I wrote about a certain debonaire Jerry when I first started this blog, so I figured I’d write about another one.
Jerry Coleman. The guy is 87 and has mad game. He played for the New York Yankees, went to the World Series SIX TIMES, won four of those, was the World Series MVP in 1950, served in the Korean War and World War II, is in the National Baseball Hall of Fame for his broadcasting success … I mean, seriously. What have you done with YOUR life? I gave a few bucks to a homeless guy when I walked into my building today and I was the spelling bee champ in sixth grade. Other than that, I got nothing.
Jerry and I had a nice chat today. He always calls me his girlfriend and tells me I have nice legs (I mean, he says that to all the ladies, but nonetheless, I’m flattered) and he’s always good for a story. He keeps it real. He got a little emotional today, talking about old memories, and I think that’s happening more and more lately as people bring up the past.
The Padres are celebrating Jerry on Sept. 15 with “Jerry Coleman Day” and are erecting a statue in his honor. For as gregarious and public as Jerry appears to be, he is quite humble. He doesn’t like all the fanfare. He doesn’t feel he deserves it.
Ahh, but he does.
I asked him how much fun he had while he was playing baseball, and he laughed and said it wasn’t always fun. It was hard work. “Everyone was after us in those days, everyone wanted to beat us, the Yankees, so the fun didn’t come until AFTERWARD. Because the only thing that matters is winning.”
I asked him how stays so young, and he said something about genetics and diet … but I think it has something to do with being around baseball every day of his life. When you’re around something that is weaved so tightly into the fabric of WHO YOU ARE, I think it gives your soul a little extra mojo.
Or, maybe it’s the clubhouse coffee. Either way.
Anyways, I’m excited to see the statue. The Padres always get the details right. Jerry said he hopes it’s of him in a bathing suit. We’ll see.
On Thursday, August 9, at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, history will be made at the Chargers-Packers game.
No, it won’t be the most cheese hats ever seen in one setting (although just thinking about that makes me hungry). It won’t be the longest line for the bathrooms EVER (although listen, those lines are brutal).
Instead, it comes in a 5-foot-5 package by someone who has probably worn makeup in her lifetime.
There’s a hint. I said HER.
For the first time in NFL history, a female will officiate the football game. Shannon Eastin, a 42-year-old former national judo champion, will be a line judge for the preseason opener.
Yesterday, in our office at Chargers Park, my colleague Michael Gehlken had Eastin’s league-wide conference call on speaker. Because I was working on a few other things, I sorta drifted in and out of listening. But, I did catch this:
“Knowing that I’m a female in a man’s world, I’ve always put the most pressure on myself. Pretty much everything I do is going to be magnified. I know what I signed up for,” Eastin explained. ”I have to be bigger, stronger, know that I understand the rules. I have to do things even better than the men that are working. And I’m ok with that.”
Yes! Yes! Yesssssssss!!!!!!
Whenever I speak to students about my job, some young girl will ask me what it’s like to be a woman working in sports. “What does it take?” she’ll ask.
I always answer the same way: You better be willing to work harder than the men, because you’re going to be scrutinized and judged and talked about SIMPLY BECAUSE you are a woman. It’s up to you to prove to the athletes/staff/world that you belong there, that you know what you’re talking about, that you aren’t just eye candy or there to fall in love with a football player or ask uninformed questions.
Because most athletes will think you are.
You will have done nothing to deserve this, except have breasts and curves and maybe some fingernail polish (bright pink, in my case).
It’s just the way it is, baby.
And that’s okay. Cuz you know what? It feels really damn good when you get it right. Sometimes, you get it wrong (I speak from experience) … but often, you’ll get it right because you work your butt off, and you might even scoop the male reporter next to you, who is complacent and lazy and just there for the free soda in the communal fridge. (Not all male reporters are like that. Not even most. But some.)
So get it, women. Go kill it. Put in the extra work, put in the extra time, let them all know that you should be standing in that locker room or on that sideline or in that coach’s office.
Do it in heels while you’re at it.
It went here:
Ahh, Comic-Con. You invade my neighborhood with your costumed nerds and overweight spandex Spidermen people. And I love it. Cause you’re silly. And I’m silly. Here’s an example:
Del Mar! … I reported live for 7 hours at Opening Day of the Del Mar races. It was my first time to Opening Day. I was amazed by it. The pageantry, the hats, the beautiful horses, the people who arrived looking so fresh and left looking so … worn. I didn’t bet — saving that for a time when I’m off the clock — but I had a lot of fun doing reports from the barn, anchoring the show and meeting all the people who work behind-the-scenes, like the guy who plays the bugle and the guy who opens the gates and the guy who is a therapist for the horses. Yeah, you read that right.
Continued my “Overtime with Annie” series with Kendall Reyes (second-round pick, defensive end) and Edwin Baker (seventh-round, running back). We went to Sea World to see a little of San Diego before training camp started, and to talk about life as a rookie. I kid you not, they are both two of the nicest players I’ve met. Respectful, humble, appreciative … and FUNNY. Hilariously funny. Don’t believe me? Watch this. … Props to them both for being on time to the shoot and for genuinely having a great time. I’m watching them battle it out in training camp right now and remembering how just yesterday, we were eating funnel cake. Ahhh, how time flies.
Words can’t do this one justice, so here you go. Just watch that.
Padres! Here I am with ball girl Nina, who is a STUD. More on her (and how she became a ball girl) later. As for the Padres … they found some new life after the All-Star break, and I like it. They might not be winning every game, but they’re winning more. They might not have EVERYTHING coming together, but they are starting to weave more consistency into their playing. I think you have to be thankful for the little things, the small triumphs. They could have thrown in the towel a long time ago but they’re still fighting. That’s respectable.
This is the first installment of my “Adventures With Annie” series. I took trapeze lessons. Here’s the thing: I didn’t think I’d be scared to do this. I don’t know why. It just didn’t seem scary to me when I thought about it. I like risks and I like adrenalin rushes and I like being forced out of my comfort zone. So I was amped to take on the trapeze. BUT … When I climbed that sucker, and I stood at the top and had to jump, I was scared out of my mind. The nerves settled, but never really went away. It was a huge thing for me — one of those cool empowering things where you feel like you’re ready to kick-a** afterwards, you know? But I can tell you right now, I about peed my pants before I jumped off that platform. I mean, I didn’t. But I about did.
A photo shoot for a new Sports show on UT-TV with Kevin Acee, sports columnist.
And, of course … FOOTBALL!!!! Listen, I can’t lie. I love football and I love this time of year and I love the sweating and the grunting and the hitting. I love the grass all over me when I come home and the crazy tan lines from standing on a football field all day. I love it. I love this time of year, when anything is possible. I love the predictions and the assumptions and the optimistic fans and the bitter fans and the players who are FIGHTING like crazy to make the roster. I love getting to know the players and the coaches and the fans and the equipment people and I love the quiet times at Chargers Park, when the Super Bowl … could … belong … to … them. Or any of the other 31 teams. But you feel me.
So that’s where July went. It’s an extra long blog post since I failed miserably to blog this past month. I figured a long one would be like several short ones, right? … No? That’s not how it works? Okay. I’ll do better in August, peeps.