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Volume 70, Issue 5, Friday, August 27, 2004


Linebacker hits stereotypes hard

UH student shows football doesn't have to be a man's sport

By Portia-Elaine Gant
Senior Staff Writer

The linemen of the Houston Texans are paid millions to tackle 300-pound men in the sweltering heat. Houston Energy defensive lineman Tiffany Cowan has a different motivation.

"It's a stress reliever to be able to unleash what I'm feeling at practice and channel those feelings into something productive," Cowan said.

Cowan joined Houston's professional women's football team in March, but she fell in love with the sport years ago.

"When I was 13 and hitting puberty, I noticed how cute the boys were in their football uniforms, and that's what really turned me on to the sport," Cowan said. "Then I actually learned about the game, and I've been a fan ever since."

Women's minority in football is what sparked Cowan's curiosity.

"I never heard a lot about women who played football, and that was exactly why I wanted to do it," Cowan said. "I love to see people's faces when I tell them I play football and I'm a lineman. The shock value of that statement is great."

Breaking into a male-dominated sport comes with its stereotypes, Cowan said, but she credits the women before her with dispelling many falsehoods about female athletes.

"Some guys will say that they don't believe women's football is a sport because we can't hit as hard or aren't as strong." Cowan said. "Anyone who believes that is more than welcome to go toe-to-toe with our line. I guarantee they'll change their opinion."

Cowan is also a media production major who has started her own company. MooCow Production has worked with local artists on music videos, and Cowan is looking to expand her repertoire with a television program teaching children and teenagers about careers.

Her dedication and sense of responsibility have been beneficial both on and off the field.

"Even if you're not the best player or a starter, you can't be defeated," Cowan said. "You have to assess your own performance, decide what you need to do, and work at it. It's the only way to succeed."

The Energy will face the Dallas Diamonds in their first home game of the season at 7 p.m. Saturday at Rice Stadium. Tickets are $5 for students and $10 general admission and may be purchased at the stadium on game day.

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