Yes, I’m a girl. I wear makeup, and I occasionally wear dresses and heels.
My nails are painted hot pink and I wear lipstick, but don’t let that fool you. Nothing bothers me more than being looked at as a female with no knowledge of the sports world.
A man once told me that if he saw a woman’s name as the writer of a sports article, he would most likely not read it.
As a female member of the sports section at The Murray State News, I took great offense to that.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t like listening to a girl, or anyone, ramble on about sports when they have absolutely no credibility.
So I thought I would take up this space to explain my background in athletics and my love for sports on and off the field.
Athletics were thrust upon me from the day I was able to say the word “ball.” Growing up in a home filled with St. Louis Cardinals and Dallas Cowboys fanatics, I caught on pretty quickly.
Yes, I love the Cowboys, and think what you want, but a good fan is a fan during the good times and bad. Cowboys fans are the best fans in the nation by this standard.
Besides my love for watching sports, I loved playing them even more. I know what it’s like playing a double-header in 100-degree heat, getting floor burn diving for a volleyball and smelling the aroma of fresh-cut grass before playing a round of golf.
I know all the time commitment and pain that comes along with being an athlete. Competition has always run through my blood, and sports were my way of getting it out of my system.
I had about a 12-year, love-hate relationship with fastpitch softball. It took a lot of commitment, but nothing felt better than hitting in that winning run during a championship game of a tournament.
Few things can compare to the feeling of sliding in at home plate before walking into the dugout with a mixture of blood and dirt on your left hip.
Volleyball was my one true love, though. Although I only stand at about 5-feet 4-inches, I couldn’t get enough of the game. Putting up that perfect set for a hitter to spike in an opponent’s face is the best feeling in the world.
Helping bring home a regional championship title to my high school for the first time in 14 years was a highlight of my sports career.
Golf, on the other hand, I mostly just played for the love of the game. I’ll admit, I’ve tried that infamous Happy Gilmore swing, and may have just become a member of the country club so I could drive around a golf cart. Nonetheless, I played the game and I still love going to the driving range to swing a club every now and then.
No, I’m not a collegiate athlete. I’m just a journalist who loves sports. However, I believe that when you play any sport on a competitive level, it makes you truly appreciate those who play at a collegiate or professional level.
To be able to dedicate your life to playing one sport every day takes a true athlete. A lot of blood, sweat and tears go into playing a sport, but that’s why I love reporting on it. I know how it feels to cry after a tough loss. I know how it feels to be on the field and block out every scream in the crowd to flawlessly complete one play. I know what it feels like to get angry with a coach or fellow teammate.
So if you ever pick up the sports section and see a female’s name as the writer of an article covering your favorite sport, take the time to read it and block out the fact that a girl wrote it. Sometimes we girls actually do know what we are talking about.
Column by Taylor Crum, Assistant Sports Editor