By Ashley Jackson

My name is Ashley Jackson, born in College Park Ga, currently residing in Atlanta Ga. I love every aspect of the game of football, but it wasn’t always like this…

At a young age, my father and I would often watch sports together as a way of bonding since he didn’t have a son. My favourite thing to watch was football, but I didn’t know a thing about what I was watching. We would watch the Atlanta Falcons together and he would try to explain the ins and outs of football. I didn’t get it.

I didn’t start to grasp on to it until I was in highschool. I was apart of the marching band, so naturally I had to attend every game – rain or shine. I decided that I wanted and needed to learn more about this sport when, during a game, I accidentally referred to a “Touchdown” as a “Homerun”, and of course my male friends wouldn’t let it me hear the end of it.

After I got married, my husband took the time, and with lots of patience, explained the game to me: the calls, the penalties, everything. For 15 years I’ve been a true fan of the game. I play video games often and with Madden being one of my favorites, it was only natural that I was drawn to the SFL. A good friend of mine, Joshua Williams of the Atlanta Swarm, introduced me to this community. He saw that I was a true football fan and was knowledgeble about the sport. I also spoke to the SFL Commissioner and he seemed to be really excited to have me on board and I appreciated it. I will say I was a little apprehensive at first, because this is a male-dominated league and I wasn’t sure if “a woman” would be accepted, but I immediately realised that I was wrong.

Not only am I accepted and respected, I have a sense of family and brotherhood here. I love the SFL because it’s more than just people coming together to play a game of football. It’s family; it’s camaraderie; it’s a melting pot of different personalities and cultures coming together for a great cause. It doesnt matter where you come from, or what you have or haven’t got, all are accepted and that means a lot to me personally. Being a part of this community was one if the best decisions I’ve made. I thankyou all for accepting me with open arms. Im thoroughly looking forward to the draft and Season 12 and – hopefully – many more seasons to come.