Women Who Love Sports: Emily’s Story

Hi! My name is Emily and I am the creator of She Writes Sports. Amanda, a writer here on this site, suggested the idea to me to feature stories of women who are sports fans. You can read her story here. I was born and raised in Philadelphia, and if you know anything about Philly, you know that we’re a passionate sports town. One of my favorite childhood memories is sitting in the basement with my mom during the 2008 World Series, and her picking me up and swinging me around after the last out in game 5. Sports have been a part of my life since before I could walk. My older brother and I are eight years apart, so I was going to his games all the time while I was still a baby. And that’s where it all started for me.

Some of my most prominent and favorite memories from my childhood revolved around football. I spent my Fridays and Saturdays going to my brother’s games, and I spent my Sundays watching football with my family. At my brother’s games, my parents could never sit together. They would both need their own space because my mom was very loud and my dad was the opposite. My dad would stand by the fence near the field or the railing on the bleachers. Standing there with him was where I learned about the sport that I now love so much. He explained the different positions, types of plays, everything. As much as I hated getting up early to drive to his games, I loved being there. I’ve stood there in the heat, the rain, the humidity, and even through the snow in October. Football was so engrained into my life, that when I got an eagle stuffed animal, I named it McNabb because I always heard that name on game days. As a joke, I propped that stuffed toy on the couch during a game, and the Eagles won. So you can guess where little stuffed McNabb sat all season long.

I took this photo at the Carson Wentz AO1 Foundation Charity Softball Game in 2019, one of the funnest nights of my life.

As I got older, like around high school, I really started to develop a love for all sports. I knew a lot about football, but I wanted to know more about other sports. So I started watching anything and everything; live games, older and more recent replays, any and every team in any and every sport. It became my whole life. My dad works nights and he loved baseball, so I’d watch the games at night and we’d spend most of our time together talking about them. The sport I knew the least about was basketball, so I threw myself headfirst into that world. I fell in love with it instantly. I distinctly remember staying up late on school nights and weekends to flip through the NBA playoffs and the Stanley Cup playoffs, feeling so much excitement and anticipation even when my teams weren’t playing.

Citizens Bank Park in May 2017, baseball at night is one of my favorite environments ever.

I remember growing up and having the Daytona 500 on every year, but I never really paid full attention. My dad would always have it on and I would occasionally glance over and watch. In 2016, the thick of my love for sports growing in high school, I decided that I was gonna sit down and watch the race that year. I had no idea about anything in the sport; the rules, the drivers, nothing. As soon as we turned it on, the broadcasters were raving about rookie driver Chase Elliott who was starting on the pole. I thought it was so cool that a rookie could be the talk of the biggest race of the year, so I chose him to root for. He spun out early on in the race and had heavy damage, making him finish the race 37th, but I didn’t care. The close finish from that year’s race made me fall in love with the sport, and I pledged my loyalty to my favorite driver. I started to beg my parents to take me to a race, and my mom finally took me to my first race in June 2017 at Dover. We went on a Saturday to watch the Xfinity series race, but we still were going to see the Cup cars practice in the morning. We got at the track super early and we were one of the first in line to get our tickets scanned and our bags checked. When I was done with my security check, I was standing at the bottom of the steps underneath the stands. Then I heard the engines fire for practice and I was off. I ran up those stairs so quickly and looked out at the track, taking in the sound of the cars. I remember the way my heart jumped when I first saw Chase’s car make a lap right in front of me. It was so surreal to see that blue Napa 24 car I watched every week right in front of my eyes. That’s when I knew I was in this for good.

From Cup practice during my first trip to Dover, one of the happiest days of my life.

When the Eagles went on their Super Bowl run, I was in such a weird headspace. I wasn’t very happy and I had a hard time getting excited about anything. But seeing them play so well and win week after week gave me something to look forward to. I just remember how happy everyone was during that time, it felt like nothing mattered because we all saw this as our year. I remember coming to school the day after Wentz’s injury against the Rams; everyone was nervous. I was anxious all day waiting for Doug Pederson’s press conference. I was sitting in my theology class as we al begged our teacher to put it on, then we all got the dreaded notification on our phone: torn ACL. This came two days before my birthday, and I, just like everyone else, was devastated. Fast forward to February 4, 2018. My brother was out, my dad was at work, my mom had the game on in the living room. We can’t be near each other during games, so I sat in my room and watched it on my phone. Those last two minutes I was pacing up and down my hallway, then I finally sat down in the living room in the final seconds, watching that clock tick down to double zero. My mom called my dad right after the game, leaving him a voicemail that he’s still kept to this day. The joy I felt at that moment solidified a feeling I had in the back of my mind for years: I want to have a career in sports.

An autographed copy of Nick Foles book. I froze up when I met him, but it’s a day I’ll never forget.

I had always loved writing, but it wasn’t until I went to college that I realized I could combine that love with my love for sports. I also felt a strong desire to get into the sports entertainment industry. The lack of female representation while watching sports always gnawed at me. I entered college as a criminology major and frankly, I was miserable. When I finally worked up the courage to tell my parents I was switching my major to media production with a minor in journalism, and they couldn’t have been more thrilled. One of the classes I was taken in college had us make our own website with a functioning blog for something we’re passionate about. That was a no brainer for me. I started doing weekly write-ups about the top 25 teams in college football, MLB playoff predictions, NASCAR race summaries, and more. I loved it so much. It didn’t feel like school work to me, I could sit there writing and researching for hours and be completely unaware of the time that was passing. After this class ended, I wanted to continue my writing. So I developed this site. After many trials with different formats and site names, I’m finally at a place where I’m happy and proud of what I do and the work I put out into the world.

My dream is to one day work for a national sports network. I’ve always admired women in sports like Katie Nolan and Erin Andrews, and I’ve modeled what I want my career to be after Mina Kimes (writing about sports while being a sports personality on television). While I have many goals for myself and my future career, I am very much in love with where I am right now. I’ve had the opportunity to work with so many amazing and inspiring women in the sports world, and I’m still learning every single day. I have already exceeded my own expectations, and I can’t wait to see what the future brings.

I run the She Writes Sports social media accounts, but if you’d like to follow my personal accounts (I talk a lot about sports there too), here they are:

Twitter: @_emilycorbett

Instagram: @_emilycorbett_

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