Spring has sprung…at last…

Wanted to throw some stuff against the wall, scattershot style. Used to work with the legendary Joe Falls at the Detroit News, who would write about cookies, cats, the DH, and Babe Ruth in one column. I promise not to be that esoteric…Joe could do that, because after all, he was in the Baseball Hall of Fame. (God rest your soul, Uncle Joe…)

Anyways…

– South By Southwest 2015: Our “Does Sports Equal Brain Damage?” panel was a success, and glad to have had the amazing experience. It was an intense thing, as we did a Tweetchat, I did some media work, and then the main event, the panel. Learned a lot about how SXSW works (amazing planning, whoa! Like a 200-ring circus), and was amused by some of the PR/marketing stunting around the main tent. Glad we did it.IMG_0027_2

– I caught some grief for this from the non-kitty people on my trip – and you KNOW who you are – but meeting the completely magical Lil’ Bub was up there as a massive highlight. Bub, as her Dude (her cat dad Mike) says – is pure science and magic. So true. She had a meet and greet at an animal shelter in suburban Austin, and she was one of the sweetest, most content kitties ever. And so tiny! Bub did a lot of good for other animals, and I was happy to meet her and give her a kiss on her tiny, tiny head. Rock on Miss Bub. And much love and thanks to the Dude.Joanne and Bub

– Happy to say Michigan State’s Sports Journalism program is coming out of the incubator and into the real. I am continually humbled and amazed by the enthusiasm, talent, and inventiveness of the students who want to go into sports media. And yes, despite all the doom and gloom, I see a strong future for media – especially in sports. You have to be good, have a thick skin, and be willing to work your ass off to succeed. But isn’t that true of anything? You can’t succeed in neurology, baking cupcakes for a living, or being a writer unless you can hit the fastball with the best of them and commit to being the best. It doesn’t come easy, and that is what I think discourages some. They think it is easy, because it is sports. Well, they are learning the truth in my classes, and I hope, making themselves even more fantastic to kick ass in the real world.

So love to all, big world out there. Let’s all kick ass.

Namaste.

So what’s new?

Other than a new job, a new car, half a book done, and Roger Federer wearing Air Jordans?

• I am happy to finally tell the world that I have joined the amazing faculty at Michigan State University’s School of Journalism, as their “Sports Journalist in Residence”. It’s a lovely opportunity for me to teach and mentor their sports journalism students, help create new opportunities to expand their offerings, and at the same time, continue my work as a sports journalist and book author. I can bring what I do for places such as the New York Times and teamusa.org into the classroom. I think it is a great fit for MSU and myself, and I am excited to grow and learn from the students and faculty in the School of Journalism.

• The book is coming along nicely, and I will be able to share more about it when it is…finished! Nov. 1…I promise.

• I am involved in helping organize a panel for South by Southwest 2015, and I would humbly ask if you could please vote for it.

I am part of a group, along with sports neurologist Dr. Jeff Kutcher andformer NFL player Ben Utecht, that has submitted a panel discussion proposal about sports and concussions for the 2015 SXSW festival.

The name of our panel is: “Does playing sports = brain damage?”

We want raise awareness about the topic, spur intelligent and medically/scientifically-based discussion, and foster greater understanding about a critically important subject.

How can you help? Please vote for us! The more votes/comments we get, the better chance we have at making the very competitive program.

Voting is easy:
1) Go to http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/32127 to see our proposal.
2) To vote, head to the sign in link in the upper right hand corner of the page.
3) Do the quick sign-up to gain voting access, or if you have voted in SXSW panel pickers before, you can use your previous login/password.
4) Look for the search/vote tab, click on it, and please enter “Does playing sports = brain damage” in the search field. (Or you can search by our last names, or panel number 32127 to find us.)
5) You’re now on our voting page!
6) Register your thumbs up vote, and PLEASE leave a comment why you think this is great topic/we’re great, etc. The comments + a vote show interest.

Until next time, I will be the girl furiously typing away in the corner.

Namaste.