The Chicago Bliss made news earlier this week by signing quarterback Sindy Cummings, formerly of the Las Vegas Sin. As regular readers know, the Bliss already have a quarterback in two time MVP "Rockstar" Heather Furr.
Some (including the Bliss Facebook page) have questioned whether this could signal the end of the Furr era in Chicago. In QB Sindy Cummings Signs With Chicago Bliss, my piece on Tru School Sports, I gave my thoughts on the situation. Here today, I will focus on Furr.
I first met Heather at a sports collectibles show in March of 2013. I was just started to cover the Bliss and admittedly I did not know much about Heather or the team.
Since that day, I have learned quite a bit about Heather. She is the unquestioned leader of the Bliss. She is a fierce competitor on both sides of the ball. I often mention her appearance on Steve Austin's Broken Skull Challenge as more evidence of her toughness. She is as smart, gritty and determined of an athlete as I have ever seen.
Heather also lives up to her "Rockstar" nickname. Her entrances are theatrical, with Heather borrowing a bit from Hulk Hogan. In one game, she famously drank a beer handed to her from a fan after a touchdown.
Despite two titles and two MVP awards, Heather has endured criticism for her lack of a power arm. The LFL never lists her as one of their top few quarterbacks. In my story for TSS, I mentioned that she reminded me of former Chicago Bears QB Jim McMahon. McMahon didn't have all of the skills as some of the star quarterbacks of his era, but he won and his teammates loved him. Had he stayed healthy, who knows what would have happened. Furr has the same intangibles you can't quantify.
I don't have any insight as to what will happen. Barring any other announcements, this story should start to unfold at the Bliss tryouts in January. Somehow, I still think Heather holds the cards.
I certainly hope to see Heather in a Bliss uniform next season. In an interview with Heather, she told me she would like to coach in the LFL after she retires. I think she would be a great choice and I would love to see her as the first woman coach. Unless Coach Keith Hac is retiring and turning over the team to Heather, I hope her coaching career waits a while longer.
If this is the end of the Furr era, I am very glad I was able to witness her at her best for three seasons. It has been a privilege and it has been fun watching her.
Heather Furr and me in Bridgeview, IL-January 2015.
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