Without Labor, Nothing Prospers.

I’m looking back at the 90+ drafts I have here on my blog. Here’s one I started last November. I originally titled it “Football From Where I Sit.” When I finished it tonight, I took a different direction. The new title is a quote from Sophocles.

Two years ago, one of the assistant football coaches brought a contraption down to my classroom and said, “I thought you and your journalism staff might be interested in this. You can use this website called High School Cube and broadcast games.”

The wheels in my mind took off. I researched the product and the website and thought we just might be able to make it work. A rabid sports fan myself, I’d been trying to build more sports coverage into the journalism program. That season, we just ran video for football. No audio. We taped up the mic as best we could and stayed absolutely silent in the booth. By basketball season, we added one microphone, shared by two commentators. By spring, we purchased an amp, soundboard, and headset mics.

So I (along with Stueve) spent several Friday nights last season in the press box at our school’s football stadium, teaching student journalists on the fly how to call a football game. We don’t have an official broadcast class, instead we have an ad hoc curriculum comprised of our journalism training, decades of watching sports, and the sports knowledge of the students covering the games. Most of the time, this does not feel like work.

From the height of the press box, I get a panoramic view of the players, the trainers, the coaches, the cheerleaders, the band, the crowd, and in the midst of it all–a wee horde of journalists.

I rarely sit during these games, too hopped up on adrenaline, hoping everything goes okay during the live broadcast, fixing things when they don’t. Yet my feet don’t hurt (until I am sitting in my car) and I don’t feel tired (until I get home). It’s hard work, broadcasting these games, but it’s work the kids enjoy.

Like many public schools, we keep doing more with less in our journalism department, but I’m okay with that. I hope that in addition to the journalism skills our students learn every year, that they learn the value of hard work. As our program grows, so does our follower, viewer, and reader audience. We prosper, because we labor. And if that means a handful of late Friday nights, then it’s worth it.

Bad Feminist.

I have a friend who teaches Sociology and Psychology, and in an interview for The Thunderbeat, I remember her talking about -isms and -ists and how they tend to be divisive, not cohesive. So I’m keeping that in mind as I write this and judge my own feminist failings.

For me, the core of being a feminist means my voice matters just as much as anyone’s, regardless of gender identity. Other elements exist within my feminism, but voice is the core of it all. And every day I get better at this. At church, I am better at allowing my voice to be heard. At work, I am better at not apologizing for my ideas and opinions, and I just share them openly. In my personal relationships, I am better at vocalizing my expectations, fears, and needs. But there is one place I allow my voice to exist in a vacuum.


I’ve been a sports fan forever. I was raised by sports fans. I still remember having a crush on Steve Garvey (I was 7), watching David Robinson play at Navy (I was 13),  and camping out for season football tickets at BYU (I was 18). One of my favorite memories of my sophomore year of college was the epic trash talking between me and Jeff from the neighboring mens’ dorm during the NLCS, in which the Braves (my team) faced off against the Pirates (his team). Incidentally, I’m still not convinced Sid Bream was safe, even though it worked to my favor and Jeff had to make me dinner.

I know the jargon, I know the rules, I know the players. And I have opinions about all of it–opinions that are safely sent to my sisters while watching games, and hardly ever posted to Twitter.

It hit me last weekend, while watching a zillion hours of basketball, as I composed and deleted over 20 tweets, that I am mostly silent about sports on Twitter. Part of this is watching what happens to most commentators who happen to be women. Last year when ESPN had an all-female crew calling BYU games, I saw how men reacted on Twitter. Anytime Michelle Beadle tweets opinions about the Spurs, I see how men react on Twitter.

Occasionally, I will pop off on Twitter and the deafening silence of no acknowledgment is almost as awful as being attacked for my 140 characters (thankfully, I haven’t been attacked. Yet.). But the lack of acknowledgment reinforces to me the idea that I am trespassing the patriarchy, that I do not belong, that my ideas and opinions–even if shared by men–are not valid.

And so when games are not going as I hope, I rage text my sister or my friend Peggy, and occasionally I will spend several minutes carefully composing a tweet that might add to the conversation, an idea that might validate me as a member of the general sports fandom. Sometimes that validation happens, most of the time it does not.

What makes me a bad feminist? Thinking I need male validation to have an opinion about sports in the first place. Something for me to work on.