This week I had the pleasure of interviewing Blythe Brumleve, the Founder and Editor of GuysGirl, a comprehensive sports and entertainment media network where all female fans have a voice. Read on to find out about Blythe’s lifelong love of sports, her first time interviewing an NFL player, and her take on the NFL ratings decline.
Q: As someone who didn’t get into sports until later in life, I’m always curious how other people became interested in sports. How did you become a sports fan?
A: I’ve been a sports fan since I was a little girl. One of my first words ever spoken was “s***” because I was watching Louisville Cardinal basketball games with my dad. He got a stern talking to after I used the word at Memaw’s house.
Q: What is your fondest sports memory?
A: 2003-2004 ALCS between the Redsox and the Yankees are some of the most dramatic games I’ve ever seen that I’m not quite sure I’ll ever see again. But the happiest sports has ever made me is when the Jaguars win. Because our wins come few and far between, I always circle back to our 2010 home games. We had two thrilling come-from-behind victories that included a last second 59-yard field goal against the Colts (s/o to kicker Josh Scobee) and a Hail Mary against the Texans. The Jaguars had 6 wins at home that year so that season always sticks out to me the most.
Q: You currently run GuysGirl, a popular sports and entertainment media network for women that includes articles from various contributors and several podcasts. Can you tell me a little bit about the inspiration for GuysGirl.com and how it’s evolved over time?
A: I started GuysGirl in 2009 as a blogspot blog on Google because I wanted to help other women learn about sports. I felt that as a female fan my voice wasn’t being represented and I wanted other women to join along with me. As the years went on and social media became more of a strategy for me, I learned there were tons of women out there just like me so the focus shifted from teaching to conversations. And what I’ve found is women (and men) enjoy sports differently and every fan has a story. I hope my content and recently launched podcast, The GuysGirl Show can be a voice for their stories by providing smart, insightful and an entertaining perspective.
Q: What has been the biggest challenge you experienced when first founding and growing GuysGirl?
A: The biggest challenge has always been time. Everyone says “I want to start a blog or have my own show” but few actually take that leap. And the few that do, quit soon after. And the biggest reason is because if you want to do something, you have to put in the time and work. For as many shows and articles that I’m a part of, there are countless hours researching and back office work that you don’t see. You can’t always go to that happy hour. You have to turn down social events. You’ve got to wake up early and go to bed late. You have to sacrifice your free time in order to properly invest it into providing value to your audience. So sometimes I feel bad when I can’t make the every family event but I know I’m investing my time into my future and my family will ultimately understand that.
Q: Because of GuysGirl’s success you’ve had some incredible collaborations, what has been the most exciting opportunity that you’ve had because of GuysGirl?
A: When I first started interviewing NFL players, it was a shock to me. I remember the first time I met Maurice Jones Drew and it was when I just started interviewing athletes for a local print magazine in Jacksonville. My photographer and I were standing in the locker room and MJD walked up behind me and started talking to me. I couldn’t believe what was happening and had trouble speaking. Luckily, someone called over to MJD and I had a couple seconds to gather myself. My photographer (s/o to now NFL photographer Logan Bowles) said to me, “Just relax. You’ve got to be able to turn the fan off. I know it’s tough but just breathe.” It took about 30 seconds of deep breathing but I composed myself enough to finish the interview like a professional.
Q: What is your favorite jersey that you have hanging in your closet?
A: Personally, I’m not a jersey person. They’ve always fit a little weird and I enjoy styling my own game day outfits. I do however have a game-worn and signed Fred Taylor jersey hanging in my office. It might be my most prized possession.
Q: What is one storyline in any sport that you are looking forward to this year?
A: NFL Ratings. I think it’s incredibly fascinating all the theories out there that are trying to explain why prime time ratings have dropped double digits versus other sports like the NBA and college football continue to grow. Some blame the election. Some blame politics being brought into sports. Or a big one for me is the lack of player personalities. Sure, X’s and O’s matter but people (fans) connect to players on a deeper level than play on the field. These taunting calls, lack of player celebrations etc... keep us from knowing the fun personalities on the field so all we can do is focus on the mistrust and negative stories from the league office and their commissioner. It will be interesting to see if that seemingly imperturbable ratings bubble of the NFL has finally burst.
Q: If you could have dinner with any athlete living or dead who would you choose and why?
A: Bill Belichick would be incredible from a game planning/strategy perspective but I’ve got to go with Metta World Peace. Not only is he one of the best players in NBA history, he’s incredibly entertaining, open and honest with his interviews. Plus, his speech where he thanked his psychiatrist and plugged his mixtape after the Laker won in 2010 is one of the best ever.