By Angela Covo
SAN ANTONIO -- Rebecca Garza is the only Latina woman in the world who completely owns a pro-sports franchise team. And she wants to bring it to San Antonio.
Sitting with her in a quiet Starbucks, the entrepreneur exudes warmth and an electric, infectious energy.
Rebecca M. Garza is looking for 32 athletic women who love to play football to participate in her vision - My Texas Cowgirls, one of only six sanctioned teams in the new Leather and Lace Football League (LLFL), a professional football league for women.
She believes in this project - and she works at it night and day to make it real and profitable for herself, the women, and the team of experts she assembled to bring the plan to fruition.
She worked in women's sports before, but found it difficult to generate the excitement to make it succeed. Today, she knows she has the formula for success - and she is executing.
Still, one cannot ignore the pink elephant in the room - the uniforms, uniforms that some would say are scanty. Garza strongly objects.
"This is a business model. It's a concept, it's a gimmick and it's very successful. It may be an unconventional path, but it's my road and it will be my way to give back," she explained.
Regarding the unconventional outfits, Garza says they are similar to what professional women volleyball players wear - even Olympian track athletes.
"In fact, the women in this league wear much more, because they are required to wear shoulder, elbow and knee pads as well as helmets," she said.
Uniforms aside, Garza considers bringing this team to San Antonio real economic stimulus for the city. She will create jobs, her franchise will need services that will create other jobs, increase tourism, and add to the unique San Antonio experience.
According to Garza and LLFL Commissioner Roland Turner, the effort is designed to empower women and provide superior women athletes an outlet to play professional sports and make money.
"This is the first year for the Leather and Lace League. We wanted to create a platform for women who want to play real football," Turner explained.
This game has nothing to do with powder puff or even flag football," Garza explained. "Our athletes have to be in top condition to win," she added.
"And I want my team to win," she said. Turner agrees.
The rules are similar to those of arena football, which is a tough and sometimes bone-crushing game played on a 50-yard field.
"Arena football is a very high impact, very aggressive game - non-stop action," Turner said.
And the games will be geared for all audiences and all ages.
"In Mobile, Alabama, the buckle of the Bible Belt, we sold 2500 season tickets in the first two weeks, and estimates are that about half were purchased by families," Turner said.
Garza has even bigger plans...
Finish reading Women's pro-football in San Antonio?