A girl with a Troy Polamalu jersey and a dream.
Picture this, it's 2010 and you are young Delaney waiting in a sea of black and gold at the Steelers training camp scrimmage game. Your heart is beating a thousand miles a minute but it's ok if your heart beats out of your chest because your dad picks you up on his shoulders and you see it. You see the hair, that's right, Troy Polamalu's locks are looking you in the eye. Patiently waiting for him to get to your section so you can get your jersey signed by your favorite player in the league. But then the horn. Tomlin calls time. You never get your chance.
Fast forward to present day- still a TP43 fan, just a fan without a signed jersey of the retired safety known best by his Head & Shoulder ads. Present day Delaney experiences a let down equally as brutal as ten year Delaney faced that hot Pittsburgh summer day. Except now the let downs are in a different form.
No longer is it that my favorite NFL player did not sign my jersey but now it's a let down in a form of statistics. You see, it has always been past, present, and future Delaney's dream to work in the sports industry. While this path had a few bumps in the road like wanting to be a kindergarten teacher for a minute so I could have a Hogwarts themed classroom and also assuming that at one point that I could just sell my art forever. Despite those hiccups, one thing has always been clear, my undying love for sports.
Sports are the escape on a bad day, the tears of joy when the penguins won the Stanley cup, the bonds formed in the nose bleeds and to me, that was a home away from home.
So no matter what I thought growing up there was always a part of me that knew this was my path in life. This was the true passion for me. So what did I do? I told anyone and everyone my big dream of one day becoming the first female NHL General Manager. Some said
"oh, that's good for you"
because they didn't know sports and did not fully understand what that role meant and some would go
"ha, that will never happen"
and you know I will always remember that knife to the heart when that happened.
But I prevailed, this is not some sob story, this is the story of how we got to Girls Club. So, every time I got that imaginary slap to the face when I was told I would never accomplish a dream of mine, I got angrier. I got so angry that my dreams even changed a little. I still want to work in sports, but now I want to be the dang commissioner of the NHL. Just kidding- but I do want to own an NHL team one day because the best revenge is is owning the favorite team of those who did not believe in me.
Over the years of college, I worked for the school's hockey program. Starting as an intern and growing to be in charge of the program alongside others. Years of working in this industry, even on a college-level just showed me how little females work in sports. It's because it's the boys club and because a lot of people do not think women can understand the concept of sports, we are overlooked, or better yet, some women don't even try simply because of an outdated stigma. Well guess what. I am a girl and I am in charge of an entire sports program alongside some others and I do a damn good job at it. And I believe I will do even more in the sports industry in years to come.
This brings us to this moment on Tuesday, January 18th at 9:06 am central time where I am writing to tell you that somebody better call the reporters because we got something big on our hands. The girls are ready and we mean business. Boys aren't the only ones who can like sports, work in sports, and know who is on the waiver wire. Sports is not just a boys club anymore, and we're here to prove it.
Welcome to the Girls Club.