Often, when I am watching a game with a group of friends and state my opinion on the players, coaches, and even throw a few facts at them, their jaws instantly drop. They are surprisingly impressed by the words that come out of my mouth, but more so in disbelief that it came from a girl. I am a woman who not only is very knowledgable in the world of sports but has the desire and determination to pursue a career in the sports broadcasting field. I have an undying love of sports because I believe it is a universal language and has the power to turn strangers into friends or create instant enemies.
I do not get offended when somebody asks me, "How do you know so much about sports"? I take it as a compliment. The sports that tend to bring in the most revenue are predominantly male sports such as, football, baseball, and basketball. A woman will more than likely never be able to observe a 3-4 defense from the field or have a linebacker run full speed at her and tackle head-on. She may never experience a 91 mph fastball blow by her from 60 feet, and 6 inches away, or have a 6'8 giant guard her in the paint, but that doesn't mean we don't know what we are talking about.
When a woman has knowledge and opinions about sports she has never played, one should pay more attention to what the woman is saying rather than wondering how she knows what she is talking about. Our comprehension of the game comes from reading multiple books and articles about a team or sport we are passionate about, learning from other fans and professionals around us, and wanting to know more about why certain things occur during the games.
The sports media world is predominately male, and I am ok with that. I have worked in press boxes with only men, I have interned on a radio show with two men and myself, and I have stood as the only female in a flock of reporters to ask my questions to an NFL player. Men in the field do not intimidate me; they motivate me. Personally, I enjoy listening to a male's voice doing play-by-play over a woman's, and I enjoy watching men bicker back and forth on a topic they are passionate about. I believe women possess the same talents, however, and have the potential to accomplish much more, but men have been offered more opportunities than women in the sports media world. I do not believe in the word "fair."
Nothing in life is going to be fair and certainly not in a dominant male job. You will have to work in a very competitive field, and it will do nothing but make you more knowledgeable, experienced, and eager. Listen and learn from anyone and everybody. Take advice and lessons and don't be afraid to put it all on the line. Don't expect anything to be fair in this line of work or this life.
The connection between sports and the human experience isn't necessarily that different. I have interviewed massive NFL players and have made them feel comfortable talking with me and answering my questions. I have witnessed and have felt the emotions that come with the attachment we have with sports and how it affects us internally. We are all alike in the end. We have the same goals and dreams, whether it be on the field or off.
So, next time you hear a woman state her opinion or thoughts on a situation in sports, listen to her, respect her knowledge, and take notes.