When I was about 10 years old, if you had asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up, I would have told you I wanted to be the first girl to play major league baseball. I was going to follow in Ryne Sandberg’s footsteps and challenge his status as the best second baseman EVAR (I am just a little biased, but you have to admit, he was good). I dreamed of spending my glory days at Wrigley Field and baseball stadiums around the country, hitting walk-off homeruns and tagging everyone out at second base in the most spectacular fashion imaginable. At that time, if you had told me I played like a girl, I my have introduced you to my right hook and asked you if I hit like a girl too. Or I might have given you some information about your momma that you may or may not have known. At least until my stubborn little brain realized my momma didn’t spank like a girl. Soon, I realized that good sportsmanship meant letting my time on the field (or the court) speak for itself. I was never a stellar athlete, but I could at least play with the boys and hold my own.
My love and passion for sports has remained quite evident as I have grown up. The evenings I spent practicing layups with Rhett Phelps and practicing free-throws or pitching a baseball with my Dad laid the foundation for the technical knowledge that I might not have otherwise gotten. I was full of questions as Dad and I would watch football together. What’s a nickelback? What’s the difference between a free safety and a strong safety? If he ever wanted to watch a ballgame in peace, I’m sure that I didn’t let him. Every time a commentator said something I didn’t know about or understand, I was asking my Dad about it.
You may or may not play sports “like a girl.” And I hope that at some point in time, that statement will carry with it the most positive of connotations. Or be nonexistent in a hateful way. I may not be able to teach to how to play a sport. However, I want to share my knowledge and love of sports with women and other athletically-challenged folks. Since football season has just begun, it will be the first sport I blog about. Feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, topics you’d like to know more about, etc.