Ladies should step up to plate

first_imgWow. My last column. The traditional sign of retirement as a Herald sports editor. It has surely been an interesting ride. I came to Wisconsin from Tennessee to swim on the UW team, and now I’m leaving as one of the Herald’s few female sports editors.I’m going to be honest — I started writing for the paper because I thought non-revenue sports deserved more attention. And as you can see, I have certainly upheld my objective over the years.Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would end up where I am now. I don’t know if that is a sign of achievement, but writing for the Herald has truly been an interesting honor.Sports journalism is certainly not always a place for women. Indeed, I wish more females would cover sports. But in reality, it’s a man’s world. I can’t count how many times I got asked what that palm tree on my pink polo meant.It’s not that I’m complaining. After all, being the only female other than Erin Andrews to cover a basketball game at times was quite exciting.But for some reason, women just seem to shy away from covering sports in general. Instead, we get placed on the sidelines to cover injuries or to broadcast the WNBA and college softball games.It will not be soon, but the day a female journalist becomes famous for something other than a Joe Namath drunken comment will truly be an amazing day in history.I don’t know if it’s the stereotype that women are supposed to shy away from sports, or the fact that women just hate sports, but it’s 2006, not 1956.I cringe every time I hear a female student ask, “What’s a first down?” at a football game. The “play dumb” attitude is getting old and it is giving all of us a bad rep.Females are smart, intelligent and most of us do love sports.But again, why have I been the only female to write regularly for the Herald in the past semester? That is a question I wish I could answer.Women enjoy sports just as much as men. It’s the excitement and drama of the sport that intrigues all of us. Sports have the ability to bring us together. It’s a love and a passion that is deep within every sports fan.Sports are a bonding experience. Yet, time after time, women “play dumb” around men when the game is on.Ladies, trust me, men like it when you are knowledgeable in athletics. You don’t have to memorize the past recipients of the Heisman award, or know the entire Brewers infield by heart, but everyone appreciates purely respecting and having a general idea of how the sport is played.I came here with a roommate who hated football. After all, she was from Detroit. One month after dragging her to Camp Randall for UW games and forcing her to watch Titan games on television quickly changed her attitude. Now she owns a Barry Sanders jersey.Oh, and not once did she ask me, “What’s a first down?”Someday, things will change. We all have the passion inside us. I just wish females would express it more.For now, all I can do is reflect on the past year.And man, was it sick.Shannon is a senior graduating in 15 days. She can be contacted for a few more weeks at

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