For encouraging me to follow my dreams.
For not telling me I should do something else when I was younger and told you that I wanted to be the color commentator (along with John Davidson) in the New York Rangers broadcast booth.
For being as excited as I was, if not more, when I got my first sports internship, my job at MLB, my job at Sports Illustrated, my first byline on SI.com.
For watching sports with me, even the ones you’re not too fond of.
For sharing your love of sports with me.
For having those in-depth sports conversations with me and admitting when I was right and you were wrong. For teaching me the basics and the intricacies.
For sending me all of those care packages of Sports Illustrated and the Sunday Sports Section while I was away at camp.
For letting me pick up Grandpa Morris for family dinners, once I was old enough to drive, so we could take a trip down Yankee memory lane and he could tell me stories. (I miss those.)
For taking me to Spring Training in Fort Lauderdale and Tampa where all we watched was batting practice and fielding drills for hours on end.
For encouraging me to write more, especially about sports.
For telling me how proud Grandpa would be if he could see what I wrote about our connection through the Yankees.
For the smile on your face when I get into deep sports conversations with men where you live and they have shock on their but your face just says, “That’s my daughter!” And you tell them “I told you so.”
For telling me that I can do anything I want to do, if I put my heart and mind into it.
For taking me to see WWF for my 12th birthday.
For not telling me I can’t pursue a career in professional sports because I’m a woman.
You see Dad, I have been lucky enough to have you, Jeff*, Grandpa Jack, Grandpa Morris, Uncle Arny and tons of male friends and colleagues encourage me every day of my life. But, there are men out there that actually don’t believe that women have a place in male sports beyond being cheerleaders. That we couldn’t possibly know all that they know because we’re women. They try to “mansplain” (enjoy the chuckle you’ll get out of that word) things to us when they think they know more than us. They call us nasty words and wish harmful things upon us because we have an opinion that differs from their’s. They say “Well, actually…” when we are speaking from personal and professional experience and they’re at home behind their computers. They don’t question Mike Emrick’s place in the broadcast both, even though he has admittedly never played a day of hockey in his life. But, do question Jessica Mendoza’s place in the ESPN booth, even though she is an Olympic gold and silver medalist and 4-time First Team All-American in softball! I could go on about the nastiness, but you get the idea.
So, again… THANK YOU, DAD. Thank you never telling me I couldn’t do what I love to do because I’m a woman.
P.S. Mom.. I love you too. Thank you for all of your support.
*For those of you who don’t know, Jeff is my brother.