. Im sorry we missed the game and the staritng stage of you being FAMOUS but no matter how far we might go “Go Becky” can always be heard and #11 is always in our hearts! We love you!
    From your #1 fans and friends

  5. Thank you for all the kind words! Even now I still cannot figure out why me. With all the talent we have on this team, I do not in any way feel worthy of this.

    A couple weeks ago I sent out an email to the team just trying to encourage everyone to keep their heads up and finish this season strong. I explained my reason, other than the love for the game, for playing football. When I was in 8th grade I saw an article in the newspaper about women’s pro football. I promised myself one day I would play football…tackle football! I went to Christian schools my whole life, so girls were not allowed to play football. Every year I asked the coaches if I could play, and every year I got the same response. “Football is for boys!” In 2006 I met a group of the Outlaws. That night has changed my life forever. I wanted to play that year, but I was deploying to Iraq and with all the training we had to complete before the deployment…I simply did not have the time. When I returned in November of 2007, three days after I got off the plane from Iraq I was at Outlaw tryouts! I have loved every minute I’ve had with my Outlaw family since, on and off the field! The Outlaws are the best group of women I have ever had the privilege of knowing and serving with.

    Chenelle Brooks, Monica Gauck, Sekethia Tejeda, Lily Messina, Tracey Suire, Lorin Smith, Veronica Narvaez, Jessica Baker, Justine Wolfanger, Shadana Hurd and many others…these women along with our amazing coaching staff are reasons that I was and am able to play football! It is because of these women that I was able to accomplish the goal I set for myself when I was 15 years old, to play women’s pro football. These women have played for so many years and are the heart and soul of our team! We wouldn’t be here without them! The women of Austin, TX would not have a football team to call their family without these special women. My love and respect for them and what they do is so great I cannot seem to find the words! The only thing I can say to them is THANK YOU!

  6. Wow, no one deserves this recognition more then becky! In the years that I’ve known her she has always been selfless and determined, kind and caring. The person many people aspire to be like but always fall short of. Her ability to make anyone feel important and special is gift enough, but her stubborness and determination to succeed in what others believe impossible is yet another trait to be recognized when it comes to becky. She is hard headed and yet in many ways amazing. She has always been there for me and anyone else she surrounds herself with. She is beyond a wonderful athlete, daughter, niece and leader but by far one of the best friends anyone could ever ask for! Who ever decided to write about her made the right choice because he saw what many have seen within the yrs of knowing this incredible person. But he saw it with out knowing her, which yet proves that her love, will and ability to shine above all others is visible through that smile that can light even the darkest day. i love you becky, one day you will make the best wife for anyone who has the privelage of making you theirs!!!!

  7. There is only one thing i have to say… “WHY NOT BECK?” You’re amazing!!! love ya babe

  8. r u wearin sunscreen? very cool and impressive love an miss u come to fl


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