There are many aspects to being a sports reporter, one of which is simply having a broad understanding of a variety of sports . If a reporter is sent to report on a certain sport, that reporter needs to be sure he or she knows at least the basics.
Growing up playing sports has definitely helped me understand them more. I also have grown up with a family that is into sports more than average. Having season tickets to Wisconsin football and hockey has definitely helped me out.
I played basketball my entire life, so I find it thrilling to write about any aspect of it. Whether it be previewing or covering a game, a question and answer or meeting with coaches and players and finding a story that is intriguing enough to write about.
If you are told to go cover a softball game and have never played before, it is important to at least find out the basics. That way when you go to the game, you can take notes of important plays and have something in mind to ask the coaches and players during interviews after the game.
Going into interviews, you do not want to look like a fool. If you are covering a football game and it is at Ohio State, you do not want to go into the interview with the head coach and ask how it feels going to Ohio State and coaching against Bo Pelini. That is just embarrassing and goes to show that you do not have a clue about football.
Another role of being a sports reporter, especially for me since I am a female, is the stereotype that females do not belong in the sports reporting field. Women are said to be less knowledgeable about sports than males. To this day, there are many women who work in the sports media field who do a great job, but they do also know what they are talking about.
My inspiration, idol and woman I look up to every day in the sports media world is Erin Andrews. When she first began her career, people often said they liked her because of her looks. While that does play a small role, the real reason she has been on College Game Day, ESPN and Fox Sports is that she knows what she is doing and what she is talking about. She graduated from Florida, where she was a member of the dance team as well as the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority, a typical girl, but when on the air she does not flaunt any of that.
Being an avid sports fan and wanting to be a sports reporter also has a lot of controversy to it. I grew up in Madison, Wis. home of the Wisconsin Badgers, and in Green Bay, home of the Packers. So obviously, when it comes to those two teams, I am biased. However, when it comes to sports reporting, there is no team you can favor. You have to be neutral about the teams.
My absolute dream game to cover would be a Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings game. Again, being from Wisconsin, clearly I want the Packers to win, but what if the Vikings win? Then I have to interview Adrian Peterson, and I’m not going to be rude or tell him his team should have lost, because obviously the Packers are better. Being neutral is so important. On that game day, there would be no purple, green or gold worn for me, as that would show favoritism and would be unethical.
Lastly, just having a passion for sports in general is key. I keep up on my sports knowledge daily. Each morning, I check out ESPN and of course, Twitter, for my sports news and action.