Column: My Journey as a Woman in Sports

Deputy sports editor Andi Revesz reflects on her time working in the sports industry.

My love for sports came long before my passion for writing and journalism. Growing up, I could always be found watching games on TV or tagging along with my dad to whatever high school sports event he was announcing that night. Sports shaped me into who I am today. 

For the longest time, I wanted a career where I could talk about sports in a broadcast setting. I fell in love with it in high school while anchoring and writing for TNT News — my high school’s newscast. I also created a pop-culture talk show with my friend Mackenzie called “The Kandi Show,” which was written, edited and shot by the two of us and posted to the digital media class’ YouTube channel. 

I became more involved in sports when I started creating media for my school’s football and hockey teams my senior year of high school. I was always so proud of what I created. I shared it on Facebook to show my friends and family, hoping they would be proud of the things I was accomplishing at my age. 

For some reason, the comment, “Does your dad know you’re hanging around all those boys?” stuck out in every single post I would make. 

These comments broke me. 

I didn’t want people to think I was doing this to be closer with the male athletes at my school — I wanted to do this because I was passionate about sports and producing media.

When I enrolled in my first classes at Loyola, I still had the idea of broadcasting in my mind. I wanted to be on camera more than anything, reporting on what I was passionate about. I wanted to make little Andi proud, seeing a girl reporting on sports on TV. 

My dreams got crushed because of comments from people I trusted most. 

I’ve changed my appearance since I moved out of my small town in Michigan — I feel more confident now with dark hair, bangs and a nose ring. But comments from others — most from my family — about how I “ruined” myself and lost my “pretty look” made me lose my passion for being in front of the camera. If my family and close friends could be that harsh, what would the public say? 

Then I found The Loyola Phoenix. 

I could do what I loved while remaining hidden from judgment for what I looked like. People could know my name by picking up the paper, but they couldn’t pick me out of a lineup of 20 people. 

But I still ask myself, why? Why hide parts of myself so people will take me seriously? 

I am grateful for every experience I’ve had and will have because of this job. But going to these collegiate sports events makes me think. 

On Nov. 8, I went to the Barstool Invitational where Loyola men’s basketball played against Florida Atlantic University. Sports Editor Griffin Krueger and I were seated with a great view of everything Wintrust Arena had to offer. 

Looking down at press row next to courtside, all I could see were middle-aged white men’s balding heads. To my left and my right were all men. I couldn’t find a single woman in the same place I was. 

I felt so singled out — no one reporting on that game was like me at all. I doubted why I was even there and if I was qualified to be reporting on a big game like this. 

This isn’t the first time — nor the last — that I will have this feeling. Wanting to be a successful woman in an industry dominated by men is hard. But seeing the inequalities right in my face took me to another level of doubt I had yet to feel. 

While there is still so much progress to go, there are many women I have looked up to in the sports industry who have kept me going. 

I met Lisa Guerrero in Las Vegas Sept. 30 at the Society for Professional Journalists conference. Guerrero was a former sideline reporter for Monday Night Football and had multiple shows within the sports industry. We share similar stories and backgrounds, and I felt drawn to connect with her. 

After her keynote speech, I waited patiently in line to meet her. I told her about my past and how I could see myself in her. She wrote on a piece of paper, “Keep fighting,” which now lives permanently above my desk in my room. 

Gabbi Lumma, The Phoenix’s former assistant sports editor, inspires me to this day. Seeing a woman who I know personally being successful in this industry as a broadcast reporter and anchor in South Bend, Indiana — especially when less than a year ago we were talking about our futures while walking to Chipotle or Whole Foods for a dinner break in the newsroom — brings me so much joy. 

My high school digital media teacher April Lopez never gave up on me and my passions. She even wrote my letter of recommendation for my Loyola application. I definitely wouldn’t be the person I am today, let alone in journalism, without her pushing me to produce my best work and to stay learning.

All of these women in my life have inspired me to never give up, regardless of how hard it gets. I hope one day I will be able to inspire a young woman out there who has similar goals as me and wants to be in the sports industry. 

Despite all the challenges I have faced, my love for sports still remains unchanged. I have two-and-a-half years left with The Loyola Phoenix and I hope to be an inspiration to all along the way. 

Feature Image by Holden Green | The Loyola Phoenix

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