For the final edition of The Women of TGS… it’s my turn! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed bringing you stories from all of the amazing women who help make the Tailgate Society the site we know and love. To explore more content from The Women of TGS, check out our contributors page and subscribe to The Tailgate Society wherever you listen to podcasts. Thanks for reading!
What teams/sports do you follow?
Football is my all-time favorite sport, followed by basketball, then baseball. I also really enjoy watching and playing volleyball and tennis, but I don’t follow them closely. I’m a fan of the Iowa State Cyclones, Dallas Cowboys, Washington Nationals/Chicago Cubs, Cleveland Cavaliers. I actually hate hockey, but I like when the Washington Capitals do well.
How did you become a fan?
Both my parents went to Iowa State, so I was born and raised a Cyclone fan. I went to basically every Cyclone football and men’s basketball game from 1995 – 2015, then I graduated college and couldn’t mooch off my parents’ tickets as much. (Booooo adulthood.) Since we dedicated all of our time to ISU, we didn’t have much energy left over for professional sports, so most of my pro-sport fandom comes from adopting my husband’s favorite teams… except the reigning World Series Champions the Washington Nationals, who I grew to love on my own in 2013 when I spent that summer working in D.C.
Tell me about your favorite sports moment.
I know there have been better games since, but my favorite moment will always be the 2011 Iowa State vs. Oklahoma State game. You know how sometimes the air just feels different and you can sense that something big is happening? That’s what that night felt like. Tying it up late in the game, a missed field goal from OSU, and double overtime against the #2 ranked team? I’ll never forget it. Plus, that field rush, amirite?
Tell me about your least favorite sports moment.
UAB game in 2015. I can’t even talk about it, so I won’t. Also, the Packers knocking the Cowboys out of the playoffs in 2017 ruined a big chunk of that year for me. The Cowboys, as they often do, got down early and came back to tie it up only to lose it on a last-minute 51-yard field goal. As a new fan, I had really fallen in love with the Cowboys, and it sucked realizing that they were just gonna keep breaking my heart like all of my other teams. Sigh.
How have sports impacted you and your life?
I know I’ve asked everyone this question, but now that it’s my turn to answer it I’m just now realizing the weight it actually carries! Sports have impacted my life in so, so many ways. Playing sports growing up, of course, taught me all those typical life lessons about perseverance, personal growth, team work, and dedication. Watching sports my whole life helped me make friends, bond with family, strike up a conversation with the man who I would eventually marry, share joys and losses with a community, and like people always say, it’s just great to be a part of something bigger than yourself. Sports bring people together, and damn if that isn’t something we need right now.
Is there a particular athlete who inspires you? Why?
I’m continuously inspired by athletes who use their platform to make a difference. Kevin Love being open about his mental health struggles, LeBron opening his I Promise school, Megan Rapinoe fighting for equal pay, players encouraging people to register and vote…it’s all inspiring and part of what makes the world of sports so important.
What is your hottest sports take?
Dez caught it. Although, that’s less of a hot take and more of a fact. (For real though, why is it always the Packers?!)
If you could say one thing and know the entire sports world would listen, what would it be?
Women know their shit, too!
Haley is a native of Okoboji, Iowa and a graduate of Iowa State. After two years of living in our nation’s capital, she now lives in West Des Moines with her husband, Ryan, and her
dogs sons, Hilton and Stark. On any given day you’ll find her talking politics and pop culture, binge watching an NBC comedy, or drinking a Captain and Diet. On her best days, she’s doing all three.