Written by Angelique Fiske
Another championship trophy could be on its way to Boston soon. The Boston Renegades, the city’s Women’s Football Alliance team, is headed to its third straight national championship game in Canton, Ohio, on July 24.
As they are in pursuit of their sixth trophy in franchise history, it is only fitting that they arrive in six-time champion style.
Robert Kraft surprised Renegades owner Molly Goodwin and star receiver Adrienne Smith on a video call Tuesday morning with a special offer.
“We want you to bring the sixth one back …. If you wish, we’d like the privilege of flying you on our Patriots team plane,” Mr. Kraft said. “Since that’s how we won our six, we’d like to take you there. If you win, we’ll wait and take you back.”
“Not if, Mr. Kraft,” Smith said. “When we win.”
Both Smith and Goodwin showed their shock on their faces. While the offer itself is appreciated, it gives the team a chance to travel together for the first time this season. Because of the pandemic, the team hasn’t been able to spend much time together outside of practice. With players working day jobs and coming from all over to play — like Smith commuting from New York City for games and practices — it’s a chance to bond before their biggest game of the season.
“This year, we couldn’t even afford to get a bus,” Goodwin said. “We have that time to work together at the hotel and meetings, but that’s so serious. The bus tends to be a little bit player-centric, where they get some time together away from family, friends and the other team … We couldn’t even do that this year. To me, there’s just nothing like team building and time together … I can’t even express how cool this will be.”
“For once, I’m at a loss for words at this moment,” Smith said. “This is completely unexpected.”
Hours after the call, Goodwin stood in front of the team after practice to let them know they would be arriving to Canton with the support of their fellow hometown team.
“All of your hard work is paying off. It’s paying off big,” Goodwin said. “It’s paying off with the championship. With that, we found out today that Bob Kraft and the Patriots want to fly us to the game.”
In that moment, the team erupts in cheers.
The Renegades have been nothing short of dominate this season, outscoring opponents a whopping 236-6 in their last four games. After the 2020 season was cancelled, in their last home game of the year with restrictions lifted, they were sent to the finals with their largest crowd of the season.
Goodwin said she’s felt a shift this year in terms of support from organizations like the Patriots getting behind the outstanding and well-established legacy of the Renegades.
“It’s something that we have always dreamed of and hoped of that the Patriots or the NFL in general would be interested in some way,” Goodwin said. “It’s nice to see that there’s some momentum. The Patriots have been good to us, but this is like a whole other step. Adrienne and I were talking about this this weekend. We feel a momentum.”
This is something that Mr. Kraft emphasize on the call, as well.
“You know, it’s a privilege for us to see young women playing football and being an inspiration to so many people … We’re really proud of you. Bring that sixth championship home and set an example for us,” he said.
The Renegades will take on the Minnesota Vixen in the WFA’s DI Championship on July 24 in Canton. You can stream the ESPN documentary “Born to Play” about the Renegades on Hulu, and you can watch Mr. Kraft surprise the team in the video below.