Vanita Krouch, the U.S. Women’s Flag National Team quarterback and one of the leading ambassadors for the sport of flag football, was recently presented with a rare opportunity. The NFL invited her to be the NFC offensive coordinator for the debut of the 2023 flag football Pro Bowl game.
“That moment was literally jaw-dropping, it was like, ‘oh my gosh I’m living in a dream.’ Being a part of history in the present moment is so exciting,” Krouch said. “When you think of football, there is not a larger powerhouse than the NFL. So, to have the NFL bring it [flag football] to the stage on a global scale with the brightest stars, it’s a huge thing and truly just a gift to be a part of.”
While Krouch recalled many memorable moments throughout her week of Super Bowl festivities, she highlighted her time conversing with players and coaches about the game of flag football, while they conversely, informed her more on the game of tackle.
“We were teaching each other a different language,” Krouch said. “They’re not as acquainted with flag football as I am because that’s kind of my language. So, they were helping me expand my knowledge of the language of tackle, and I was teaching them the language of flag.”
Aside from the Pro Bowl game itself, Krouch took part in a variety of Super Bowl-related events, including having a unique role in the Super Bowl commercial “Run With It,” an ad geared toward the push for increased women’s participation in football.
“The commercial was just an overall really cool experience,” Krouch said. “Everyone was just so in their craft, and I didn’t know it at the time, but the director was the Steven Spielberg of commercial directing, so it was an honor getting to work with him.”
Krouch spent the early days of her flag football career playing alongside the guys, so she made it a goal of hers to breakdown gender barriers in a male-dominated industry and become living proof that woman of all ages and abilities can excel in the sport. A four-time member of the U.S. Women’s Flag National Team, Krouch has cemented herself as a leader for thousands of people across the globe who are interested in flag football.
“I think it’s a super high honor to be a face of it as it gets more visibility. I wear it with pride and make sure I’m a good role model for anyone who has questions,” Krouch said. “I never thought I would be at this stage when I started flag football. I just enjoyed the sport and wanted to play. Now look at the amount of visibility it’s getting.”
Krouch believes her story proves that aspiring athletes should pursue their dreams, even in the face of adversity and doubters. If there was one message Krouch wants to relay to the world, it’s to let people know, ‘you can.’
“It’s as simple as that. You can do it,” Krouch emphasized. “In the world of flag football, it is such an inclusive sport that there is not any type of barrier that you can’t break. So, when you’re playing against a guy, you can Moss him as much as he can Moss you. You can jab, dip, hip, do any type of moves that they can do. It’s not a game where you need big muscles and strength to tackle people. It’s much more of a game that relies on finesse, speed, agility and good footwork. So old, young, male or female, it really doesn’t matter. If anyone says you can’t play football, you should try the world of flag football because you can!”