Monday, November 27, 2017

More Dreams Coming True

Last night my little sister and I had reservations to go to a new restaurant in San Francisco called International Smoke and if any of you follow a certain wife of a certain Golden State Warrior on any social media then you would know that it is her restaurant. Ever since I heard that Ayesha Curry was opening up a restaurant in SF, I have been dying to go and last night I was finally able to. I made my reservation over a month ago to make certain that I would be able to go within the first opening month. Now you all know I am a die hard Warriors Fan and that Steph is my favorite out of the Warriors but in all honesty, Ayesha is way more of my favorite; her cook book, instagram and other ventures all speak to me as someone who has a passion for baking and cooking.

I know this is a sports blog and that this post is only tangentially related to basketball; but I couldn't help myself in writing this post. Meeting both Steph and Ayesha was a dream and how it happened honestly felt like a dream. My sister and I had probably been at the restaurant for about 45 minutes when I looked over and happened to see Steph and at first I wasn't sure it was him but it was. So my sister and I walk over to ask for a photo, we chatted with him for a little bit and he asked if we could wait and that he would take a photo with us later. It was so nice of him to take the time to speak to us when he was there supporting his wife and as a customer and not an NBA star. Once we finished dinner, I started to get a little awkward because I didn't want to intrude on a family dinner but my sister was more open and we walked up again and asked as we were leaving. Now the moment came and we got our photo and on top of that we got to talk with Ayesha and she asked us if we had already eaten and how we enjoyed the food. We both said that it was amazing since it really was. Then we got our photo. The Curry's are really special and truly are some of the nicest professional athletes that I have ever met. I can't wait to go back to her restaurant and to try more of her delicious food. 

I hope you enjoyed this post and will keep following my love affair with sports.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Fulfilling a Dream Seeing North Carolina Play in Person

View from my seat

As most of you know my favorite college basketball team are the North Carolina Tar Heels and that it has been one of my dearest wishes to go and see them play in person. Well last night I finally had that opportunity when UNC came to play Stanford ahead of the PK80 tournament up in Portland. I still remember the day about 2 months ago when the schedule came out and I saw that the Tar Heels would be in my neck of the woods, I set a reminder for the day tickets went on sale and managed to get one. Granted my seat on the ticket was up in the bleachers but it was still a ticket and I was ecstatic. I did keep looking on stub hub just in case a better ticket was available and not to high of a price and at first all of the tickets for the section I ended up in were over $150. I happened to check on Sunday to see if the prices had come down at all and they had I found one for under $100 and I got it. I ended up in Section 1 Row B Seat 8, now originally I did think this was right behind the Stanford bench and sadly it wasn't, but the view was amazing.

Lou Campanelli
 One of the other unknown benefits of my seat was that I happened to meet Lou Campanelli a legendary coach on both sides of the country. He coached JMU where in 1973 they took UNC to the wire in the NCAA tournament. He also coached at Cal and was a major force in growing the Pac 12. I digress a little bit though we did have a very lovely discussion about Virginia, JMU basketball and UNC basketball, honestly it was probably the best highlight of the night besides UNC winning and well of course being there.

Back to the game, now it did start off a bit slow with Stanford coming out with a quick lead but once UNC settled down they showed why they are one of the best teams in the country. Joel Berry shook off the rust from not playing and breaking a finger to score a team high 29 points en route to a 96-72 win over Stanford. I really enjoyed being at the game and it was an experience of a lifetime. Now the next game on my bucket list is the UNC vs Duke game at the Dean Dome.

I hope you enjoyed this post and will keep following my love affair with sports.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

National Signing Day

Today is the first day of the early signing period and if you follow Division I basketball then you are now seeing all of the Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter posts flooding you with the announcements of your team's new recruits for next year. For me this year the early signing period is taking on a different feel, while I am thrilled and excited to see who all of the new recruits are for my various teams, I also understand all of the work that goes on behind the scenes. Being the Director of Compliance at SF State I am the one who is making certain that our coaches have received the NLI paperwork and that everything is correct and that the athletes coming in are most likely going to be eligible.

Working with all of the various departments to get all of the paperwork done on time is a bit like being the ring leader for the circus. I have to make sure the coaches have all done the proper steps initially so that I can issue the NLI, then I move on to actually creating the scholarship and signing paperwork, after that I need the Director of Athletics to sign off on everything as well as Financial Aid. Once that is done then I scan everything back in and send it off to the coach. As you can see it is quite the long process and thankfully this time I only really had to do 15 NLI's at least so far this week.

This post came about because I was looking on Instagram and saw the posts by UNC for their new basketball recruits and it made me remember that today is the first day. Why I even forgot about it for a second is quite startling as that was my sole purpose yesterday trying to make certain I got everything done. I can't wait to welcome our new recruits next year and see them grow here at SF State, I am also excited to see what UNC's basketball team will be like next year since you all know how big of a fan I am.

I hope you enjoyed this post and will keep following my love affair with sports.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

My Reaction to Cam Newton's Comments About Women

I honestly don't even know where to start with my reaction to Cam Newton's press conference yesterday. His comments about it being "funny" that a woman can talk about routes and even write about sports is enraging. I didn't write this post yesterday because I needed some time to process what I was feeling and after sleeping on it I still can't fully process what he said. In this day and age women are working in sports in record numbers, we have seen female coaches be hired in both the NBA and the NFL, recently there have been at least 9 women hired as Athletic Directors in Division I sports. Personally I work at a university where out of the senior staff half of us are women and in the Athletic Admin offices only our AD is male. So please Cam Newton tell me that I don't know sports and that it is funny for me to work in college athletics.

On the flip side though unfortunately his words are thought all the time and when a woman knows sports it is still quite strange for men. I know because I have personally had to deal with it quite a lot because of my passion for sports. Now I know I'm not an expert and I know that I have so much more to learn but I do know a lot. One story happened last year while I was still an intern, probably about a month before I started my position at SF State and it was during the Euro Cup. If you know me then you know how much I love the Azurri and how I root for them and want them to win all of the time. Well in this case they were playing and it was before we had to go to a big meeting with all of the advancement department and I was talking with my fellow intern and one of the coaches about the game. I started talking about how Italy is a good team but they do need to work on their defense better and that they need to give Buffon more defensive support because no matter how great he is, he can't do everything. I also discussed some of the players and brought back information regarding previous Euro Cup and World Cup teams. The coach just looked at me and was like wow you do really know what you are talking about in this really shocked tone.

So what are we to do when Cam Newton's comments are prevalent in the athletic world and he just said what probably many men are thinking. Now I appreciate all of the support that Jourdan Rodrigue has gotten and the conversation that it has started but this won't change and in a few days this will be forgotten because Cam Newton is a star player and he can do what ever he wants so long as he keeps winning. What we need is to make changes and to keep persevering in the athletic world. I know I am trying to do my part to change the minds of people and so are the thousands of other women that are working in various aspects in the athletic world. I don't know how to change peoples perceptions but I do know that I will keep doing what I do and keeping being a woman who loves sports and loves to write, talk and a myriad of other things about sports. Honestly that is all we can do at this time. I do hope that Cam will learn from this but I don't think he will, but one can only hope.

I hope you enjoyed this post and will keep following my love affair with sports.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

My Journey in College Athletics

On February 10th 2016 I stepped foot onto the campus of SF State to start my first day as an intern in the Compliance office of the Athletic Department. I honestly had no idea how the internship would go or if I would even truly love working in athletics as much as I had built it up in my head over the years. Well we can all tell that I have loved every minute of my time here at State and I wouldn't trade any of it for the world.

I spent 6 months as an intern learning the ins and out of the compliance office and everything else it takes to make the department run smoothly. I worked on travel claims, I helped out working some of the spring games and got to know the coaches as well as the administrative staff. It was the experience of a life time and I thank SF State for taking a chance on me and for Sports Management World Wide for helping me get that foot in the door I've been dreaming about since being in college.

After 6 months as an intern I interviewed for and got the job of being an internal coordinator for SF State. They had seen how passionate I am for athletics and wanted to give me a chance to prove myself even more. I took on responsibilities in travel and worked on claims. As the year progressed I took on extra duties as were necessary, I learned how to stat quite a few of the games, drove some of the teams to their games if they were short a driver and many more wonderful opportunities. SF State sent me to Regional Rules which is compliance camp for the NCAA and I learned so much about my chosen field. It was truly an experience for me to sit in the conference rooms and meet so many people who are experts in the field and just soak in all of the knowledge. Also meeting so many people in both Division II and Division I was truly amazing.

About a month after Regional Rules our Associate AD of Compliance left to take a job back at his alma mater and I was able to step in and help keep the department afloat at least just in the Compliance portion while we figured out the next steps. As some of you know I interviewed for and got the position of Director of Compliance. State decided to some what change the position around and it so far is the single best job I've ever had. SF State has become my home and working with our staff and coaches has been truly amazing. Everyone here is welcoming and never once made me feel like I couldn't fulfill and of the duties that have been assigned to me. I only hope to keep growing and learning to make every day a new experience.

I hope you enjoyed this post and will keep following my love affair with sports.

Friday, July 28, 2017

The Year of the Home Runs

The game yesterday between the Nationals and the Brewers was so much fun to watch, well ok it was fun for me as a Nats probably super painful as a Brewers fan. But seriously this game tied the record for most home runs in a single inning at 5 which was last achieved by the Brewers in 2006. Also the Nats became the eighth team to hit four in a row which was last achieved by Arizona in 2010. This game was insane to watch especially after the first 8 runs scored were all off of home runs.

Now this game pushed me to my limit and has forced me to believe that this is the year of the home runs, granted people aren't hitting to Barry Bonds level but there are two rookies who are killing it with home runs. Both of them are for teams I am not the biggest fan of; first up is Cody Bellinger from the Dodgers, he has hit 28 so far and is on track to hit 44 this year. Cody is the first Dodger to hit 5 home runs in his first 11 games. Much as I don't like the Dodgers, I have to say that watching Cody has been fun. The second rookie I have to mention is of course Aaron Judge the 6'7" juggernaut for the Yankees. He has hit 32 home runs so far and of course as anyone who watched the Home Run Derby saw he is a beast.

As you can see these two rookies are on fire and they are not the only players who are serving up home run after home run. Giancarlo Stanton leads the league with 33 followed by Judge with 32 then we have Moustakas with 29. The top 10 players have hit more then 25 so far. Last year felt like it was constantly a battle of the pitcher and this year I am seeing more and more hits and especially home runs.

I enjoy watching all types of games and the pitching duels you see more strategy come into play which is always fun to watch. Yet sometimes you need those games where it is just run after run after run, well only if its your team that is scoring all of those runs otherwise it is pretty difficult to watch. I honestly can't wait to see what the rest of the season has to offer in terms of home runs and how many the leader will end up hitting. All I can say is that it will be so much fun to watch.

I hope you enjoyed this post and will keep following my love affair with sports.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Watching the Memorial Day Brawl between the Nationals and the Giants

So yesterday Baseball saw probably one of the most interesting brawls of all time considering the history between Bryce Harper and Hunter Strickland. In 2014 Harper hit home runs off of Strickland both times he saw him and may have celebrated a bit much the second time. Yesterday Strickland got payback and hit Harper. Now I was at this game and I was sitting in the lower section to the left of home plate and honestly from my angle it looked like it was an inside pitch that went wrong; now seeing the replays it did look intentional. I can't say for sure who is right in this, especially as I am a Giants fan and the Nationals are my second team so I actually have bias for both teams.

This was a stupid fight and it became a benches clearing brawl when Harper went after Strickland. Though there were some funny moments especially when Harper tried to throw his helmet at Strickland and missed completely and then when both of them were punching each other, neither of them are fighters.

This photo of Zimmerman may actually be the best photo of the entire fight because of all of the memes that came out of it. Now I love both of these players and well have watched them for a while and this is just so cute. The other best part was seeing how many players it took to get Strickland off of the field because that was just crazy. Both players are going to be suspended and I'm not sure for how long but we have definitely seen the last of Harper during this series which honestly is kind of sad but might be a silver lining for the Giants. So we shall see, I won't be at the game tonight but I am going to the series finale tomorrow and am intrigued to see if anything will happen today or tomorrow. I'm honestly hoping not because that would mean Posey getting hit most likely and that makes me sad because he is my all time favorite player, but we shall see.

I hope you enjoyed this post and will keep following my love affair with sports.