Along the Lines with Deb Roysdon 

Deb Roysdon is an al

Deb Roysdon is an all-star defensive end for the Indianapolis Chaos (formerly the Indianapolis Vipers), a professional women's football team. Tryouts for the 2006 squad will be held Oct. 1 from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 2 p.m. at Faculty Park, located at 34th and Moller streets.
Q: What made you want to be a pro football player? A: This will be my sixth season. When I tried out originally it was about wanting to get into a competitive sport that was different than the Sunday afternoon softball or volleyball games I had been playing. There were more than 100 girls trying out and I somehow made it. I played offense the first three years and switched to defense, which I think I'm better suited to play. Q: When friends from work find out you play football, what kinds of reactions do they have? A: Their first reaction is that they think it's powder-puff or flag football. When they find out it's full contact, they get a look across their faces like they can't believe it. They don't think there are women who practice three hours a night, three times a week and travel on buses up to 12 hours to go to games. I've had friends who've taken their kids to see games and didn't tell them that it was women playing. As soon as they see someone take off their helmet and their hair falls past their shoulders, they can't believe it. We play with NFL rules. The gameplay is comparable to college football. There are some hard hits, concussions, broken bones. I've had neck and back injuries. You have people who've torn their ACLs, broken their fingers and stay overnight in the hospital. It's a demanding sport. You have to have love for the game. We don't get paid much, if anything, because we don't have the sponsorships to cover it. Q: You're also a mom. What do your kids think about mom getting hit on the field? A: My kids are 3 and 4, and my 4-year-old son absolutely loves it. And my daughter is always tackling her brother. I take them to practice and games and they enjoy it. Q: Why subject yourself to this kind of punishment? A: It's the competition. It's fun to be able to compete against someone from another state and hopefully someday we will bring home the big trophy.

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