As the Seattle Mist look to build on the momentum of their undefeated regular season in 2013, fans can expect a familiar face lining up behind center. After a one-year stint with the Baltimore Charm, Angela Rypien has returned to her roots in the Pacific Northwest.
The daughter of former Washington Redskins quarterback (and Super Bowl XXVI Most Valuable Player) Mark Rypien, Angela was not able to duplicate her father’s championship efforts in the Capital Beltway. Despite a postseason appearance in 2013 for the Baltimore Charm, the latter half of the season saw Rypien share quarterback duties and eventually lose her starting job.
Although she remains one of the Legends Football League’s most popular draws, she has a lot to prove in the 2014 campaign. While the 2013 season would appear as a step back in the development of Rypien as an elite signal caller, it is possible that playing in the region where her father established his football legacy may have been too much pressure for her. Ironically, her head coach in Baltimore was Gary Clark, one of Rypien’s teammates (and wide receivers) on the Super Bowl XXVI championship team.
Of note, she had committed to competing for the Calgary expansion franchise before the 2013 LFL Canada season folded. While Calgary was the birthplace of her father, Rypien certainly showed she was prepared to keep working on improving her game and sharpening her skills.
Returning to her home state of Washington for the 2014 campaign may be the fresh start she needs to prove the doubters wrong. Despite having to replace the departed Laurel Creel, who had a breakthrough season in 2013 as the Mist quarterback, Rypien has had experience playing for the Mist and their head coach, Chris Michaelson, one of the league’s finest.
Seattle definitely has a strong team dynamic and superlative chemistry, easing a lot of pressure that may have accompanied Rypien had she played for another franchise in the league. Despite the pressure for the proud Mist franchise to win its first-ever championship, Rypien is in a position where she does not have to shoulder the burden by herself.
Complemented by the presence of Jessica Hopkins, a surefire future LFL Hall of Famer, as one of the Mist’s leaders, it is that type of strong leadership that may help contribute to building Rypien’s confidence. Lining up behind center for the Mist’s home opener on May 3, Rypien definitely appeared more comfortable than she ever did in Baltimore.
With a convincing 38-24 victory against the Green Bay Chill, returning home is certainly a step in the right direction towards resurrecting Rypien’s promising career. Considering that her father only won a pro football championship in his fourth season as a starting quarterback, sometimes the expectations have been too high in her career. Should she help the Mist franchise realize its dream of capturing that elusive championship, her comeback would certainly stand as one of the great feel-good stories in league history.