The Past Two Years
“It sucks,” said Omaha Heart starting quarterback Linsey Noble.
After beginning the season 0-2, the Omaha Heart were able to take their defense, add some offense, and turn the ship around in a big way, finishing the season 2-2. Despite their record, as a result of ties given for a game cancellation, Noble and her Heart teammates were left out of the playoffs.
It has been a very interesting two years for Noble. Last season, the Northwest Missouri State graduate tore her ACL during Heart’s upset victory over the Jacksonville Breeze. In addition to that, Noble also lost her mother,Nancy, to brain cancer.
Though her mother has passed away, Noble still looks to her as an inspiration for her life. “She was a huge role model for me,” said Noble. “She was a super tough girl. That’s who I look to. I want to be tough like she was.”
With everything going on around her, the LFL gave Noble exactly what she needed as far as something positive to put her focus on. Following surgery and rehabilitation, Noble returned to begin this past season, but as a wide receiver. This would be her only game in 2014 starting at wide receiver, as Coach Dontae Allen would make the decision to switch quarterbacks.
As the offense went on struggle against the Jacksonville defense in their season opener, Allen made the call to put Noble back in as his starting quarterback. “My original spot was receiver anyway. That’s where I was best at. But, given the circumstances of how that first game went, Dontae had no choice but to try things out and give me a chance at it again,” Noble stated.
Though Noble had her part to play in the team’s turnaround, she knows that she could not have done it on her own. Every time she took a snap, Noble had a line, receivers, and running backs to open gaps for her. Noble said, “On offense, we did what we could. The line did awesome protecting me, I’m so thankful for them.”
When Noble and the offense were off of the field, they relied on the LFL’s #2 defense to keep their opponents off the board.
“Our defense is the shit!” Noble said. “The defense did amazing! They had my back.”
As a result of their efforts on both sides of the ball, Noble believes that the Heart could have been 3-1, for sure.
Reading the Defense
With a long off-season ahead, Noble has certain things she wants to work on. One of those things is reading defenses. “We have a lot of players on our team who are out of town,” she said. As a result of that, “we would go through our plays on offense, but there wasn’t always a defense out there.” She continued saying, “Hopefully, on the offseason, we’ll be able to get people together and work on that kind of thing.”
A Helpful Heart
When Noble is not working on her game this fall and winter, you’ll be able to find her doing something else she’s passionate about: helping others. “(Growing up), I volunteered for a lot of different sports camps and nursing/retirement homes.” Now, as an LFL athlete and a member of the workforce, Noble can double dip. “I’m doing both. I’m playing sports and I’m doing my career.” She added, “We do a lot of charity work within our team and it works out because I can put both of those things – helping and playing – together.”
Another way Noble is looking to provide help to others is by becoming a firefighter. As a football player, she has the physical fitness needed for the job. Also, as she put it, “It’s just my background of wanting to help people. And having (firefighting) as a career is just another avenue to do that.”
If Noble were to take the place of league commissioner Mitchell Mortaza for a day, she would do one simple thing: “I would add more
Linsey and Her Sports
Though she spends a decent amount time on an indoor football field, Noble very much enjoys her time outdoors. “I like to go bike riding, fishing, and hiking. I’m pretty outdoorsy. I like to do anything active outside.”
Noble does not just play sports; she watches them as well! Though they will not see the postseason in 2014, Noble loves to cheer on her Chicago White Sox. On the hardwood, Noble stays in the Windy City as she runs with the Chicago Bulls. When Sunday rolls around, Noble goes the way of the Kansas City Chiefs.
First LFL Game
In Noble’s LFL debut, the Heart went on the road to face-off against the Atlanta Steam. “We just didn’t really know what to expect. We’d seen games, but that’s nothing compared to actually going out there.” One thing that Noble recalled especially were the hits she took. “I think I got clotheslined that game, ten times, and I was just like ‘Whoa, what in the hell is this?’”
Game one, if nothing else, was a learning experience for Noble and her teammates. “We lost, obviously. It was an eye-opening experience, for sure. We got our feet wet with that game. It was way more aggressive than we expected. We learned from it though. We came back in the next game and that’s when we had the big upset on Jacksonville.”
All in all, of her first game, Noble said, “It was an eye-opening experience, but a good one.”
Advice to Future LFL Players
To anyone who desires to play in the LFL one day, Noble provides these words of advice: “Just work hard. Know the kind of commitment you’re going to be making. Physical or time wise, it’s a huge commitment. But if it’s something you really want to do, then go for it! Just be ready to take a hit and give a hit.”
2015: Ready for a Playoff Run
2014 did not start off promising for the Heart. However, their two-game winning streak and near defeat of the eventual Eastern Conference Champion Atlanta Steam has the fans at “The Farm” and Noble optimistic for a big 2015. “We should have been in the playoffs this year and we’ve only grown as time has gone on.” She finished, “There’s no doubt we can be there next year too.”
For more info on Noble, the Heart and the league, log on to LFLUS.com.
Words by: Aaron Ware