I’ve been sitting on what to write for my 100th piece for The Turf for a while now. I’ve stared blankly at my computer screen more times than I can count. So many ideas have come and gone. After all, over the last (almost) 4 years I’ve written about as wide of a variety of topics as one can for this site. Topics that range from a discussion of the best butts in sports, the Iowa wave, what it means to be a girl dad, my life long love of all Detroit sports teams, connecting with athletes, and what it feels like to be a woman that not only plays sports, but also writes and wants to work in sports, as well as many others.
100 is a daunting number. It’s a milestone marker in many ways. When I stumbled upon The Turf almost 4 years ago it was a sort of accident. It turned out to be one of the happiest accidents I’ve ever had. As I slowly started transitioning away from pursuing a career in musical theater I was falling back in love with sports and thinking that maybe writing about them would be something I could be interested in. But I had no clue where to start. What would I focus on? What format could I choose? This was nothing I had any experience doing outside of talking sports with a few friends and regulars at the bars I worked at in NYC. And then one day I clicked on a Facebook post from a friend from college.
After scrolling through the site that post took me to I messaged Andrew to ask how he got started with The Turf and how he liked it. He explained that he came to it through friends he had worked with in regional theater and loved it. I found myself doing a double take. You mean to tell me that there were more people like me that loved both theater and sports?! Through just a happy accidental click I found a Super Bowl piece that compared which team you should root for based on your currently favorite running Broadway musical. (This was the Eagles/Patriots Super Bowl for reference).
I had found my people.
It’s rare to find the kind of crossover that a site like this provides. So often you see the extremes that these two worlds present. Performers that couldn’t care less about or understand sports and vice versa. But really they’re not that different. At the root of it they are both high forms of entertainment and they require a level of teamwork that is unparalleled. It doesn’t matter if you’re the last person off the bench or the swing covering 5 different roles, or in the case of one my high school productions, the tall person in the back row that is able to save the rest of the cast from a falling wall in the middle of a show. Everyone has their role. And it doesn’t work right unless everyone is doing their best to succeed. Sports and theater are the ultimate group projects. If you’ve ever been a part of a special team or show experience you’ll know what I’m talking about. If you’ve ever been a part of both you’ll get it even more.
The Turf has given me so much over these last 100 pieces and 4 years. They’ve given me love in many forms. They’ve given me a support system that has seen me through my absolute darkest moments. They’ve given me unforgettable nights in Hells Kitchen and a place to develop a “voice”. I’ve always been a deeply sentimental person. As much as I wanted to interject some sort of funny or sarcastic quip into this piece I went back to who I am deep down as I stared down this barrel of 100 and got a bit emotional. I don’t know where I would be had I not clicked on that Facebook post and found this family. I don’t know where writing or sports may take me in terms of a career but I will be eternally grateful for that happiest of accidents and I will never have advanced had it not been for that click. I love you guys. I mean it.
Also, Write With Us!!!! It’s so much fun!!!
- / 12 months ago
To me, Rachel Nichols is the personification of posting a black square on Instagram.