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Huddle Up with Gus
Huddle Up with Gus

Episode · 2 years ago

Christine Brennan

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

A sports columnist for USA Today, she also is an ABC News, CNN, PBS, and NPR commentator. Not only was she one of the first female reporters in the Washington Redskins locker room, but her writing talents have also led her to become a best-selling author, joining the Huddle is Christine Brennan. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

What's: U Bave, HE GUS NOTHING! MUCHDOING TA PODCAST! Today, you're min a tolet Ohio. I have it's the formally known as or maybe currentlynone as the glass capital, th United States. How do you know that he's? Ithink it as a sign when you drive in it says that Wut? How do you remember that? But when you read a piece of paper, youcan't remember what to say, like your long term, memoris really good, it'sunexplainable, I don't it sounds like it might be unhealthy to there might bepronsed on the road, hopefully not have ever been, hitting ahead. Yeah vn a variety of ways: YOUVER run into a wall, well, yeah!Well, one time I stood up with when the freezer was open. You know I waslooking the fridge and the Azer door was upen full for it wasn't. Did you godown like I one e down I was. I was on all force unconscious not unconscious.Had No, I thought I thought it was en truder N nous. I think there was like a then like a TVdinner ything next to me, and I knew wit happene. That would have been asight youre, probably in your boxers, like Shurlike Yeah Kelly, find you downthere, like, Oh, my God, he ate so much subber yeah, but so o r, our guest on the show, is from toleto. I don't know mo how many sports youplayed in high school. I know I played three. I played one, that's cut fromgolf all four years, but I did play baseball, but I played three yeah,which I thought was that too too much our guests played six six sportletterman. She Played Two sports. Every season, amazing think how talentedyou'd Haugh to be to be able, because you're not even practicing with one ofthem most of the time right, you're just going to play the Games you're,just so good 's such a good athlete Thot. You just can play for anyoneanyway. She goes a northwestern yeah one of the top journalism schools, ifnot the best in the country right and then from northwestern, goes to Miamiand work for the Miami Herald. Yeah covers osome of the crazy games that weregoing on with the hurricanes Miami Herki. She was there at the U, and itwas just really becoming the you yeah, the eighty four orange ball yeah and then a classmate of hers, Michael Wilbon, which we know from he'son TV like onys part in the interruption. Another great andnorthwestern writer right recommends her to go to Washe Post. She goes tothe Washington Post and has a great career there and she's there for twelve years,covering the redskins like one of the first females ever to go into a locker room but yeah. Thatis a writer for an NFL team yeah. It's that's, really groundbreaking. Well,you know and just to hear her stories about the coaches that were veryaccepting of that and saying this is what we're going to do. You know this is where it's going. Yougot to let her in this. Is You know, because, before her and some of theother groundbreaking women that we've had on a show that didn't happen? No,it was just a. It was a boys club that that was, they did things teway, theydid things and they didn't yeah New People and we heard from Leslie Vierwhen she started there, weren't even men's bathrooms. In the press box, theShead Tho excuse herself from the press box and use like the commoners. Well,she had a said she had a the one stadium. She was in. She had to try andgo down the stadium cross the field and come back before the team punted, because there's no bathroom yeah butanyway, so we 've all these groundbreaking women. Now she worksshe's with USA. Today, she's been on CNN, multiple news outlets talking aboutequality and everything else, she's written several books, well, N ice skating is kind of a nicheto right for our fans and like ice skating, she's, a Fishanato and iceskating right and covered the Olympic game, and all of that just just amazing how she has been doing this for so long andstill breaking the glass ceiling. So to say, we see her on TV all the time youwatch. If you watch a sports cast on the weekend, you're going to probablysee her well and she's been on talking about Antonio Brown, because he's notonly going little nuts but he's doing things that are kind of sexist and everything else like.I think, there's something really wrong with that. Guy Shee's, yeah, yeah andshe's been on CNN talking about it and everything else and yeah, and how theNFL needs to take some bigger steps with all that. But we want everyone to hear our story. Shehas some some great tales when she was...

...young and her times going through allof our escapades, and so it's really interesting. I thinkwe break it down Itd Choese, a great guess so welcome into the huddle thisweek, Christine Brendon Dav this week in the hubdle. We have an amazing guess,Christine Brendon she'll tell her all all our accolades,because I don't think I can cover them all in one breath, but a lot of awardsa lot of awards. You know one of the first female reporters that startedcovering the locker rooms way back Wan nd. I can't wait to hear some of thosestories because I know I've had some issues with those before, but so in the hudl today Dav is ChristinBrendan Christine. Thank you so much for joining us. We're so excited tohear how sports shaped your life and all the transitions you made. Gusan Dave break to be with you thanksthanks for having me and yeah, I'm really looking forward to theconversation yeah. So it's great to have you on, because you have coveredthe NFL for a long time, but werely we, where we want to start is what was thatspark for you and where did that love of sports come from for you? Well, it'sa great question gus and- and it happened at a time when girls were notencouraged to love or play sports in this country, and by that I'm talkingabout the s and s when literally, if you were a girl playing sports. Therewas something strange about that and it sounds incredible to say that now, whenyou think about well, I can best describe it this way.If you're driving in your neighborhood now- and you happen to go by a field-whether it's a school field or just a N W regular field whatever, and you see abunch of girls playing Lacrosse or soccer or softball or you name it, you don'tgive it a second look: You'e, just thinking, there's a there's, a team outthere, there's a there's a you know a whole bunch of you know: Girl, SoccerLeague or girls lacrossely or whatever. You don't even give it a second thought,but back when I was growing up, if you saw drove by that same field, you knowwhat thirty five forty years ago whatever and you saw a girl on thatfield, the odds are she had run over to tell her brother. It was time to comehome for dinner. Girls were not allowed, no girls allowed whatever, but I waslucky I was allowed. I was encouraged my mom jokes that I was born siz six xand kept right on growing, I'm tall, I'm five eleven and a half now so I was.I was a very tall, an athletic girl, Quine, O quote Tomboy. Is You call itin the neighborhood and the boys wanted to play sports with me, and I was goodenough to play with them and in fact I may have been better than most of them.Certainly an age five sin D, Seven, eight, nine, whatever so, riding bikes,just throwing the baseball around playing, make little games just on. Asyou know, in a field nothing organized not literally, and of course this is atime when we don't have organized sports for boys or girls. So now againfor those listening who played tball from the age of five boys and girls.Well back, then boys weren't even doing liter league till like second or thirdgrade. So it was just a time when kids played sports and the boys. You know Ijoined the boys in this and I couldn't get enough of it. My Mom and dad were alittle bit older, as parents like, and I this matters explaining a moment theywere in their late twenties when they got married. They were thirty, two andthirty when they had me what the first of four kids, this is suburbs of Toledo,Ohio, actually into Ledo, and then we moved to a suburb, Ottawa, hills and somidwestern great lakes. You know o a big city near Detroit, so certainly notin the sticks or in the farm lands or whatever, but you know a metropolitanarea for sure they were from Chicago and soutside of Chicago, and now theyhave got this girl growing up and they end up having two sisters and a brother.But this first kid is a girl and she wants to play sports and there weremany parents at that time, guys who told their daughter no no KIP- and Iknow this because I see them and book signings or whatever they come up to meand tell me they're my age and they read about what I had and they say oh Iwish I could have. But my mom said I couldn't play sports. My Dad said Icouldn't t must sound like I' speaking a foreign language o anyone in theirtwets and thirtis now. But this was what our country looked like beforetitle nine, and yet I had my own personal title mine. I had my dad and Ihad my mom too, especially my dadd. He played football, a really good, highschool football player and and also track and feel the athlete throwing,shoppoute etc. At Heide Park. High School in Chicago had a footballscholarship to drake to play Alinmen. So he was one of those guys thatdefended you guys offensive defensive line. Two ways back then played for ayear at Drak on ha scholarship and then went into the army at the end of WorldWar. Two and so never came back to drake, but George Hallis had gave him alook and had o try out with a Papa, bear, hallice and told Hem to come backnext year and get in better shape and back thenthis would have been the late s it was. You could make more money as a salesmanthan you could in the NFL. So my dad...

...never went back for another tryout, butmy dad was a really good athlete, and so he loves sports, and here he's gothis little buddy me. So he made sure early on that. I knew how to throw theBo baseball properly. I mean I never threw like a girl. I hate that termbecause of course, if you're throwing like a girl now that means you'rethrowing the ball properly because we're teaching millions of girls andwomen to throw the ball properly in this country. I learned early on tofire, rareback and fire. If you think of most women, my age but say generallylates into theirs. You know they still might do that that push or learned later. I never did that, andso I never threw like a girl, so the boys wanted to play with me Parti Iwantd to participate with them. My best buddies were the guys- and I had thisincredible positive experience with sports playing it going to games. Wehad season tickets for University of Tolido football, great teams in the Macback then great, a seson tickets at Michigan football, just forty fiveminutes in Ann Arbor, so Michigan Ohio State, the Golden Days, Woodie Hays BoShamberker. We were Michigan fans because Flitos so close to Michigan. Wego to Chicago White Sax Games. We visit the grandparents, we do Detroit Tigerseason tickets for the Tlito muthands. So like this incredible sportsimmersion, I love to write. I kept a diary, I love sports, put it alltogether and really from Gosh from the age of maybe sevend, eight nine ten. Weprobably could have guessed that this would be where I'm sitting today as asports journalist all these years, no Christine did your siblings alsoplay sports. That's a good question! Yes Y, my sister year and a halfyounger played because, like we meet her and Rundowns, for you know you running bases and things like that.You know she was a good game. Pr Game I mean like, as in she was willing toparticipate and she was fine. She played field hockey in high school. Iwas a six port athlete in high school people, hear they heand. They go. Oh Mygod Ho Mus Been Great. I was good and it was a small highschool, but also no one cared about girl sports, so you didn't have tospecialize. So I literally could run from first doubles in tennis to fieldhockey, Baur city, you know playing as the center, whatever set or half back.I guess and then basketball volleyball in the winter and softball and trackand feels in h spring. I was good enough to do that, but also so manygirls were playing sports and also no one encourage their daughter tospecialize because college scholarships were just beginning because title ninestarted in June. It was signed by Richard Nixon and June of seventy twoand I'm starting High School Andjune, an seventy two ear in September.Seventy two I graduated from high school and Seventy six, and so sotentelmine really was ignored for about twenty thirty years in this country n alot of places, so I didn't really get the full brount of it, but so my sisterk played did some field hockey and softball. Mybrother, Jim, was a great athlete. He was a really good all district and Ithink even Ondomo mentioned all state football player also hockey andbaseball excellent excellent athlete and could have gone, maybe do a dthreeschool but went to Indiana and want o just have the college experience, buteven a pit playe senior hockey, I think, even now- coaches, his sons hockey teamthe whole b bit there and then my youngest sister amy. Really she started she's nine yearsyounger, so talk about title nine. She started they had warmups, they had aspecial, a coach just for the softball team. We had one coach for all of ourteams: A Woman Sandy Oesterman by nine years later my sisters got you know, teacher who's, also the softball coachseparate just thes softball coach and they have signals- and they are youknow and they've got warmups and they've got uniforms a we basicallywore t shirts and Jim sharts occasionally had one jersey that my momwould have to watch every every day, real a to wear it from volleyball thebasketball. So you know, if you wonder, if a titleline was necessary- oh my GodI mean it was, and yet we didn't know what we didn't have. So when I tellthis story guys sometimes people say: Oh, that's a shame like almost like yoget a tear in their eye at what we didn't have, but I loved it. I mean I'mglad it's gone, I'm glad. Girls now have equality, at least in proportionalequality, Ind Sports, and we want that for our daughters as well as our sons.Of course we want that to make our nations stronger, to have kids learningabout sports and winning and losing at he young age and team working and beingathletically physically fit, but but but it's but no one should be sad,because I had the greatest experience and that's what we had at the time andwe did not know what was coming and and so it was. It was terrific. So yes, a lot of and real sports fans, I mean abig ten, especially I went to northwestern my siblings AL, went toIndiana, so we're all big ten people love big ten sports and to thisdaywe're very much into you, know, going to baseball games and footballand and all the nieces and nephews all the grand kids. Oh my gosh greatathletes and the best of a all might be the fifteen year old, volleyball playergirl, my niece, who is just a spectacular andline. That would bepretty interesting, you being able to report on them someday. Well, it'sinteresting. I that's a great point. Gus and I you know I've thought aboutthat. I keep the kids out of my public...

...life just because there's enough peopleout there that don't like me, I mean there'e lots of people. I think that do,but you know how it is as a woman in a man's world and twitter, just as thingswere coling down twitter started, which I love titter, but it also gives allthose neanderthals and those awful people out there chance to attachthemselves and go after me and there's threats, and you know awful stuff thatis said, and I ignore it or block them. I can handle it lat's what you can doon twitter exactly and yeah, and if I listen, if I was offendebale I wouldhave been hiding under a be one thousand nine hundred and eighty twoand never come out. So you know I'm fine, but I don't want people goingafter the kids. I don't want people thinking. Oh Yeah Noh, look at there'she jersey with the school name on it. Let's show up- and you know, if they're, if they're mad atme and and you say our world, you know it sounds a little dramatic. I don'tthink that's dramatic. I don't think any of US feels that way after whatwe've been seeing in this country of ours in terms of people doing horriblethings so yeah, it's real simple for me, but I do think as Tunal Nine andfiftieth anniversary approaches, Ot title nine, which will be in June oftwo thouand and twenty two- that there might be something there to be writtenabout the difference in a a generation and a half or so no thing change sodramatically. That would be great and one of the other things I wanted to askyou about an you talke about title nine, but just going out in your neighborhoodand playing sports, and you know a girl playing with the boys. You know thatdidn't happen, a lot back then, so you had to go through the ups and downs ofjust playing sports in your backyard right Daveand. I talk about this withour guests, all the time P, of how there were no parents, there's noreferees, there's no empires, and so you just handle things on your own andyou had to handle things on your own, probably pretty. Well, I would assumeback in those days with all the boys in the neighborhood, yeah and you're rightand I think, there's that's. We've lost that. You know I think, there's a lotof great things about kid, sports now and certainly being aware of injuries,and hopefully things that you know even things like kids wearing bicyclehelmets and obviously all of us weareing seatbelts. You know we justhopefully gotten smarter as Ta Society in some ways, but but there there's no doubt thatlearning how to fend for yourself and going out there as a six seven, eight,nine ten year old and just playing just playing how many of our kids are doing that nowversus that parent and sometimes it's screaming at a kid I've seen it we'veall seen it we may have even done it. You know. Even if it's just screamingout, go kid go you know whatever there's still that thing, that theadult is there yelling at the game or yelling for the kid versus the kid justhaving fun in his or her world? And we did, I mean it was goddard field stillthere right across from the university to Lato. We told Time by the big HogTower Gorgeous Colleck Tarr of the University of Toledo, and you could seethe cark other hands on the cock when it got tosix o'clock we'd in the summer. We'd race off have dinner meetback at seventhirty and then play till dark and it gets dark very late intoledo in thesummer, because it's on the very western end of the eastern time zone.So it's the same as its for the DC, where I am now, but it's eastern time.So it's you get another hour of Somewig, so it's perfect at would be great,especially as a kid growing up. Oh without a doubt, and then you run homeand of course, like my I'm thinking. My best friend, David Hanson, ended upbeing a rocket scientist literally jecfot PoJeffer Pulsian labs in Pasadeni, just retired. Actually, he's got plenty inhis life, but he's retired from that, and you know and David and his brotherdog and his sister Lory. They were triplets. There were ministers, kids orPresbyterian, so the Hansons, and I would all run back and we live for awhile. Just one there was one house between us, so you know you could betogether, we'd, probably Ben Ed, up at someone's house for a couple hours, andyou know until it was time to go to bed and yeah those kinds of things it was.It was wonderful, it was wonderful and are we missing some of that? The answeris yes of kids, just playing without adult supervision. Fige, as you said,perfectly figuring it out yourself. I he safor out. Is She safe, Hor outwe'll figure it out? There's no ontere, there's no parent to tell you, and Ithink that those were very good days and I think they helped mold me and I'msure, my friends into the people that we became. We had our guest, Dr SarahMitskian, who runs a woman's beherefal health penacure, and she has a greatstory about sports for her life. And her thing was, you know what I learned.Growing up was being able to take that punch to the gut because she hadbrothers, and you know she was outside. She was kind of a tomboy too, but shesaid I learned that you know what you're G to take that punch sometimesand you gotto get back up and she goes. I can't tell you how many times thathelped me in my life when I was you know when she was going in med school and everything else shewas doing and trying to figure out where her passion was going to like shesaid I just never helped me down. I never had a problem with any becausethose times when I was young taught me...

...so much assumed that you know when all thebarriers that you broke in your life, all that had to help you, I think it did and- and you know thanksfor for saying that- I also think that having the parents I had. I grew upwith this incredible confidence, guys that I even marvel at some days likewhy W at age, fourteen or sixteen was I so confident in myself, I was not abeautiful gorgeous. You know kid. I mean many of us aren't at twelvethirteen fourteen fifteen sixteen eventeen eighteen right factitfrankly.I think it's great not to be, I mean I think, for any of us, anyone listeningand watching us. You know out there when, with with your podcast here, if, if you PEK when you're in high school,well, that's not so good, you know, so I definitely do not peak in high school.I mean I was clearly. I was very academic, a Liorna. I was number two inmy class Lunatori and I was the senior athlete of the year in my high schoolthere was one girl and one boy. Obviously I was the girl and- and therewas a boy Tim Robertson- we've each got these awards whatever. So I was veryactive. I was the editor of the high school paper, actually Coeder with a afriend of mine, and so you know I was. I was very involved. Obviously, but I do think you know when you kind of you know atI'm, sorry go cul, we suf for a second, I just Sol one thing: I'm sorry justmake sure I'll be right back. What was our yeah? What was our sorry? I told Lus the train of thoughtlite about you torn about high school, andyou know you got to get back up when you take a punch of the gut and in Ohyeah. Oh, I bot that bi B, Yeah, okay, so we'll pick up here. Yes, so so youknow when you think about not peaking in high school. That's a really goodthing, and so I I was, I had a lot of friends, but I was so tall tother thing,I'm so tall was basically this heigd by age, sixteen almost six feet tall andin a little high school of a hundred kids and my gahundred kids in mygraduating class. So you know fit basically fifty boys, fifty girls, alot of the boys were maybe like almost a foot shorter than I was especiallythe boys in my classes and the honors classes or whatever. So it was, it wasa bit awkward as as it is with probably ninety percent of people in high school,and so I wasn't necesarly one of the mostpopular kids well, Thas's, the greatest thing that ever happened, because ofcourse there was plenty of time for all of those things to happen in my life,but I do think that the idea of being so my mom and dad, I guess, is the wayI looked at this and kind of figured it out. I wrote a book called Besseat inthe House, my father daughter, memoir back and I was six. It came out no sixfrom scribner, and so I spent a lot of time. Writing that and thinking aboutwhere I was in my life, and I do think that my parents decided, I said, okay, we've got a tall girlhere is a great athlete, but but certainly not going to be thehomecoming queen. Let's put it that way, and that's okay, that's fine! So let'sfocus now. My Momma did never said this to me guys, but I just I know that theydid this. Let's focus as on substance. Let's not wot focus so much on style.With this kid, let's focus on substance: let's focus on grades and and serious.You know conversation about politics and sports and you NAM it history and let's follow her lead and she is,is you know I was inquisitive and curious and I and felt very comfortablespeaking. I spoke at my high school graduation. I did Thi Speakers Bureauthing at the school for a while and all that- and I think they just theyfocused on substance, not style, not that there's anything wrong with styleand obviously it's great if you look great or if you're, popular or whatever,I'm not against that, but they really. So. All of a sudden. I got all thisconfidence like that. They an instilld in me that when my dad would say- andI'm not doing it right now actually, but my idam would say, stand upstraight shoulders back. You know, and he was a surgeant in the army and hewas six feet tall, but he seemed like he was about six six in terms of theway he walked in a room and his bellowing voice, and he was also thebiggest softy. I ever knew cry at the wall and TV show and all that. But butyou know, people thought het was a commanding presence. Well, sometimes,you know o get stand up straight shoulders back. People are going tonotice you because you're so tall they're, going to think you're olderthan you are. If you're sixteen or whatevey're Goingno think your twentysix okay. So they kind of got me in that mindset. Even though I had no ideathis was happening and who knew that standup straight shoulders back wasgoing to be prepare me to walk into men's locker roams and and be able todo all the things that I've done. I'm not Yo know it's not brain surgery, I'mnot I'm cortainly, not representing our country as a member of the military,and you know thank you to them for their service. I'm not doing that. I'MNOT! I'm not putting myself up as something that I'm not, but in thisworld that I was now going to enter.

All of this, it turns out, was sohelpful in understanding what my path would be and, for example,my dad when other kids were doing some interviews, Yeu had to interviewsomeone outside of school, like Thinki was like stockpore junior year of highschool. My father suggested me how bout our congressman and my dad was a bigRepublican. I stressed Liberal Republican, you know, George HIVERTWalker, Bush Republic, and he was, is a vice share in the in in Ohi O onthousand nine hundred and eighty eight. So I know the push Mr Bush PresidentBush quite well and was so sad when he passed away and so like. But this thecongersman in Toledo was a Democrat, lad. Ashlei actually is a good friendand classmate of George over wanker Bush thats at the time, although wedidn't even know who he was because this is in the s anyhow so or new himhardly, but by bottom line is so. I just call the congressman's office now most kids are like interviewinglike their doctor or their not stor neighbor, and my dad is encouraging meto get the congressman well Touh in Mahole the congressman one of thelongest serving congressmen n in the country. At that point in the s saysyes, so I'm interviewing congressman Thomas ledlow Ashley and my dad wassitting there and went with me and, and I ha smile. I've got the papersomewhere still in this stacks or in a cabinet and I'm laughing you guys,because my dad just walked in with me, and you know, said Hi to thecongressman. I don't think even knew him, because my dad at that punk was anenvolve opoligics and they certainly weren't even on the same side of theaisle anyway and I sit down, I introduce myself, my dad sits therequietly, just looking at me, not saying a word and it's all mine, and so thisman that I respect so much my father, who is such a tough guy, that peoplequake in their shoes over Jim Brennon and he is just listening and theconfidence and the comfort level and the respect that he is showing hisoldest child as I'm interviewing the Darn Congresson for this little ncouple page paper. I thought about that the other day, because I thought wellIKE UE said now. It kind of explains everything and how lucky was a you guys.How lucky was I to have the parents? My mom was the same in her own way. Youknow they have these parents raising me and then, of course, my siblings,extraordinary extraordinary D. that's all Lik boyol boy, that's just a lot oflock and good fortune. It is it is. It pays to have just outstanding parentsthat can listen to you understand what you're going through and then reallypush you in the direction that you're leading them. You an lot of us evenwith my kids. I try to listen to them, but I'm like now. You need to do thisand it's. It doesn't always work out because it turns into a battle. ThenYeah, Oh and believe me. We had you know there were there were some. Therewere some good arguments and, of course you know you're a teenager and stuffhappens, but it really, I think, as I said, I alwayst wonderedlike how I felt like I always felt confident itwas funny now. That's when I go to northwestern journalism, School Middl,school journalism, I figured it was best journals. Om School in the countrydid lots of research, I'm very biased, but I did that when Undergrad I aso gotmy masters and I'm very involved in in northwestern now, so I believe per yeahand but you know, I'm kind of nervous when I go there, because this is thenow. This is the big leap, it's college and I there's all these kids from allaround the country who are journalists. You know, maybe probably maybe betterthan I am who know it and I remember feeling a little nervous and a little Itell students this. I do a tonomentary N. I tell students this all the timebecause you know here I am now you know with this confidence and yet I'm alsokind of a little scared. Well, it turns out years later, dear friends, a e tothis day. Many of them. We all laugh because I'm looking at them saying I'mNer, I was nervous and worried and scared of you or felt like I wasalready behind. You know because youere already writing for the the dailynewspaper in this college. Whatever you know northwestern and they look at me,they go no. No. We were scared of you Andso, it's funny, because I think it'salso good to have a healthy little, some fear some butterflies. I mean, Iguess I know you felt this way. I'm sure when you were playing you want to. You want to be on edge alittle as you go into something important for yourself right. I meanyou felt that way at in your career right many many times every every youknow, there's not time that you haven't gone out there before the game starts,and you know you're thinking about all your plays. What we're going to doimportant. This game is and then Youru get the first snap, it's a dropback andthen you get hit in the chin. You say: Okay, now we're ready to go ITSA LOTBETTER YEAH! I always waited that first hin. It always helped a lot. I Gul shothat before beoadcast right yeah on your way down still working my way,yeah right now you get the janitor day by Hor. Just just you know: Yeah weSparo Yeah, get you ready for the podcast right. So now you kind of gaveHus a preview to this answer. I was going to ask you about northwestern.You obviously were way ahead of the game as a writer in high school es thatwhat you wanted to be. You already saw yourself as that as aprofession like, maybe in even high school years. Well, it's funny becauseagain ofthe high school paper, my...

...friend Shelley Wilson and I, when weknow kind of said. Oh, we want to write for that. The high school paper youknow and is- and you couldn't write till you were a junior or you took theclass as a junior and then you did some writing and then the senior year Euranthe high school paper, which was I ther, were probably Ike fifteen issues orsoin. It was good. I mean it was a legit, you know thing, and so I knew I want to do that. Buthere's the deal you can. We coul make a case here that growing up at this timeI mean I kept as an example. Here I kept track. I got kept score of an entireseason of Toleto mudhens triple a team of the tiger. So just you know that wasfun because if they got good, they just went up thirty miles or sixty miles upthe road to Detroy and we could watch them there and when they went up to theHebig Club, so I kept track of an entire season of Toleto Munhans Games on the radio. I kept score of an entireseason. When I was about ten or eleven so D, I dare Sayg. Not only was noother girl in America keeping score of an entire season of Minor LeagueBaseball Games from the radio in a scorebook I mean, like short, stop is six rightfield is nine. You know the whole nine yards, but that only is no girl in Americadoing that in the lates or early S, but I dare say, there's probably no boy inAmerica who 's doing that, and I remember one time my dad came into theI was in the living room. I just had next SIRH trainsistor. I was kind ofdoing homework, but also keeping score of the game, and my dad like looked atme like oh my gosh, I mean he knew. I was kind of doing it, but I think itjust was like hitting him like wow. She is into this and of course I was intoit. I mean he taught me every all of it so how to keep score, and what have youso anyway? So here I am, I am into this into sports. I love it,I'm playing it. I'm would go to games watching on TV. You know as much as Icould there's no ESBN, of course, back then, and yet and yet, if you ask me, I senior year of highschool, going inte, freshman and Freshman Year of college, what I wantedto be, I would have probably told you a political journalist. I would want to write about politicsnow. Sports was always something I of course thought of to, but I never eversaw or read a woman's sports byline. The only woman I saw on TV doing sportscasting when I was growing up was Phyllis George, who had been MissAmeriyi one housand, nine hundred seventy one, and if you had to be Miss America, shewas on thes CBS. You know the NFL today with very famous with Jimmy the GreekBretmas Burger and Earth Cross, and if you had to be Missamerica to get onnetwork sports television well, that was not going to be my career path andnow I've gotten nophillis George, her daughter, Pam Brown, is at CNN. I wasjust on a we Gan, a havef a go, I think with Pam on the set. You know, andevery time I say how to your mom and- and so you know, I love Phyllis George, I'mnot. This is not against Phillis George at all, she's been very lovely and verysupportive of my entire career is really cool. But my point is that wasnot going to be my path. I never saw anyone else doing this. There's NO ESPNat this point. There's the Olympics Dona Divrona. Another good friend ofmine. To this day, Donna was on every four years a little bit, but she waslittle gold, metal, swimmer, who's, interviewing people. You Know Li wasnot Goin to be ELEMPIC, Al Matter Swim so anyway. So I really thought I'd gointo politics, so think about this guys. If you have got one of the Arguabliy,the biggest sports, not on earth as a girl, certainly one of the you know oneof them in this country, thinking that she is going to become a politicaljournalist when, as they tell us, it tells us about the power of role modelsand about seeing someone who looks like you and making you think hey. I coulddo this, and so I never had a role model again.Phil George was great, but not going to be that path for me. So so I always kind of fowed to be therole model I never had, which is why I do more mentoring than anything else,which is why my website, Christine Brennoncom, I paid extra to make surewe had a student Tab. So you can click on student, an there's advice forstudents, there's two embedded videos of panels: I've moderated with RachelNichols Leslie, vister and others they're all in there right in thestudent Tab it Christine Brennoncom. If you have a daughter or a son for thatmatter, who wants to be a sports journalist? I send tons of people tothat student. have on my website and but isn't that interesting and here Iwas as driven and focused I've described it dead, stand up straightshoulders back you're, you know you're ready to conquer the world, and Ididn't know that I could do this now. What happened is I walk in the door ofthe daily northwestern first week of Freshmanier, you go to ye all thesemeetings, an Yo and you meet. You know you stopp in here, and you talk topeople here, see what you want to join what clubs you know, whatever sortyrush, all that good stuff and I went to the dealing northwestern and I walkedover the sporce department, because even though I'm saying politics, I'm myhead saying that my heart saying Sports...

Rit, I go with the Sports Department,and I see this woman and I meet her and it turns out she's The sports editor ofthe daily northwestern and her name is Helene Elliot. Who is one of the mostreverred sports journalists in the country to this day, Los Angeles Timescolumnist and writer, and someone who I have thanked profusely of many timesHelena again going to school with her? She was three years ahead of me, tnorthwestern, but she went on to a cur at the suntimes and other places andnow long time La Times columnist, award winning and Helene. I saw holene andthen I realized wow women could do this and that opened my eyes and then, eventhough northwestern never had a sports writing class because you didn't, Ididn't need one and well Bot and Yo Ow I' first day freshman year I mead wellbin. You know so like well hon enough, like brother and sister to this day,because we literally met first day freshman year and and go through allthis together and Therere. Only a hundred fifty of us, you know, is class,so we all got to know everyone, but you know when you, when you think of this.So now I start nope. We don't need sport, we don't have a sports ritingclass because we don't. I Know Sports, I need to learn journalism, which Ithink explains a lot of the journalism I do to this day, which is it's I kindof look at his like I'm, a journalist who happens to cover sports in terms ofbig issues and things that we talk about you and N. So North Westerprepare me for that. But then, in my summers I had I four summer internships or forinternships during my time at northwestern. Where would you return? Ilearned Intur an first at the Tlio lay my hometown paper, the first summerafter my sophomore year worked at a bank after my freshman year, but I wascover ing the city desk, so I did I did county fairs. I did obituaries. Ifollowed a mailman on his last day at work. You know that kind of stuff, butI kept going back to sports and talking the sports guys, who I grew up readingas a kid, because I mean that tolydo blade couldn't wait till the newspaperThunke down on our it was he afternoon paper on our doorstep, because there'snow that's the first time you get a chance to see a picture of a game. It'sfor time. You can read about first time you can see a box score because again,there's no, I mean. Maybe there is a highlight on fo yeah there's, no,there's no twitter! There's! No! You know there's no! This there's! No! Youknow it's just it's it's just it's nothing until that, so anyhow, yeahtly doblades or the next summer.After my junior year, I worked at et a Blay, the US Open Golf hail or Wen one,the Usopen at inverness, beautiful inverness. So I live right near there,and so ou o covered some of that and walked through the press room and sawthe names Dan Jenkins, Tom Boswell, and how many times did I tell Dan Jenkins,of course, just passed away recently: a Mentor, an and lovely man. Of course,his daughter Sallhy's, a friend of mine and his D son Marty. Also- and I toldDan you know here- I am as a twenty year old walking through t e the linesat the inverness, and I see it your name and now, of course, en he goes,looks at me. E goes well. o Li Lookin kids are looking at your name. I saidyeah, it's pretty cool, pretty cool, I just it. It's so fortunate and so lucky so tlitoBlade Lexington Kentucky paper was a northwestern internship and then theMiami Harald after between my undergrid an my masters years and then that MiamiHarald Internship in this SOMON thousand nine hundred and eighty lentofull time job at the man my herald in April, one thousand nine hundred andeighty one. When I started my career, a big difference going fromnorthwestern to Miami, you couldn't get more of a change todifferent areas and then covering the sports. So what was your bag? Yourfirst big story, what you started full time at Miami Yeah? Well, I someone wasdifferent: weatherwise, yes January in February, playing tennis and swimmingthat was different than then Chicago, where our looks term purple as we walkowards the lake in January February. Interestingly, though, there were a lotof northwestern grads who went down to the Miami Herald. The modill schooljournalism sent a ton of people down there, so I probably had it was greatbecause I had maybe Gosh thousand an thirty friends andclassmates from northwestern we're all at the Miami herol at various BurasYeah. That's! I love that, because that happened to me when I left Pittsburgh,I went to Talsa Yeah. A lot of my classwates were from westernPennsylvania. I graduate with twelve kids from Pittsburgh Down Intulso, soit makes that transition a lot easier. It sure dies you're, far away from homeand then but then you know every weekend, you're hanging out with yourfriends or going to wherever yeah it's great, it's great and so the Miami Herald. I was the firstwoman ever hired by the Herald full time and- and this is eighty oneand so and I've said this- and I think it's important to say these things andI think you guys know I'm nothing if not honest, hopefully and forthright,on these things. If I've been a white man, I would not have gotten that job,because people always asked me how hard must it have been Ohan sure you knowthere are people didn't want women covering sports yeah, of course,there's no social media, so they can't detach themselves. So they could writeletters, but that's a very different thing: it's not threatening or whatwhatever, but but now the Harold wanted to hire a woman and again I'd said Ihad the summer the summer before that...

ID enteon there. So I proved myselfobviously enough that they wanted to hire me full time. They were not takinga flier on me, but if, if those who complain about Tokens or a quota higher,you know- or we hear those words every now and then in politics or whatever Iwell. I was a token. I was a quota. You Bet right here and let's talk aboutthat because I don't there's frenkly, there'snothing wrong with that. You want to have a news room. Look like America!Look like your city, you want! You know your community and he Mimean hereldknew that it was way behind. I had nothing to do with this. You know I'mjust I get hired. I don't I don'ti nothing to do with the past po policiesand most newspapers at point had one or two women sports writers, the big ones,Boston, Glowe, New York Times La Times. You know Chicago Tribiann, Spocu, sometimes other places and theHerald was behind, and so they that's so, but I never looked at myself as aquota. Whatever their reason for hiring me is my dad said: honey just go inthere and blow the doors off the place. You know in terms of just keep doingyour great job. Don't who cares why they hired you just goand of course I never let. I never even spent a second thinking about that oranalyzing it. I talke more about it now as a way to explain this stuff and but I never felt pressure either. Ireally didn't. I just wanted to walk figure out where to park my car on thefirst day and what elevator to come up. You know, I wasn't thinking the loftythoughts of Oh, his history, woman sports rider first one now and just youknow, I'm just I'm ready for this. I've been launched out into the world bynorthwestern. I am so prepared for this, as I've described my background andsports. My background and writing vesterals is GOINNA CAE. You kidding meso I'm ready and put me on the floor in to gator beatand eighby one. So I cover I went up to Florida or to the wherever they play inthe SEC. That was Charlie pells years. Wilber Marshall was on those Floridateams, I'm trying to think of who else wasaround then well. Oliver Luck was playing for West Virginia, it was Floridaagainst West Virginia and the Peach Bowl and so I'll overlock father ofAndrew and there are others that were floating around. You know at that pointand then comer o the gators second year and e two, and then they moved minto.The MAAMI hurricame be one thousand nine hundred and eighty three. Now thiswas a promotion for the Miami Herald. But for me I was kind of bitter sweetbecause I love going up to Ganesille Florida. I mean it was fun. The writerswere great, all men except for me. Basically, maybe one other womanoccasionally showed up, but we'd have great parties. You know media partieson Friday nights and then you're on this G, great campus and you're in theSEC and I'm a big ten person so have fun just to see what the SEC schoolswill look like and would look like, and you know you've heard all this aboutAlabam and all miss and Lsou, and now I'm there I mean that was fun. Ialwaysbeen one for adventure and new things, and- and so I love that so now, I'mgoing to cover the floora, the Miami Hurricanes. So it's promotion, but nowhalf the Games are going to be in Miami. So there's no travel, then hithat.Eighty three ty three, and so this is before the you was the you but so th.But of course I want the job of, of course, I'm taking this job and kind ofcover the BEA, because of course it's important and also I mean theyre,that's what my editor said. So I'm de so the first game actually before thatyou as to got the big story is this is a long answer, but that that before the season n, eighty threeseason hour shellinberg and he had coach of Miami Jim Kelly's gone, and Icoveraed him because I did some coverage of the team as a backup Bwriter. You know when he was there, so I knew Jim and but jims graduated andgone USFS US FL first for Houston gamblers before he made this way backto Jebuffalo, and so they've got this quarterbackcontroversy and they got three young kids. I goy named Kyl Vanda Wenday, whoreally might have gotten a job which is kind of amazing when I'm about to saythe next two names and then two freshmen Bernie Cosar and VinnyTestaverty, and I'm watching this every day as it place out and shallenburgerannounces, I'm able to break the news. The Bro get anyway, certainly othermedia. Were there too. I guess that he picked Brernye Coser to be the starter.Miami goes and plays Florida, so tha the new beat you're, not a fan of theteam, I'm covering the team, I'm not a fan, I'm not cheering, I'm writing so B.I don't. I think people don't understand that. Sometimes you don'twant me to be a fan of the team. You want me to cover it in the and my myresponsibleis to the readers not to the players. Obviously you will coursetreat them right and of course you treat the coaches right, but you'rewriting stories. So you know I have teams it cheer for they're, not Miamior Florida, or anything like that anyway. So but o first game miamiis playingFlorida. So the team I ha just covered for two years is now playing Miami andMiami gets Pulmel. Florida wins, I think Thosandan eighto three, I'm likeOh great, so Florida's going to be good this year, I'm no longer on the beatyeah and Miami just lost. Now they have a kind of a cream pup schedule, but great you know, and they got thisfreshman quarterback they're, probably...

...going to be five and six and ohwhatever. Well, as as you as stude sports fans out there, no Miami lostthat game to Florida, never lost again, beating Houston and Cincinnati and WestVirginia and Perdue, and noter dam and and Eastern East Carolina and FloridaState on last second field goal and was then picked to go to the Orange Bowland they were playing none other than number one Nebraska. Everyone thoughtthey were the best team in the century like Rogiere and Turner, Gil and Irving,Friar Tom Osborne's team, of course, and they're going to win by a mileright. It's Miami One lost Miami team, rank fift in the country againstNebraska, right number, one and the t three schools in between well whatever-and I did at I work so hard. This is probably the biggest story. I've everdone in terms and well nat, ever done, Tinya, harding and Olempic, stuff andwhatever, but in terms of just sure like thinking it through. I said to myeditors: Why don't we talk to all sixty EIGHTP poll voters and ask them what they would do if Miami were to beNebraska, and this is before cell phone? So I'm calling hotel rooms, I'm callingsports departments asking. Where would I find that particular rotor? We gotthe names of all of them and I spent a couple days that week and I was able toget enough information to say that if number two team was hat Texas numberthree was auburn. Four was Illinois. I think ir was to George Anyway Texas.Georgia were playing and Auburn and Illinois and do the scenario sa so thatwhat would it take if Miami beat Nebraska would they be number oneautomatically leav frogging from five to one or would they have to haveanother team loose? And I was able to play at all the scenarios and able toreport that as long as the number two team lost and the Florida or the theTexas Georgia game, then didn't matter what happened with Alburn in Illinois?Miami would be number one if they beat Neveraska, but people laughed likeDogluni of sports celistratend said Yeah. I live in buffalo and I have morechance of sunbathing on new yoar day now that kind of stuff anyway and sureenough. One of the greatest games ever played, I covered every second of it.Of course, in the Orange Boll Tom Osborne went for two there's a greatlittle thirty minute, thirty for thirty that I'm in on that the SPN. Thirty Othirty about the decision to go for two and he did and it was loocked away byGetime Ken Kill Calhoun his little fingertip just bats it away and and Miami wins, that game wins thenational title, because everything played out as as I had reported a fewdays earlier, I scooped ap on their ownopoll. It was really fun. I think,from that point out. AP never gave out their names of their voters again, because this kid journalist is scoopingthem on their own pull and, and I covered the national champion, I wasthe only outsider who was every there every day from August to January.Second wrote a book and, as luck would Hav it. My dear college friend, MikeWellbon, was covering the game for the my for the Washington Post and I didn'tknow this, but he took all my articles, including that big breaking new storyput him in his suitcase brought him up here to Washington DC, threw him on thedesk of George Solom, an the sports center of the Washington, Post andMiceelbon says hire my friend and what eight months later, I'm walking in thedoor, the Washington Post, Weweswo E, had to be big. It had to be big for you,but I got to meet Howard Nelenburger. WhenI was getting recruited for college. He was a headcoach at Louisville di he's,a different type of character. I would say w he like, because he's old, schoolyeah he's really old school, but a couple of thoughts. One is I likeHoward, very much. We still stay in touch a little bit and it's fun. It's really a nicerelationship to have- and I would say the same with Joe Gibbs and I've really. You know I really try to work withpeople and I understand. Sometimes it can be difficult now, not so mu. H, Imean women and there's thousands of women covering sports in the countrynow, but back then you know these were first. You know you're dealing with thefirst of this or that so I got that. I totally understood that and and was very respectful of thesituation, but I will say this about Howech Dellinberr. He let me in everylocker room so, whereas, like the Florida gators were like, I had to waitoutside and then they bring the top players quarterback as again am Waynepiece and there are other people they bring them out and pretty soon all theother writers. The mailwriters would stand there with me because they getthem first with me, you know so all of a sudden they just didn't know how towork the locker room and I respected that we weren't filing a lawsuit fromthe Miami Herall F about sortigators. You know that point, I'm twenty threeand twenty four. These players are basically my age, they're collegeplayers, they're not getting paid as we hope, they're, not getting paid on' joke that, and so you know I usWelhey, will let you in the locker room. Well exactly so we weren't again, wedidn't find lawsuits. I mean, I think some people out there think. Oh everyjournalist is out there to cause trouble and women are out there to cut.No, no, no, no stop it. You know, n't, don't pay attention to all the garbageradiats fake news. Do they have Yeu K, there's real news here and and there'sreal places that are doing role, news...

...and- and you know so. My point is that we went by the Florida's rules well,pretty soon: Charlie Po Sayi- Oh just let her in for Heaven' Sakes, and so Iwas walking in and there was you know towels and there wover anti rooms, youguys know likeroom youthere's ways to get a coach off in a corner and ofcourse, I'm not looking around because I'm a professional and I'm there to domy job and I carry a eight by eleven notebook. Sometimes so I'm looking downat the nombebook if by chance someone's there and maybe not wearing a towel ornot wearing his uniform, stooll or not in closes, but I'd always wait. Tillsomeone was clothed to go over to their locker, always because you don't wantto have a guy, be I woant to make sure that they're they're not embarrassedand I'm being respectful of them, so men could walk over and talk to a guynaked. I would wait. Maybe that's not fair, but I just feltthat was always the right thing to do and Gosh thirty. Eight years later, Iguess IGESS is worked out. So anyway, Miami Hurricane Snollinberg,old school Howard, seling Burger. He just said you're on the lock room andof conversation. What was that guys? I think t e part it was. He had a alittle older team. Some of those guys were maybe twenty three twenty four, Imean not really old, but I mean the you had some guys who maybe had a year ortwo before they got into college, much more urban kids and I'm saying whetherI don't care what the color their skin was, but just much more, I think, from Miami from a couple were fromAkron Ohio. You Know Bernie was from Youngstown, you know these guys ve.Then he was from New York City. You know from low island, you know justmore with it. I think you know more and I'm not saying it a bad way or a goodway. Just just more aware, and maybe more mindful of women's place, you know,as opposed to like maybe more of a small town feeling I don't know Ihaven't spent much time thinking about it. Obviously, but point is MiamiHurricanes, I'm in every IM in t lik from every day, so for all those guyslike Sam wish and thos other guys, whoe like? Oh, we don't think women shouldbe in the lock room. Oh, my Gosh and, of course, that's again we're talkingthe HS. This is resolved and done, and it's been done for for decades. As you have women go ing, the lock roomis like asking of women should vote, or if someone of color should own property,I mean that's how awful you know. It sounds t aske that question now and mengo in to women'slock ROMs. Of course they do and I be the first to standoutside with the man waiting to for some reason there was a you know if hewas barred which he's not. But of course we don't care about women's teamsports as much as we care about man's team sports as why you'v Never heardthem Lek meat, the clamring for that. But I heard that, like women's lockerrooms, the teams wuld be way better about saying, here's Roades, you knowhere's here, you know, make sure that you're covered up and all this becauseI've been in the situation plenty of times where I'm just getting out of myshoulder paths and the press is already in there and now I got to get undressedand it's like it's just. It is a little bit of astrange feeling. You know what I mean. No doubt I think kin get a shower andget dressed and doing everything and there's there's fifty people that I'venever been in a locker room with before n my life. You know and and even worsecameras right and I was tell us- I told you the story about the Santashako whenwe won when I played for the Vikings in o Aig and he was completely naked sandybehind the coach and the owner when we went a divisional championship and thecameras were just right on him and all my friends are blowing up our phonessaying he's completely na it and it was just it's just it. Sometimes it's crazyyeah and, of course that's what I've always felt. You know I mean obviouslyI'm a professional, and I know you of course agree. I mean I know, there'syou're not saying anything about that, like nurses or doctors areprofessionals right. So I know what I've signed up for, but think about thecamera that catches the naked guy right and there's a three year old watchingat home, yeah that Probabl, it's not it's, not the woman sports journalistat all. It's the you know it's the kid thet.Can you know the family back home with a with a live shot, a TV shot, thakis O,not even say it's just women in alarm, say it's everybody in a lock, like youknow, it's just it's just a strange feeling. There's all these clothedpeople and you're sweating and Om ready and the coach just got done talking toyou, you wone or your lost, and you have all these emotions going throughand and all of a sudden. They can come up and talk to you at any point. Youknow you could be just standing there in your Tuck strep and that's how it is,and I'm sure I don't know how it is an a female offerom, because I've neveryou know, but I'm assuming it's the same. But I from what I've heard isthat you know they do a better job of saying: Look: Go, get ready, get a robeon to something that come back out, tox or ewel they're, so desperate for forpublicity. Obviously they're so and I saydesperate in a good way, they're, so willing and so friendly and helpfulthat they'll just sit there in their sweaty clothes. Usually they don't eventhey don't go to the shower because they get so little coverage compared tomen. I mean there's so many issues here that this could be a whole separate.You know a podcast but yeah, that's, unfortunately, theshame of it is that they get so little attention that they're, so happy andunderstandably sell mean no, I agree with that yeah and so where the NFL isso spoile there or and Major League baseball and they're great guys. Likeyou, my goodness, when I was covering...

...the The Washington NFL team, the nameis terrible. N Should Change. You know well come just off, I mean I said it amillion times, but I'm trying not to say it anymore. You know, O you imaginecalling a team that with any color skins, you know I horrendous horrendousname, and it should you know they should have changed a long time agoanyway. So the end of the question you know, I I mean a poorse offensive.Linemen I mean I was dealing. You know some of these guys I was dealing withMark May and Jeff Baustick and Rus Grim and Cojakobe George Stark. Oh, theywere great. You Know Great Monny, Coeman nelocalits I mean they wereterrific and and they they totally understood because so yeah movingforward. I'm the first woman to cover washingtons NFL team, so the Miamin youknow herel in the Maami hurricane situation. Shalinburger was great, Imean there were you know. We had moments, of course, like any, basicallyof a beat writer and a coach are not getting along. That means we're doingour job properly. So how was Joe gibs on that whole scenario? Fantastic,here's and here's what happened and so schnelliber was great and then so Icome up to the Washington Post and within I coverd the Nflan Thet, followof eighty four and then they put me on the beep and the on the skins in likeJanuary. Eighty five, so I covered the team aihty five, eighty seven finishingwith the January. What Jenuaton? Who was that thirty first super bowl, thatWashington's of went over Denver, ind that Super Bowl, doag Williams, andthen I moved right on to the Olympic bead and when came home, I'm dn Ou mysuitcase of warm weather, close from San Diego put in my sweaters, and wentup to Calgary to cover the Caligary Olympics in eighty eight, and so sothis isn't. This is even a bigger deal, because this is, I mean, bigger deal for the city, soyou've got, as you know, gus. Well, you know this. This team well Willbon saidit best to me when they put me on the beat he said he said you know. Having adeal in thiss is, I said, yeah I know obviously been in Washington for a fewmonths. Agoes. No, no! No! You don't know an now. Typicaly Coulyo hear wellBou, you don't know you know't Soi yeah. I know I mean because again mo're likebrother and sister and goes no, you don't know, and I said okay, you tellme, and he said so Reagan and Gorbachev are having all these meetings. You knowall these, these, these high level summits and so Reagan. Gorbachev couldannounce world peace, but if Washington beat Valos that willbe th. The screaming headline Washington, Bees, Sallas and then oh bythe way, Reagan Gorbachev, World Peace- and you know there's some truth to that,and so I knew that is in a part of some of that. Yes, you have. Oh, I know youhave, and so this is you know, I'm twenty six SISH and I'm put on the BEAand I'm ready for because is now I've described. I've had all these years atthree years, just only three and a half years, but three and a half great yearspressure packed. I also did a lot of coverage in the dolphins and Don Chulamight be the best of all. He just issued his players robes and said:that's it I'mman Herheis he's a Guy Catholic guy goes to mass. Every dayyou could say: Donshula might be the most conservative person right. HMMhere have robes S, one thousand nine hundred and eigty two. You still havelike goof balls like Sam Wyshand, everyone else arguing about it like tenyears later, Donshela done robes and whatever and one time I was in the thedolphins Liecrim just doing a side bar. I never was the BEATWRITER, but Ihelped out I'm coverage a lot of games, Super Bowl, etcer and I'm my armsgetting tugged and I'm kind of spin around, because I'm interviewingsomeone I'm kind of like WHO's. Bothering me it's Shula and he goes andis like Oh coach, and he goes just want to make sure everything's okay in hereand you didn't. That was treating you fine. It's like Oh don Sheah he's aclassack, you pas that that never heard anything bad about him. He he is Heisfat and Gims. Also so here's the deal with GIP. So now now the post isputting Washington Post S, putting a woman on the beach first time ever that WATC that the team will have awoman in the locker room and I's theppose. So you know there's ifthere's a bigger institution than the NFL team in town. It's a Washington,Post right- and I K Graham, has my back and been Bradley. Is My editor andGeorge Solomon I' mean it's pretty cool Bob Woodwerd, you know was wanderingaround so it's. I worked in the pages of a journalism textbook and I loved itand it was fantastic, and so I know I'm againi confident comfortable, noproblem, I'm ready for this, so the at this time you still had apatchwork of team. So, for example, there were some teams. I would go inthe FALLF eighty four covering EA games each week. Sometimes I'd be allowed inthe lock room and then sometimes I wouldn't be, and you can imagine how hard that is todo your job. So you 've got NFL teams, not allowing the Washington Post writerinto a locker room, but allowing the New York Times wrider in because it's aman leslevister was covering for the BostonGlobe. Sometimes Leslie and I would be standing outside. You've got two of thewhat five biggest newspapers in the country, Boston, gold and Washin poststanding outside that could not continue and so keep Rosel Pprosel.Obviously, Super Smart Commission of the League, Pr Guy, explains everythingabout the success of the NATONAL football league and how it took over asour number one sport easily in the country and over the last you know,fifty years or so Pete rtell issues an...

...edict. After talking I the SportserWasho, post or Salmand a few others. I've never said it's because of mebeing put on the beat, but I think it's pretty clear that when theWashington Post decided to put a woman on this huge beat in DC that the NFLhad to do something. So again, I don't know if it was exactly because of me,but there certainly was a hat kind of a critical mass of being reached andRoselle said all all of the clubs. Every team had to have equal access formale and female reporters that could ben closing t the locker room. That'sfine, thet, dellas coubeys did that they had an interview room, so everyonehas to come to the interview around well, you- and I both know you uys, 'know that if someone's fundled three times they're- probably not going inthe interview men and so what happened then is obviously for access purposes.You have to have that guy. In the Lackero I mean you got o the good inthe bad if the NFL is going to continue now with the Internet. It's different,but newspapers in addition to covering a team, also gave an incrediblepublicity that the NFL needed, so you got to have access, and so that's whyI'm fiwuld be fine with anything. But when you don't have half the teamshowing up in the interview room. Well, then you got to do something and whathappened was the League decided, even though it's imperfect, although it'sbeen working great now for ther over thirty years? Is that you just letreporters you? Have a cooling off period talk to the coach and then youcome into the lock room and and that's male and female reporters into the lockroom and and so anyway, but GIB so last thon on gibs he's a very religious man,Reshis Bible every day, and he was interviewed by one of thelocal broadcasters. glimed Brenner, passed away a few years later and Gleninterviewed him, and I someone alorted me to this. I never I my boyfriend asthe time. I think I think DV VH s tape. You know whatever vcrdid for mewhanever. you called it because I literally would never seen. I was up acamp in Carlyle Pennsylvania, where they trained, but that Gibbs said Idon't believe a woman should be in the lockeroom. I sent a letter to petRoselle, saying I was against it. There's a butt coming, but Pete Rosellegot back in touch with me and told me: the rules were the rules and she would be in the lock room. Shemeaning me and so GIB said to Glen Brunner on television. So that's thewhat way it is. Those are the rules and- and this team will abide by those rules and guys three years covering the team.Never once did I have a problem in Dexter. Manly would yell out and EyChris Come on over. Here I got something to show Yoa, I be thirty feetaway and I say Yeah Right Dexter and I keep walking the other way of courseagain there's as Leslie Visr, one said to me: Laugh Ang, you got to be alittle blind and the ittle death and the Lockeron Igh I tew I was I knew Iwas on their turf. I had Dade Butts, come up to me, saying hey if you'regoing to be an AOR when I'm maked, I think you should be naked too. You knowwhat I laughed that's not funny now. Obviously me too, it was funny in the SI was on there turf. I had total respect for them. They ended up havingtotal respect for me, Joe Gibbs. What he said was all my friends wereoutraged. Like he's writing letters against you, I said I don't care aboutthat. Look at the end of the sentence right. Fine gifs was terrific and wehad a wonderful relationship and- and I love covering the team- and it wastough and it was strong- and it made me the journalist who I am today Christine earlier. You mentioned Tonyaharding and some I think some of your most reconized work has been in theworld of figure skating, wou've Urtin, several books, nout fiure skating. Now,that's quite a contrast from me. No like tell us about that. How did youget involved with yeah figure skating and I would say OAS that different? I meanI figur yeah, Oh yeah, O! No people askd you're, not the first and it's inmlaughing because it is funny so I come for the Olympics. So after cover theand I've still do NFL stuff. You know I just wrode a column the other day aboutJane Gadel, who I know quite well: Roger's wife, who also formerbroadcaster newscester who's done this wonderful movie on Tha four womenowners, the eldest women. You know, George Allis, the daughter of VirginiaMalice, mccaskey, Martha Ford, Lamar Hunts, Wido, normahand and Aur ooniesAr Dan reves widow, Patricia runing, all for thesewer old women owners and their history, the founding mothers of the NFL. So Istill do you know it's not like. I don't do other things and it now is acolomnist for Yousa. Today, no longer a beat writer, so I you know topics. Isthey pop up? I'm writing about them, of course, including NS, but aftercovering the NFL back and in this super bowl back in eighty eight, as I said, Imove right into the Olympic beam for us and for the death up time, Washington,post and so I covered Caligary and Seoul and and Alberville Barcelonalilahomer Atlanta, for the WASTINGTON Post. I cover the dead. La Olympics ismy first for in eighty four for the Miami Herald and 've covered everyOlympics after the Washington Post ones for USA Today, so eighteen in a rowwinter and summer, going back to Eiy, which ans your favorite a winner,lilahammer. Ninety four, because of the...

...time in Nancy Saga, never see a storylike that ever ever ever that's why I starte doing a lot of TV work andsummer. It's a tough call. I mean I love each one for different reasons andstories. Theyve produced the interesting, you know, emotions and allthe amazing things that have happened, but I think I might pick Athens in afour just because to be at the Olympics, where the marathons began in Marathon,when you're in Ancient Olympia, watching the shotput in two thousandand four, when you're, you know just being at the birthpace place of theModern Olympics and and the acient Olympics in Athens, greace waspectacular. So I did love that and the story lines there were. It was thefirst Summer Games after nine eleven, so ther were incredible risks andwonder and stories about security and about terrorist terrorism and which Idon't like, but as a journalist, you certainly being able to break and workon. Those stories are important to me too, so so anyway, but yeah, the so the ilympics so i'nm covering theOlympics and, if you're, covering the Olympics for a US newspaper, US newsorganization, the Summer Olympics, you needed toreally be an expert on swimming gymnastics diving when a gregular Gamuswas around track and Field Carl Lewis, Jackie Juner, Cersey, Flores gript atjoiner, all that whole gang. So those were the things you really need to bean expert Im, the Winter Olympics you needed to become an expert, onfigureskating and so I'd always watched figure skating, I'm being the heightthat I am I never I mean I skated. We would freeze our backyard and Patio andToledo and we skate a D. my brother was a hockey player. My sister actuallycould do like a single solt cow, but I was that wasn't my sport, but I couldskate backwards and forwards whatever, but I was never a skater, but so justas a journalist, you just had to get to know this sport. Well, this sporthadeverything and as I'm covering it starting in Calgary, ind, aty, eight.That was the battle of the Brians. It was battle of the Carmens Caterina Vit,the graties German, who I know well now is a friend and yeah you're justcovering this, and it's got everything. It's got the Cold War. It's got judgingcontroversies, it's got costume controversies, beaeit's got crazyparents, it's got compelling personalities and the TV ratingsthrough the roof, Tinya Nancy, when they finally skated in ninety four. InLillahamer wscovering every day of that from the attack I Nancy Caragan January,one thousand nine hundred and ninety four in Detroit, I was there all theway through to the story and Norway for a month when they finally skated in the shortprogram in Lelahamar and of February of ninety four. That became the sixhighest rated show in television history, and it remains that to thisday last smash Hu Shahjhaar from Dallas and episode of roots is third, twosuper bowls involving Joe Montana, fourth and fifth, and the forty Nin andsix all time, Tanyan ANC short program, not sports, all time ratings. Fortyeight point: Five rating, half the nation watched it was eight hours old.Everyone knew the result. tapedulate half the Nation Watch you'll, never afootball super bowl gets a forty now so ther we didn't have as many TVs. then.Ninety four therefor, the forty eight point, five, isn't the most TVs everBuno the rating. That's how big a deal skating was. No one had ever done ajournalistic look at the sport, so it was waiting to be done and I wasshocked that some of my colleagues who covered the Olympics at that point, I'mwith the Washington Post other colleagues from other newspapers,didn't jump in and write a book. I had just written Tracy Austins on abiography with Lisa drew at Scriner and William more on inscrimner and so Lisagot in touch, and I said well how about skating, no one's ever done ajournalist. You know report a story on this on this incredible sport that hasnothing but TV ratings. You go to a bookstore. You see dozens of booksabout tennis and Golf and baseball football. You see none on figureskinies that maybe like the Scott Hamilton story or something and that'snot what I'm talking about. I was talking about serious look at HIV andAIDS, the tragic loss of life in the sport due to you know me and this againin the Ns we were talking about. You know gay man and and or straight forthem matter, but you know in Payn its an HIV. The way we are now, of course,and so I broke all that news and talked about judging controversy, so insideedge became a bestseller, I kind of knew it cood and so and then, but Ijust jumped into that, because I saw that opening and saw that opportunityfor me to really do books and then that changed the course of my career,because then I left the post a year later. I started writing callms for USAToday, but I start doing speeches a lot of TV work, everything my whole world.I became kind of my own boss and all because of Tomya Hardin. Thank youTanya wherever you are crazy, but true, Jeff Gluly to Oh kefh yeah, and we onlylaugh about this a'll joking inside, because Nancy Karrigan, who I know verywell and I like a ton, a covereter she recovered, and that was the most famousBruwse kne in sports history and she recovered to have the greatestperformance of her life should have won the goald. The judges decided to silverfor her, but if she had been seriously injured, it would not be funny at allbut yeah Tanan, what a goof ball and ridiculous and her gang of men aroundher just the game that couldn't shoot straight. But yes that certainlychanged my life and I'm probably he...

...only serious journalist who will eversay. Tanya harding changed my life, but in fact she and those idiots who didthat they sure did yeah so that they had a TV special or something came outa few years ago about Tony Ardy and a that whole thing. Was it a series orwas it a one time show Ikit was thirtythirtywell, there's Thi thirty, that I was involved with his o. They meade it thetiny harting show, and then I wasn't then NBC, there's a really good one.Mary Corillo did it one, my MBC that I'm on with Philher Chogan Trivian?Also, I think it's really good. You can find that just Google Tanyo Nancy andNBC Mary Corrello and then there's also then the movie I donyou yeah, whichthey didn't lete the facts get in the way of good story. They made Tanya,look like you know the victim and of course she was not the victim at all,but yeah. No. She was sheas only one personto blame for not winning two Olympic metals, because the Olympics wereninety two and then they came back with ninety four to get them off cycle fromthe summer. So Nancy karragan Ti Ono. We that age group born n thousand ninehundred and Sintny n ouand nine hundred nd. Seventy really had an advantage ofgetting two metals. Tanya was a chain smoking asthmatic. She just didn'ttrain, she made horrible decisions and she has ow and great talent and theonly person she has to blame for all that for her mistakes and her troublesand her failures is herself. Her Mom was kind of a nightmare too. If Iremember well, there's that yeah there's no tout but s a lot of peoplehove had tough upbringings, who have succeeded yeah one. Last thing we do,we appreciate you coming in the Hode Wen last thing we do is our nohuddleand we just blast a bunch of questions at you and have you answer them asquick as possible, and it's just kind of fun thing we do at the end of everyinterview, shoe won, shoot. Okay, Christine. If you could be acommissioner of one of the major leagues for a day. What rule would youchange good question? Wow May? Well, I guess a easy one, probablyget rid of the DH. I love seeing pichers bad. So if I was in charge ofthe national or the American League, we'd get rid of the DH Ilok. I agreetoo. It's going to be a hard day for me when the ML probably finally goes theother way. It's going to be upsetting disily, I eally he. What about petpeeves? You have a you, have binny pet peeves. Well, yeah. I meanjournalistically that we call it the final four and not the men's final forbecause, of course, there's a woman's final for and a big pet peeve again inthe and the the adjetive world. He adjective pet piece that there's stilla few women's teams that call themselves the lady this or the ladythat it is hidiotic Tennessee I mean I love Pat Summit. I'msorry she's Gone Lady Ball's. No, you go to Tennessee Youre a volunteer. Whatthis is a selfimposed sexism you're saying that we're not real volunteerswere somebod like a little bit less for the lady, whatever I know they don'tthink of it that way, but in two thousand and nineteen it looks terrible.Everybody get rid of lady if you got a girl playing sports and they call thetournament. The Lady Keystone thing up in Pennsylvania and, like my niece,went to get rid of that. Just don't call there. You go to a school oryou're an athlete you're, not a lady, this or a gentleman that or maybe theyshould start calling it the gentlemen valls right so stupid it really doe.Yes, just you go to Tennes youar northwestern you're, a wildcare. Wewould have punched someone in the noseback in the seventies if they triedto call us t e, lady, wildcas and- and it just sounds ridiculous- is you knowwe don't say Youre Lady Senator Lady Congresswoman Andnot already? What isyour you've been in sports for a long time? What is your favorite sportsmovie league of their own, the great movieabout with Gina Davis and and Madonna and others, and Tom Hanks at just aspectacular movie? And I got a chance to interview Penny Marshall. The OlyPenny Marshal, who of course directed that movie, a League of their own. Shecame to DC and we did an event where we had a couple of the older women whowere still alive. Women's baseball players joined us on a panel afterwatching the movie screening of the movie, and then I, inter I was themoderator of that, and that was a real delight. A highlight up my career forShor yeah. Definitely great cast an a great kids. What about? If you could beone person in history for one day, another one day, question who wouldthat be? Well, that's a good one! There's a lotof choices, but I'll say I'd be Abraham Lincoln and I would not go to thetheater that night 'd be smart to be wise, yeah. What Wul this country thiscountry might have look very different in terms of reconstruction and andgetting al. You know the north and South Headolincoln lift. I know it'skind of a weeigdy answer, but I think it's certainly something I think aboutevery now and then all right. So two more one more. If we were scrollingthrough your phone who's, the most famous and Christine Brendan, mostfamous Personn, Christine Brandon' phone right now or maybe surprising,yeah pt llet's see who's the most famous. Well, I mean friends, people I've known for a longtime. The sthrivers Maria Schriver Tim Schriver, obviously lovely people. I knew theirmom Muni driver, Younow, skennedy...

SDRIVER. Well, she would invite me totheir home couple miles from here in in Maryland, suburbs, and also she wassuch an advocate for it started the Special Olympics and and invited me to events and alsosometimes just sit next to me and at a Special Olympics even and just asked myopinion. This is what I was at the Washington Post in particular, and Iwas in Honord to write a few columns about Mrs Schriver, including after shepassed away and so Maria. I know I've known over the years very well a D andreally respect Maria and then Tim, her brother, who runs special and thanks mygoodness. These are just some of the Great Americans and great people in oursociety and the way that MSS Schriver and her family gave back when you thinkthey didn't have to do that as members of the Kennedy family. Butthey did so. You know I've got a lot of athletes and and others in there too,but I certainly think that there's a couple right off the top en I hadpretty cool, wonderful people and just great great American, okay, last one,if Youco d go back in time and tell a young Christine Brennan one bit ofadvice, would that be great great question? You know I wasprobably I was driven type of personality, probably as manyjournalists are no surprise, I'm sure do you guys or any of the- and I definitely now I'm at the pointand long since, as I justcribed after the after the books did so well becauseIY had another book after after that, you know two skating books back to backthat did so well and and and and now my life. You know I m, I just do what Iwant and I' really cared it out exactly as I wantit, but I think early on, Iwas like at the Miami Herald. You know I was ancy. I was really ancy to get upnorth. I love my career there. Three and a half years at the Miama heldgreat times, but I was kind of chomping at the bit to get up. I was hoping clwith the Washington Post ever hire me. You know that was my dream job rightand, of course they did so maybe I'd go back. Andtell thousand a WO twentythree year, Oldme, it's going to be fine, you're goingto get the jobs. It'sgoing to be great, not that I didn't enjoy it even then, because I did Ihave great memories, but I remember kind of being a little. You know Antsy,like you know, L T I want to I'm at my career a to take off. I really wantedto be what I hope it would be, and I think I might tell myself you know it'sgoing to be you don't don't worry about a thing, but then again I would saythat made me who I am and it made me competitive and strong and and continueto work super hard to get. You know to get the places I wanted to get to, butmaybe something like that but, as I said, I feel like I've,certainly taken that advice for many years now and I feel very veryfortunate to be doing exactly what I love to do. I love it more today thanthe day I started right well, thank you so much for coming on and being part ofthe hubdle with us, and- and you know it was just an amazing story and I hopeour fans get a lot about all the transitions you made in your life andwhere you are today and how you got there well, Gos and Dave. Thank youvery much a delight gos. I know I never really covered you when you were herein Washington, but certainly I know our Paz have crossed with a lot ofwonderful people that we both know, and so thank you. It's been an honor and,of course, Terry Shiltman. I got to say a big shout out to Terry who I've knownfor a long time and who made all this possible. Thank you really a delight,and I wish you the best. Let's talk against him all right, thanks for.Thank you very much. Its gotor thanks really enjoyed it ay. We want to thankyou for Joying US Today on Huddl up with Guss, where we talked to a widerange of guests about how sports shape to life. As always, I'm joined by mygreat friend and Cohouse Dave Hager, and we want you to be able to follow uson all of our social media at Howdl up with Gus, and we really appreciate youand thank you for your time and listening to our podcast.

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