So, the end of the class is coming up in less than a month, and that means that we all need to hunker down and start focusing on our final project (which, by the way, I am pretty excited about).
I don’t have a group to work in as of yet, but I’ve been reaching out to a few members in the class to see if they either have room for me or want to work together. Although, to be completely honest, I’m okay with working on the project alone as long as I have time to do everything myself.
The picture I chose is an emotional image of members of the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team after their 5-2 World Cup win over Japan in 2015 (credit for the image goes to Carmen Jaspersen, of the Associated Press).
The game was retribution for our women’s team. In 2011, they walked into the final having never lost to Japan, and walked away from the match with a loss, botched penalty kicks keeping them from victory.
Activism in sports is a… touchy subject, to say the least.
You’ve got your diehard “sports and politics are SEPARATE!” folks (who, interestingly enough, don’t speak up when an an athlete supports their views) and the “athletes HAVE to talk about politics” people (who will praise an athlete for agreeing with their stance and shame an athlete for having opposing views).
And then there are the more moderate: people like myself, who think that athletes should speak up and should be given the opportunity to speak their opinions, but that it should not be an expectation of them.
The feature I’m writing is on Julianna Iafallo, a player on the Buckeyes Women’s Ice Hockey team. She’s a forward and wears number 18.
My interest in her was piqued when I saw that she was from Buffalo, New York (a fellow Western NY’er, seeing as I’m from Rochester, NY) and that she’d played on the Buffalo Bison women’s AHL team.
My angle took a lot of time to decide on, to be honest. I realized early on that only wanting to talk to her because she was from Buffalo wasn’t going to be enough if I wanted to have a really impressive feature.
I’ve always been, at least in part, against pulling gossip and drama into the world of sports, especially if A. the gossip has nothing to do with the player’s performance in the game, B. is being published without the consent of the player to talk abouft it, or C. it’s all speculative and there to generate ‘clicks’ instead of having any sort of journalistic integrity.
That aside, there’s definitely a place for gossip in sports. The audience demands it, and if a sports site wants views over their competition, they’ll publish the drama or gossip.
Any article that features a sports star doing nice things to make kids happy is guaranteed to warm my heart. When it happens to be one of my favorite players doing the nice things, it makes me even happier.
When the Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup in May, Phil Kessel (a Stanley Cup Champion) being on the winning team was a big story.
Little bit of background on Kessel. He survived testicular cancer and dealt with awful fan treatment while playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs – while still leading the Leafs in goals for most seasons (it’s true). Then, Kessel went to Pittsburgh, where he had an okay season before flourishing in the playoffs for the Cup. Not only did Kessel help the team win the Cup, he led the team in playoff scoring! His entire journey to the Cup even led to President Obama making a couple of good-natured quips toward him during the Penguins visit to the White House.
Honestly, I never once thought growing up that I wanted to work in the sports world, unless I was going to be a professional soccer player (hint: I wasn’t nearly that good, but don’t tell my 10-year-old self that). Mia Hamm was my idol, and I still have a poster of her, framed, hanging over my bed (my grandmother’s nickname for me was actually Bria Hamm, at one point).