Welcome to Part V of “The Women of TGS” series. Today’s perspective comes from writer and podcaster Tami Dooley.
“Sports has given me the opportunity to find my people – from when I was 10 until now.“
What teams/sports do you follow?
The only thing I’m hardcore about is Boise State Broncos Football. CFB captured my imagination years ago and hasn’t let go since. However, I also pay attention to the men’s and women’s college basketball, team USA track and soccer, The NFL (#GoHawks, I’m what they call a 12), the NBA, WNBA, and MLB during the playoffs, a healthy smattering of auto racing, and even rodeo if I can catch somebody roping or barrel racing.
How did you become a fan?
I got OBSESSED with sports around 4th grade. That was the year I started playing basketball. Before that, my only athletic achievements had mostly been due to an old ranch horse trotting me around the barrels. However, once I started playing a team sport, I learned how cool they were, and started watching them whenever possible. I watched SO MUCH NBA back in the mid 90’s and became a huge Phoenix Suns fan. Playing basketball fueled my big dreams of attending the University of Idaho, and I worked hard at the sports part through high school. However, turns out, I wasn’t good enough to play for them. So, sitting in my tiny apartment at a junior college that I went to in order to play my other sport, still nursing a grudge over not being at UI with my friends, I flipped on a football game, where Idaho’s rival beat a top 25 team. Been a Bronco ever since.
What is your favorite sports moment?
Winning my state championship for throwing discus was pretty great. Only reason it’s better than getting to witness the destruction of Boomer Sooner in the 07 Fiesta Bowl is because…well I’m not sure. It might not be better than watching Okie lose.
How have sports impacted you and your life?
Sports has given me the opportunity to find my people – from when I was 10 until now. I don’t understand how people exist without being interested in them and I don’t understand how people don’t understand that sports are life and life is political thus sports are political. I got my first inkling that Being Feminist was a thing for me once I learned about Title IX during the college process. Athletes using their platforms has helped inform my thinking in a lot of ways. I would not be the same human being without sports.
Is there a particular athlete who inspires you? Why?
There are so many. Too many to list. I love an underdog. I love people with passion. I remember watching the 1999 World Cup with my basketball team in a dorm living room between games at basketball camp. After Brandi Chastain celebrated, our coaches had a hard time keeping us in shirts for days. I used to watch Sheryl Swoopes and Charles Barkley game tapes I had recorded trying to model my game on them. Swoopes because she was just so smooth, and Sir Charles because he wanted to rebound more than anybody on any floor he ever set foot on. I found those attributes amazing. Ever heard for Charmayne James? Best barrel racer of all time. I had her trading card in my Trapper Keeper. Have we even made it to a Bronco yet? Of course, the Goat, Kellen Moore, but also: Billy Winn, Matt Paradis, Doug Martin, Leighton Vander Esch, Chris Childs, Trish Bader, Jared Rome…
What is your hottest sports take?
The NFL should subsidize its farm league. Pay universities to have football programs, and have to pay them fairly.
If you could say one thing and know the entire sports world would listen, what would it be?
EXPAND THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF AND DON’T LEAVE OUT THE GROUP OF FIVE. A CHAMPIONSHIP WITHOUT ALL THE TEAMS IS NO CHAMPIONSHIP AT ALL.
Tami is from Idaho. She’s a fan of the Boise State Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks, and almost thought about becoming a baseball fan for a minute one time. Her main pastimes include serving the every whim of an elderly poodle, and trying to figure out why websites aren’t working.