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A Girl Who Saved Football; Close but no Cigar

“The lesson of a hero is that one person can make a difference. How many 16-year-old girls would sacrifice their spot on the cheer squad — and potentially their physical welfare — to save football?”

Anastasia Barr is credited with being heroic and risking life an limb for her school simply because she joined the schools football team.

I do not begrudge a girl joining a boys team under these circumstances because Avella Hight School PA was short handed (only 10 players) and no cuts would be made, but there is little mention of the boy (Mitch Spencer) who is Barr’s friend but also joined the team. So in reality the title of the nbcsports/msnbc article is misleading. In fact later in the article it says “and helped saved football at Avella.” is much more accurate.

So the other original 10 team members who stuck it out and Mitch Spencer were left in the dust of Barr’s appearance on the team.

When is the last time that you seen an article that addresses “potentially [risking] their physical welfare” when it is about boys or an all boys team, except at Glenn Sacks site? When is the last time that you seen an article that mentioned a boy that made ONE mundane tackle in the remaining of seasons games. I can safely say never!

If you join a football team you are expected to tackle and not “have to find the nerve” to do so.

To me it sounds like much hype to do about nothing other than she is a girl with equal rights to boys that interestingly demands superior attention.


5 Responses to “A Girl Who Saved Football; Close but no Cigar”

  1. lol i didnt want attention.. i wanted to be able to cheer my senior year and how could i do that if there wasnt a football team???

  2. I hope that this really is you and my post finds you well. You pose a very interesting question, either way you could not cheer. Life is funny. You were truly between a rock and a hard place.

    NOTE: for info I did not say that YOU wanted the attention; I meant that you were at the mercy of the presses attention. I am sure that your reasons were altruistic, but a boy would not have received any mention for “saving the team.”

    Your debacle reminds me so much of some of the “doomsday” movies out there like “Armageddon” and “Deep Impact” where something goes wrong and the astronaut(s) have to stay behind to remedy the situation thus sacrificing their lives, BUT and that is a big BUT if they did not they would have no one to come home to and more than likely be coming home to a world that could not sustain human life for many years.

    You could not win and this circumstance was beyond YOUR control. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE understand that I am not faulting you, but primarily the media.

    BTW I love your name having Slavic roots myself.

    Take care,


  3. […] I though you might be intersted in the fact that Anastasia Barr has replied to my origional post. The link is A Girl Who Saved Football; Close but No Cigar […]

  4. Yes I am Anastasia Barr from Avella. Sorry i havent responded i had surgery on my leg recently and i havent been able to get on the computer.. Im just sick of people saying that i did it for attention..thats deff not me. I didnt ask for the press they came to me…i agree I felt that my teammates deserved the press I played but not as much as they did… I had one tackle thats it.. i only did it because i have pride in my school and i didnt want to lose football. Im Not a typical cheerleader like everyone thinks… I play alot of sports…I just wanted to say im srry for taking it out on you.. i hope u understand that i took alot of crap from ppl in my town.. and i just wanted to clear that up thanks…


  5. Anastasia,

    Thank you very much for replying. I consider myself VERY fortunate that you found my site and REPLIED. I am truly honored.

    I am sorry about the surgery, are you OK???? You are way too young to have surgery or any other dire heath problems; I know how it is my daughter has a heart condition. Please take care of yourself. I would love to here from you again.

    Good God no, YOU have NO need to apologize; I am not blaming you for anything. If my blog did not come across that way I am sorry, I meant to target the press. I do not care if women play on men’s teams in your schools circumstance. It was great that you got involved and helped keep football on the extracurricular activities. Sports are important, and a great way to stay healthy both physically and mentally. That helped the entire team, but you were not the only one like the press liked to play up.

    You seem to have a great head on your shoulders (something that seems to be lacking on football teams . . . LOL) and I am sure that did help the team a great deal.

    I am positive that you tool a lot of heat, and that is just wrong. I know you were probably flattered to say the least at the press contacting you but now you know the power these people have and you learned this lesson early in life. You unknowingly and unwittingly set yourself up to become a celebrity and this attitude by others. If you care not to deal with this in the future it might help if you said now to interviews. If you can handle it, WHY NOT, 15 minuets of fame is fun also, it has it good and bad everything does. I wish you the best of luck.

    Hey, take care of yourself and let me know how you are doing and if you are going to be able to continue cheering or playing in sports in collage.


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