In the early part of the LFL Canada season, the key theme has been the impact of the quarterback. No team has had a greater impact at the position than the 2-0 Saskatoon Sirens.
Led by Heather Furr, an Illinois native who has previously played for the Chicago Bliss, Furr has been instrumental in the franchise’s undefeated start.
Furr’s backup is Anne Erler, hailing from fabled Green Bay, Wis. where she took snaps for the Green Bay Chill. Occupying the third-string position is Winnipeg, Manitoba native Carrie Britton. A prominent softball player at the national level in Saskatchewan, Britton competed at the 2009 senior women’s championships in Ontario. Playing on the Saskatchewan provincial team, (called DBJ Leasing), Britton’s team placed fifth in the country. In addition, Britton was named All-Star outfielder of the tournament.
While all LFL Canada franchises have been given U.S. talent from the Lingerie Football League, two of the four U.S. imports on Saskatoon’s roster are quarterbacks. No team can boast as prominent a pair at the quarterback position as Furr and Erler. Bringing her prodigious skills to LFL Canada, Furr (known affectionately as Furrler) was the Game MVP in the Sirens 22-18 victory over the BC Angels.
A key aspect of the win over heavily favored BC was the Angels' inconsistencies at the quarterback position, where Mary Anne Hanson threw for two interceptions while only completing 37.5 percent of her passes. Furr intercepted one of those passes, while Anne Erler intercepted another.
Saskatoon would follow up with a 44-22 trouncing of the Toronto Triumph on the road. Anne Erler lined up behind center and made four touchdown passes. She also contributed on the defensive side with three interceptions against Toronto Triumph QB Marife Villagonzalo.
For her efforts, Erler took home Game MVP honors. Furr and Erler’s talents at the position are making Saskatoon the talk of the league.
With the Chicago Bliss, Furr was a nominee for the 2011 Most Valuable Player Award of the Lingerie Football League, along with Rookie of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year Awards. She would lead the club to a postseason berth where they were defeated by the Los Angeles Temptation in the Western Conference championship game. In her rookie year with the Bliss, she had four touchdowns and three interceptions while rushing for 110 yards and notching an astounding eight touchdowns.
A prodigious athlete, the native of Plainfield, Ill. was a high school All-Conference athlete in track and field while also playing varsity basketball and volleyball. Furr would play basketball and compete in track at Valparaiso University, and was captain of the basketball team at Elmhurst College.
Prior to the LFL, she was a school teacher and basketball coach at Ridge Elementary School. With the Chicago Bliss, she was so popular she had more than one nickname (similar to Deion Sanders when he played with the Atlanta Falcons). Bliss fans called her Rockstar, Furr-minator and The Infurrno.
The contributions of wide receiver (and Lingerie Bowl champion) Ogom Chijindu from the Los Angeles Temptation and Tamar Fennell, courtesy of the Cleveland Crush, have also been key factors to Saskatoon’s success. In the win over BC, Chijindu amassed 50 yards on only four carries while Fennell rushed for 44 yards and scored a touchdown.
While the fans of the Canadian Football League's Saskatchewan Roughriders are the most loyal in Canadian sports, the play of Furr and Erler could make believers out of even the most hardcore fans of the Green and White.
Should Furr and Erler continue to lead Saskatoon towards an undefeated season and a league championship, one can only hope that the city of Saskatoon will stage a championship parade down Circle Drive to recognize these amazing women who captured the hearts and minds of fans.