For football fans, the return of fall is a return to Friday-night high school games, Saturday college rivalries and, most glorious of all, Sunday and Monday NFL matchups. It's a time to watch guys beat the crap out of each other on the field while ladies cheer on the sidelines. Except at Houston Energy games, where the ladies are beating the crap out of each other on the field. As part of the Women's Professional Football League, these gridiron gals line up each Saturday to take on other all-female teams like the Arizona Caliente or their hated rivals, the Dallas Diamonds. There are no big endorsements, no huge salaries and, apparently, no prima donnas. "You'll get a sound football game: running, catching, blocking," says Energy wide receiver Karen Mones. "You're not going to get a lot of egos."
No, these ladies play, and in some cases, pay for the love of the game. When told the cash-starved Energy would fold, Mones and teammate Stacy Agee decided to buy the team. Now Mones figures a group of at least 700 regulars will show up to watch the three-time WPFL champs take on the Missouri Avengers at Rice Stadium this weekend. "I always said if there was any reason to be a guy," she says, "it would be to play tackle football." Looks like this receiver has already scored. 7 p.m. Saturday, September 11. 6100 Main. For information, call 713-780-9946 or visit www.houstonenergyfoot ball.com. $5 to $10. -- Steven Devadanam
Hot to Trot
Houston joggers are a resilient lot, especially in the summer months: They improvise when sidewalks disappear, dodge the deathmobiles we call cars, and inhale nothing but hot, filmy air along the way. But if you can jog two miles in July, it's likely you can handle 26.2 in January, no problem. Come to the HP Houston Marathon kick-off registration party and get a discount on your marathon or half-marathon entry fee. Register with the 2,500 runners who have already signed up, and you'll commit yourself to six months of blisters, soreness and a nasty running-shorts tan. You'll even get a free "in training" T-shirt to explain to others why you're so damn tired all the time. Be there for free refreshments, live music and a raffle at 5 p.m. Monday, September 13. Memorial Park Volleyball Courts, Memorial Park Drive near Picnic Loop Lane. For information, call 713-957-3453 or visit www.hphoustonmarathon.com. Free. -- Julia Ramey