I’d like to tell you about how I became the sports writer that I am today.
How I became a household name.
How a team owner named Mark Cuban helped me become the one who owns a basketball team.
And what I’ve learned about the business of sports writing, including how to write about it the right way.
I grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania.
My father worked at a car dealership.
My mother worked as a nurse, and I was the daughter of a school bus driver.
My family was middle class, but I never really had the money for anything.
I did my best to get by.
I was always working to pay the bills.
I took pride in getting by.
I’ve always been a big sports fan, and in my junior year of high school, I went to a game at the old Main Street Arena in the small town of Poughkeepsie.
I’d always dreamed of being a reporter.
When I got there, it was packed.
It was so packed that the only way I could get into the arena was by going through the back entrance and going down the stairs.
I had to wait for a couple of hours in line, and the arena security guy would say, “Come back when you’re all right.”
I just remember thinking, “This is insane.
This is insane.”
I was a huge fan of the Red Sox.
My dad had a lot of respect for the Red Wings, and so I just wanted to get on that team.
But I was so nervous, and it was just a really, really big game, and everybody was so pumped up.
The game started.
I remember it was the first game of the season.
We had a great start, and then they scored twice.
My heart dropped.
I knew that if they scored three goals, we were going to lose the game.
I’m standing there with my head down, and my heart just starts racing.
I was like, “How do we win this game?
What do we have to do?”
So I started to think about what we could do to get a win, and after the third goal, I thought about it, and finally decided to go for it.
I just started running down the tunnel, and there were about 10 or 12 other fans there, and all of a sudden, a Red Sox player, [former All-Star] Mark Grace, came up to me and said, “We’re going to win this one.”
And I was like: “Really?”
I was completely shocked.
The Red Sox just came through.
It’s amazing how that happens.
We had a 3-0 lead at halftime, and we were all just in awe.
Then the game turned.
We scored three straight goals, and they scored two.
And then they got one.
We were really, truly stunned.
I went back to my dad and said: “Are you OK?”
And he said,, “No, I’m not OK.
I’ve just been robbed.”
It’s like being in a robbery.
I don’t know what happened.
I guess it just got away from me.
I think we had two minutes to go.
Then we scored four goals.
We couldn’t score, so we got out of the game early.
I thought, I’ve got to be the first to go down the hallway, to get my head around this.
So I walked around to my room.
And I got my coat, and went to the locker room and went back in.
And the first thing I did was go to the dressing room.
I got the clothes on and went into the locker rooms.
I opened the locker, and you know what?
The locker was locked.
I looked in and there was no one in there.
I called out to my mom.
I said, ‘Mom, is that my dad?’
And she said, [chuckles].
I said: ‘Yeah, but he’s my brother.’
And she looked at me like, ‘Oh, he’s gone.’
So I said to my brother, ‘We gotta get you out of here.’
And he just looked at his brother, and said [chuckle].
I had no idea how to react.
It didn’t feel like I’d been robbed.
I wasn’t thinking about money.
I didn’t even think about money at the time.
I felt like I was just trying to make it to the stadium as fast as possible.
But when I got to the stands, I was shocked to see my dad in there with me.
He was just looking at me and saying, “Dad, it’s your first time.
You got to get out of there as fast and as far away from here as possible.”
And that was a good thing.
We didn’t really talk about money for a while.
I went back home and started to get dressed and start to prepare for the game, but by the time I got back, the game was already over.
It had just been such a long