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How football changed my life

Photo courtesy of Araceli Reynoso

That yellow line. The one that I would always see on the TV screen, waiting to see if the next play would have some effect on it.

It was always the same thing over and over again. Seeing the players run or throw the football, they got tackled, and they would set up on the field again. What did that yellow line mean? What was that tall red stick at the end of that same yellow line? Was that line an actual line on the field that the players could see?

A certain player on the Dallas Cowboys made me look for all the answers that I needed to know.

As a kid, my parents took me to Cowboys games at AT&T stadium a lot. We would go tailgating, and then go watch the games when it got started. I always enjoyed the games and had fun with my family, but sometimes because I didn’t understand the game of football, I would get bored within the first two quarters.

In 2019, my family and I went to watch the Cowboys play at home against the Commanders, who were known as the Redskins at the time. My favorite NFL player, Michael Gallup, had a fantastic game that day. Three touchdowns, one with him somehow evading a huge tackle.

With the Cowboys finishing the game with a huge win of 47-16, I went home with not only a huge smile on my face but suddenly the itching urge to know everything about football and the NFL. A sport that I enjoyed tailgating, but somehow would get somehow bored during games. A sport that I only cheered when the Cowboys scored a touchdown or kicked a successful field goal.

I laid in my room that night on my phone, the official NFL app downloaded. I don’t remember how exactly I began to learn all that there was about the game, but I did. I began studying my own team, the Dallas Cowboys, and pretty soon I knew about players that I didn’t even know.

One of the biggest times that I remember was actually getting to know football. When Kansas City Chiefs Quarterback Patrick Mahomes started to get his name out there, he soon began popping up on my social media feed in 2019. He was all that I saw. He was the league’s underdog, as well as the Chiefs Kingdom.

It didn’t take long for Mahomes to become one of my favorites. Suddenly I was talking about him a lot if I got the chance.

Photo Courtesy of Araceli Reynoso

After the Chiefs won Super Bowl 54, I invested my time into understanding a full season of football. While doing this, I was also able to bring the two things I loved most in my life.

The passion for writing, and football.

There was a certain way that the words just naturally came to me when I write, and when it was about football, it felt like I was in another world, one that I couldn’t be taken out of.

Now I know that my field of work lies inside of journalism, and football was able to help me realize that. When I first got into football, I was quite sure what I wanted with my life or what to do. Then I began to know that whatever job I had, it needed to have football in it. Then it hit me.

Knowing what I wanted my field of work to be, I had to learn how I could get myself out there, to start covering football games live. While I found this to be challenging at first because I tend to get shy, I realized that it helped me come out of my shell, something I have to do more of.

To work in the field of journalism takes confidence, you have to be able to talk to people that you don’t know. To be able to work under pressure, meet deadlines. To crank out a story if something is breaking news.

And for that, I am always going to be thankful for football. It opened up so many paths for me and so many doors that I didn’t even know were there. It helped me have confidence, and have the courage to speak up about the sport I know most about.

I encourage more women that want to be in sports. No matter what sport it is, I implore you. To keep going. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise that you don’t belong in that field.

Break the boundaries, and show that we are all strong women. And that we belong on the field just as much as them. Keep being passionate about the sport that you love the most.

On and off the field.

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