Jessica Preece, running, hold the ball while an opponent from behind reaches around her to grab one of her flags.
Photo by Jaren Wilkey

“Hike!” The quarterback hands the ball to the running back, who dodges defenders and swerves downfield for precious yardage, until an opponent yanks off one of her flags. “First down!” calls the referee. Players leap in the air, giving each other high fives.

“We celebrate first downs the way other people celebrate touchdowns,” laughs Jessica R. Preece (BA ’03), front, a political science professor and member of the all-female, all-professor Team A Lot, the intramural squad named after the well-known faculty-only parking lots on campus.

“We realized early on that the only thing we had going for us was our status on campus,” she says. “We aren’t a particularly intimidating bunch.”

After they lose—which is most of the time—the teammates console themselves by repeating their mantra: “Good parking always wins.”

But it’s their younger opponents who truly motivate them, says Preece. “We feel like it’s important [that they] see women a few decades ahead of them having fun, . . . being outside, and being athletic. . . . We hope that they continue to do that as they get older.”

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