On a typical day at work, I am surrounded by men. And while that may be very appealing to a number of females living on the CSU campus, it is much harder to handle that is appears.
I have worked for the Collegian sports desk for a year and a half now, and when I first was hired, I was the first-ever female to be hired in many years. During my interview, I was asked who some of the CSU athletes and coaches were, as well as I was tested on the professional sports going on in the spring of 2012.
As a Chicago native, I grew up watching professional sports in historical Wrigley Field. I would stand outside waiting to catch a home run from Sammy Sosa while my dad drank at the local bar. Most importantly, I grew up a die hard sports fan, no matter the number of years it has taken for the Cubs to win.
When I came to CSU, I went to every volleyball, football and basketball games my first year and half of my second. And yes, I even went to the women’s basketball games as well. I wanted to get involved and I wanted to find my fix of sports over a 1,000 miles away from home.
While when the Colorado Avalanche and the Denver Broncos crush my home teams, I have grown to care about the local teams and their dedicated, die-hard fans.
Outside my professional sports dedication, it did not compare to the work I would need to put in at the Collegian sports desk. Starting as the runt of the group following softball, women’s basketball, hockey and other lower-interest and club sports, I learned how to write, interview and be a sports reporter.
Despite what many men stereotype women as bow or tutu-wearing and “Bachelor” watching individuals, I am different. While many students like to get drunk at Mo Jeaux’s and other local bars, I am more interesting in watching the sports channel. When my roommates want to go to the next bar, I either make them wait for me until the end of the period, halftime or next inning before suggesting I just meet up with them when the game is over.
When I walked into the first press conference of the 2013 fall season, I was among other sports editors and reporters from the surrounding area. In a typical group of 8-12 reporters, I was always the only woman.
With experienced reporters asking question after question, I was forced to interrupt in order to have my voice heard. And when I did speak, it was like I was catching a coach off-guard and even seemed like sometimes my questions were stupid.
And lets be real, I am sure there were a couple silly questions here and there.
Over my time at the Collegian, I have made several trips to cover games in Denver, Wyoming and this year I was among four males on a road trip to cover the Mountain West basketball tournament. With limited bathroom breaks and continuous talk about sports, I had to be on my game.
By sharing with you what I have done at the Collegian and in my personal sports interest, I encourage females to come out of the box and be proud to be a sports fan. There are a lot of us out there and I often feel like there are people to who do not actually hear us.
It is OK to be a woman and want to grab a couple beers and watch a sports game. It is OK to be a sports fan, and there should not be a difference between a male and female.
Go Cubs, and let the growth of female sports reporters live on.
Collegian Assistant Sports Reporter Haleigh Hamblin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @haleighhamblin.