Sami Grisafe wears two very different hats in her professional life.
The first is as a professional musician. Grisafe, 27, recently received the Chicago Music Award for Best Rock Entertainer and will play a couple of shows in Austin, Texas, during SXSW 2013.
The second hat is actually a helmet. Grisafe, a quarterback for the Chicago Force of the Women’s Football Alliance, is one of 45 women who was selected to play for the 2013 U.S. Women’s National Team in football.
Team USA will compete June 28 to July in Vantaa, Finland, in the second International Federation of American Football (IFAF) Women’s World Championship.
Grisafe took a break from cranking out tunes and connecting with wide receivers to answer a few questions for our Team USA Tuesday Q&A:
Name: Sami Grisafe
Hometown: Redlands, Calif.
Team/League: Chicago Force of the Women’s Football Alliance
Team USA affiliation: 2013 U.S. Women’s National Team
Favorite player: Joe Montana
Other hobbies: When you are a musician and a football player … there’s no time for hobbies.
On Twitter: @SamiGrisafe
Q: When did you start playing football?
A: I started playing football when I was 10 years old.
Q: Why did you start playing football?
A: My best friend growing up, Curtis, invited me to go to a free football camp being held at the high school in our hometown. I fell in love instantly and begged my mom to let me play when the full-contact season began for J.A.A.F. After much convincing, she caved and I became one of the happiest girls in the world.
Q: What would you say to girls considering whether to play football?
A: Football is a great game, the greatest in my opinion. If you think you might want to play, do it! Due to the nature of the game, there is only a small window in one's life – boy or girl – where you will be able to experience this sport. Seize the opportunity. Understand it takes hard work and will be difficult at times, but that will translate into amazing life lessons. Ask anyone who has ever played football competitively, they will agree!
Q: What fundamentals can girls work on to make them better football players?
A: Speed, strength and agility. I wish I had access to tools like YouTube when I was a young athlete. There are so many great videos you can watch for free online. Speed, strength and agility drills will give you a leg up in all sports. If you are interested in specific positions, there are videos for those as well. Just search for it.
Q: What does it mean to you that you’ll be representing your country on the field?
A: Having the opportunity to represent the United States of America, playing my favorite sport, is a rare gift and a dream come true. That being said, it is also a great responsibility. I am honored for that responsibility and will work hard to make our great country proud.
Q:What’s something people might not know about you?
A: I am a professional musician. I recently received a Chicago Music Award for Best Rock Entertainer. I have an album on iTunes titled “ATLANTIS,” and I will be playing a couple shows down in Austin, Texas, during SXSW 2013. I have applied many of the lessons I learned from the gridiron to my music, and every day I find myself surprised at the commonalities each share. If you would like to check out my music, you can do so at www.SamiGrisafe.comor www.facebook.com/SamiGrisafeMusic
Q: Any final words for Team USA fans?
A: I look forward to being one of 45 women representing the USA on the football field this summer. Thank you for supporting women's football.
Check out more features on U.S. Women's National Team players.