Local Authority: Michel Volk
Category: seattlepi.com teaser headlines
Name: Michel Volk
Title: Seattle Majestics quarterback (and police officer)
First home game of 2010: April 10 at Kent Meridian High School field
On being the QB: “When the team wins, whether you did good or not, you get credit, and if you lose, whether you did good or not, you get the blame.”
Favorite NFL quarterback: “My favorite has always been Bret Favre. I’m a little more careful with the ball, though.”
Similarities between police work and playing football: “You are only as good as your weakest link and you have to watch each other’s back.”
While baseball may be at the forefront of the city’s sports consciousness this month, fans interested in sure winners should keep an eye on our professional women’s football team. Founded in 2002, the Seattle Majestics (seattlemajestics.com) have won six of the last seven Pacific Northwest Division Championships in the national Independent Women’s Football League. These devoted athletes play without the reward of million-dollar salaries; most—including long-time quarterback Michel Volk, 31—have regular day jobs (Volk is a police officer) and pay their own expenses. With a new season kicking off April 3, we asked Volk about breaking into the game, being a pro quarterback and, of course, Seattle’s other women’s football team.
SM: How did you become a pro football player?
MV: I used to play with my brother and the neighborhood kids all the time. But I played fast-pitch [softball] my entire life; I played at Saint Martin’s [University] in Lacey on scholarship. Then I got lucky, working with a lady at Gordon Trucking who also played for the Majestics. She told me to try out.
SM: How does fast-pitch softball translate to being a quarterback?
MV: It’s a completely different world. It’s a different speed, and football is more of a team game. I can throw the ball, but it doesn’t mean anything if there isn’t anybody to catch it or block. There’s not anything you can do on your own—I like that aspect of it.
SM: What are the biggest obstacles to keeping the team viable?
MV: It’s been really hard in Washington to get support for adult women’s sports. The public doesn’t know we’re here. What’s also hard is working around my job. (It’s not a regular nine-to-five.) And there are several players on the team with children and husbands and home obligations. You can’t miss practice, even for a kid’s birthday.
SM: What do you think of the Seattle Mist, our local Lingerie Football League team?
MV: I’ve never been to one of their games, but I know they market themselves as a “gentleman’s entertainment league.” I think it’s a real shame that they compare themselves to women football players—that’s been a huge obstacle for us. Nothing against those women, but they want to be actresses and models, and we want to play a real game of football.
SM: What makes playing football worth it?
MV: There are a lot of things to learn, especially for women. We have a lot of older women who come to our games and say, “I wish I would’ve had this chance.” So I know not to take things for granted.
Originally published in April 2010