I often tell the story that I never once wavered when I pursued sports journalism as a child, in college and as a career for four years.
As a 12-year-old I stood in front of my mirror “reporting live” from the Super Bowl, and spent hours writing postgame New Orleans Saints commentary in my spiral notebook.
I thought it was ESPN or bust.
So you can imagine my devastation when I was laid off from my job at NOLA.com in 2015 due to corporate downsizing. How could this happen to me? At that time, I thought I was on track to check all the career boxes, not stopping to consider where things like a family life would fit in. 💒
I had a steady boyfriend (who’s now my husband), and we would marry 2 1/2 years later and move to Lake Charles, where he works. Sometimes I wonder whether I would have hesitated to leave what was a dream role reporting on New Orleans sports if I still had that job on June 2, 2018 (our wedding day, for those of you curious about that precise date).
God works in mysterious ways, but He always has a plan. 🙏
In August 2020, I felt a tug toward toward graduate school to beef up my credentials and enhance my public relations and digital marketing portfolio. Cue the most impactful professional experience of my life. 🥁🥁
My layoff had built up inside me a constant feeling of imposter syndrome. I felt I didn’t have the authority to share my opinions online anymore, even about topics I cared deeply about (i.e. the New Orleans Saints). However, my first online master’s class at Florida, Branding Using Social & Mobile Media, proved that all we need to stand out and show influence is our voice, experiences, a channel and an audience.
So I decided to launch an offseason podcast project called Black and Gold Rush.
After the Saints’ fourth straight playoff appearance and a dismal finish to the season, I knew my fellow Saints fans would need a passionate, hopeful voice in their ear. That’s what I strive to be in my life! 🎙️
The Saints still have tons of questions to answer, (don’t get hopes up about Russell Wilson just yet!) but one thing is for sure. I will be showing up consistently this offseason with stories both on-the-field and off-the-field that inform and inspire our community of Saints fans. We see this team as more than just athletes.
If the Who Dat cheer sends chills down your spine like it does for me, here are some episodes I recommend most! Click the links to listen ⚜️⚜️
Short on time but need some inspiration? Episode 2 with former Saints CB Delvin Breaux is chock full of advice on overcoming adversity, and details on his new book Unbreauxken.
I had an incredible conversation to mark the anniversary of Super Bowl XLIV with columnist and author Jeff Duncan. Listen to Episode 6.
Podcasting has given me a chance to reconnect with old friends in sports media! In Episode 7, Detroit Lions reporter Tori Petry gave the inside scoop on the first blockbuster trade we saw unfold this offseason, plus a behind-the-scenes look at covering the NFL during COVID-19.
ESPN’s Mike Triplett joined me for a wide-ranging interview on Saints free agency right before Mardi Gras. Listen to Episode 8.
I kicked off March with an incredibly powerful Episode 10 for Brain Injury Awareness Month. Tim Siegel shared his son Luke’s story and how Drew Brees & the Saints have played such a big part.
Don’t miss the inaugural episode! I introduce myself and explain why my passion for the New Orleans Saints runs so deep.
Be sure to tap Subscribe on your favorite podcast platform so you never miss the show. Episode 11 with Sports Overtime’s Nader Mirfiq drops Monday, March 8.
One last thing – if you love what you hear, I will love YOU if you leave a review on iTunes! As I remind my husband way too often, my love language is words of affirmation 😊
Cheers to finding what you were born to do! 📣 And if it’s not exactly what you scripted, it just might be better.