June 15, 2024

The Women of TGS: Part VI

Welcome back to the Women of TGS! This week we are featuring an interview from reporter and photographer Jacqueline Cordova.

Jacqueline Cordova

“What makes me feel happy and fulfilled from life is the work I get to do in the sports industry…”

Haley Moon | The Tailgate Society

What teams/sports do you follow?
Iowa State Cyclones, Chicago Cubs, Denver Broncos/Minnesota Vikings, Houston Rockets/Thunder and college wrestling. 

How did you become a fan?
I was born in Denver! So I was born a Bronco. That’s the only team I was born into really. After spending an entire season as an intern with the Minnesota Vikings, staying a fan was easy. They’re one of the most amazing organizations I have ever had the privilege of being around. Everybody in a front office role, my bosses and the coaching staff make it easy to root for them, so I am truly on that Vikings train for life now. 

Iowa State is my alma mater, so Cyclone for LIFE. 

When it comes to the Cubs, that is 100 percent because my best friend is a huge fan, so that came by default. But I’ve really grown to love the team, so they’ve made it easy to adopt them as my team as well.

The NBA is the only sport I decided on a whim I wanted to be a fan of just a few years ago. I tried to find a team and started with the Celtics, but then I switched over to the Thunder because of Cyclones Nader and Burton. Once I realized my obsession with Russell Westbrook, my fandom became cemented in him. Which is how I am with the Rockets now, but I still root for the Thunder because I spent a lot of time and money when I first became an NBA fan.

I cover Iowa State Wrestling, which is how college wrestling as a whole comes into play. It’s such a unique and important sport to me that deserves so much more recognition than it gets, so I truly support the entire sport as a whole. 

Tell me about your favorite sports moment.
The Minneapolis Miracle! That has to be the most insane thing I have ever experienced. As interns, we got split up into duties for post-game. Another girl and I were the people who were to stay in the press box post-game while the rest of the team had to rush downstairs about halfway through the fourth quarter. Dasha (the other intern) and I were sitting there, and I will never forget that I looked at her and said, “There is no way they make something happen in these last few seconds unless there’s a miracle.” Of course, the miracle happened, but it was the craziest out of body experience. We’re supposed to stay composed as a press box. You don’t show emotions, but I swear I blacked out. I was suddenly on my feet screaming and hugging Dasha as we watched Stefon Diggs catch the ball for that 61-yard touchdown. I couldn’t believe the Saints missed the tackle, but I am not kidding. I looked over at my bosses and they were all jumping and screaming in their suits. 

Our bosses allowed Dasha and I to drop our duties and go down to the press conference. I got the opportunity to go in the locker room for the first time. It was insanity. 

Tell me about your least favorite sports moment.
I didn’t grow up a die hard sports fan and I definitely didn’t grow up even knowing what college football was to be honest. I became a college football fan when I started college. I will never forget experiencing my first sports heartbreak which was the 2013 Thursday night game against Texas. We lost 31-30! It was devastating. I will never forget how much I screamed at the refs that night. I was so pissed about the loss that I charged back to my dorm, went to bed and skipped out on Thirsty Thursday.

How have sports impacted you and your life?
Sports have impacted my life in literally every way possible. Sports are my life now, which is insane because sports didn’t become important to me until I got to college. What makes me feel happy and fulfilled from life is the work I get to do in the sports industry, whether it’s the features I’ve written about college wrestlers or the photos I have taken of football players. Not to mention some of the most important people to me outside of my family are people who are in my life because of sports. 

Is there a particular athlete who inspires you? Why?
I’m going to cheat when I answer this question, because as someone who works in athletics I feel very inspired by a lot of athletes and I have my favorite players. The people who truly inspire me, though, are the women who work in this industry. Specifically, Nicole Auerbach. She is my biggest inspiration. She works for The Athletic covering college football. She writes amazing features and chases stories in a way I aspire to do in my own way. It doesn’t matter to me what she writes about, because I will read it. She is also just so down to earth and authentic. I once emailed her a novel about how much I look up to her and she responded and even set up a phone call for us to talk!!!!! I couldn’t stop smiling for hours following that call where we just talked about how to navigate job searching, books to read and life advice. She is someone who seems so relatable and she feels so human. That’s weird to say, but that’s not something I feel with a lot of people who are much more successful in this industry than me and I felt that way even before our call. Plus, she’s such a badass. She is out there on Twitter breaking news before any men in this industry and I love that. It makes me feel so empowered seeing women own their place in the male-dominated industry. 

What is your hottest sports take?
College wrestlers are the toughest college athletes.

If you could say one thing and know the entire sports world would listen, what would it be?  
Anyone who chooses not to hire me will regret it! 

Jacqueline is a current Iowa State student studying journalism. After writing one article for Ethos Magazine on athletes, Jacqueline realized her original plans with an English major were wrong. She flipped her whole life upside down and now wants to devote the rest of her life to the sports industry. Jacqueline takes great liking to bar popcorn and Long Islands. Some, if not everyone, would describe Jacqueline as the “mom friend”. You can find Jacqueline either listening to rap music, googling videos of corgi puppies or looking for the next friend to feed cookies and a home-cooked meal.

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Haley Moon 11 Articles
Staff Writer

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.

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