Sports announcing: not just for men

By Kasey Minnick
April 24, 2008

Bristol, Conn.: I believe this to be the best place on Earth. This place is home to ESPN headquarters where I will do everything in my power to get employed after I graduate.

Being the only female out of my immediate family, I grew up riding the coattails of my dad and uncles and watching any kind of sport possible on the “tube.” Before the age of 10, I could honestly sit down and name the entire starting line-up of the 1993-1994 Philadelphia Phillies team.

Ok, so I guess you could call me a tomboy, but it’s what I loved to do: research statistics, rehearse my play-by-play from my living room floor and stump anyone with sports trivia that wanted to have at it.

Entering Cabrini College as a photojournalism major (I wanted to write and photograph for sports magazines)I found this to silence me a bit. As I was relaxing while watching the Philadelphia 76ers, I looked at Dei Lynam on courtside and realized how much she truly knew the game and didn’t even need the cue cards in front of her to do what she did best. I wanted her job. I started researching many ESPN anchors, starting with Rachel Nichols, being my favorite, and found that many of the women had it hard getting into the sports reporting industry.

Ask yourselves this: How many times did you hear a man say he would turn off the television because a woman just didn’t know anything about sports? Oh, I have heard it my entire life, so how dream-crushing is that? This was even a bigger push to me. I was going to do this and people were going to see my true love for the game.

Would you believe my happiness when I received a call to my home from a secretary from ESPN in Connecticut? Yes, I screamed followed by tears. I was going to be phone interviewed for a possible internship for the summer. My job: I was to study up on all aspects of the sports world and be judged on my performance. I studied for days on end and felt like I knew more than ever before. To my disappointment though, I did not receive the internship and there was one strike against me as my confidence level was brought down a notch. Because of the small town I live in, many people knew of this opportunity that was given to me and I had to be the one to break the news to many of the Weatherlites that I wasn’t granted my dream.

Then, another instance happened to me this past weekend. I was bartending at my local firehouse and a man that I hardly talk to asked me what I was taking up in school. I told him of my aspirations to be a sports broadcaster and he would one day see this small town girl on ESPN. To my amazement, this man had the gall to tell me not to get my hopes up because it would be extremely hard to do such a thing. And once again, I had to hear: “I just don’t feel that women know as much as men do about the sports industry.” I looked at the man and said, “I will do it, you believe me,” and just walked away. I found this to be strike No. 2. Why would someone just so bluntly tell a 21 year old that their dreams are out of reach?

As I thought about what this man told me, my mind became pessimistic and I thought maybe I am not meant to be on television. Maybe all of this hard work would not pay off and I would be stuck in a career that has nothing to do with living in Connecticut and seeing my name on the bottom of the television screen. Does everyone really feel that a women’s place is to not be reporting sports because it’s a “manly” thing to do?

As I shook these thoughts out of my head and came to my senses, I knew there would not be a strike three that would go against me. I WILL do this, I WILL see my name flashing on the bottom of the television screen and I WILL do what I was put on this Earth to do. I will live in the best place on Earth and I WILL be doing what I have aspired to do all of my life.

No matter what anyone else thinks, especially that man from the bar, they will one day hear me say, “This is Kasey Minnick reporting from ESPN.”

Kasey Minnick

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