By Angelique Fiske, special to BostonRenegadesFootball.com
“Be where your feet are.”
Be present. Be here. Take it all in, but always remember: there is work to be done.
Even as buzz surrounded the Renegades leading up to the trip to Canton, Cahill was clear-headed as ever, focused on the mission ahead. The Patriots plane, the NFL Films camera crew, the trip to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, knowing the winning team would be featured in the Hall of Fame. It all was a lot to process.
The weekend, Cahill said, felt like a taste of what it must be like to be an NFL player, and while it was a lot, it energized her.
“I think a lot of my teammates commented on how tiring they found the weekend. I didn’t experience that. I think maybe because that’s what I’ve wanted my whole life really is to be a professional football player and only worry about playing football and all the associated obligations of that,” Cahill said. “It’s almost like when I go to New York City, I feel like I don’t get tired because I’m so energized by the place regardless of what time it is or how much action is packed into a day. I think that speaks to just sort of being in your element and the energy that you get from it.”
While there was quite a bit of noise around the weekend, at the end of the day the Renegades were there to play a football game. We all know what happened in Canton that July night. A 42-26 win over the Minnesota Vixen, a third-straight championship, a dynasty solidified.
With the win, the Renegades secured their place in football history, including a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Just days before, Cahill and her teammates wandered the halls of the Hall of Fame. The only piece of memorabilia belonging to a woman that Cahill saw was from a Super Bowl halftime performer.
Now, Cahill herself is in the Hall of Fame.
“They expressed a high value on diversity, guys having different backgrounds and what a football team can do for bringing different races, cultures, religions, socio economic backgrounds together for a common cause. It was just so stark to me that you really couldn’t include gender and gender diversity in that,” Cahill said. “Fast forward to the end of the weekend … and immediately after the game, and we’re still high fiving. Molly [Goodwin] addressed the team, and she’s like, ‘We’ve taken a vote and we think it should be Allison’s jersey.’ That’s when it really registered a little bit. Even now, I haven’t physically seen it. It’s more of like an idea in my head and even that is kind of mind blowing.”
While it’s mind-blowing to Cahill that she and the Renegades are cemented in football glory, there is one person who saw this moment coming: 4-year-old Cahill.
“That little punk probably thought something like this can happen,” Cahill said. “As you start going through life and realize the reality of it, you certainly don’t think [it could happen]. Thinking about where we came from practicing on these terrible fields in uniforms that don’t fit and only your parents in the stands, and we’ve come incredibly far. I’m just so grateful to have been a part of that transition from nothing to something.”
That transition and that history was a cornerstone of the championship weekend. With Renegade founders Molly Goodwin, Mia Brickhouse and Erin Baumgartner on hand, they took time to explain just how much work and dedication went into making the Renegades what they are now. It wasn’t easy, but their fire made damn sure it was built to last.
This moment was a culmination of all the Renegades who came before the 2021 championship team. The recognition and the fanfare surrounding the weekend was a celebration of that history.
Now, it’s about maintaining that success. On to the 2022 season.