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Fusion Football: Tough enough for a man, but played by women.

Proving you don't need a jockstrap to be a jock, Cleveland's pro women's football team, the Fusion, opens its eighth season tonight, after ending the 2007 campaign at 8-3. "At first people can be real skeptical," says Nakeesha Wilson, a 37-year-old offensive guard/tackle and insurance agent. "But people always tell me they forget they're watching females once we start playing."Hitting the field in 2001 with just eight teams, the National Women's Football Association now lays claim to 35 teams stretching coast to coast, including squads in Columbus, rival Pittsburgh, and Cincinnati. The women play by standard NFL rules, and the Fusion consistently puts up 2007-Browns-esque offensive numbers to boot. And they hit. Hard. "It's rough out there," laughs Wilson. The Cleveland Fusion kicks off against the Columbus Comets today at 7 p.m. at Bedford High School Stadium, 481 Northfield Road. Tickets are $5 to $10. Call 419-271-4278 or visit www.clevelandfusion.homestead.com.
Sat., April 26, 7 p.m., 2008

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