Jessica Redfield Ghawi, Continuing the Legacy of a Sports Journalist

When researching an article about the motivations and struggles of becoming a female sports journalist, no one could give a better perspective than Jessica Redfield Ghawi. Jessica, who died in the Aurora theatre shooting just over a year ago, was determined, personable and committed to the task of breaking into a still male- dominated profession.The Jessica Redfield Ghawi Scholarship Fund, established in her memory, helps aspiring female journalists looking to achieve similar career dreams. However, the road for these women still requires grappling with stereotypes and proving their worth in a male-dominated career.

Jessica, the Best Conversation Starter

All stories start with a conversation. Most conversations are not particularly important. A majority of events in life do not resonate long after they are gone. Sports are much the same way. I have been to hundreds of sporting events in my lifetime. Many are forgotten and others are only brief fragments in my mind. The ones that have survived were created by a compelling story that lives on after the final whistle.

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Colorado Avalanche Milan Hejduk’s 1,000th game, My First as Press

Milan Hejduk described several times his first NHL goal in his first NHL game in 1998.  Joe Sakic and Keith Jones assisted as the Colorado Avalanche lost to the Ottawa Senators 5-3. It was an unremarkable game if not for that goal, but years later, as Sakic delivered his former Stanley Cup Champion line mate his silver stick, it suddenly had significance. Last night, Hejduk joined Sakic as the only players to play over 1,000 games with the Quebec Nordiques/Avalanche. Hejduk is the lone player with the accomplishment while playing only for the Avalanche. Colorado lost an unremarkable 1,000th game to the Dallas Stars 3-2, but it had great significance to me.

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Lance Armstrong: A Tale of Two Cyclists And An American Gangster

January 18, 2013

“This is my body, and I can do whatever I want to it. I can Push it; Study it; Tweak it; Listen to it. Everybody wants to know what I am on. What am I on? I am on my bike busting my ass six hours a day; what are YOU on?” –Lance Armstrong

I started going to a “Lance Armstrong 24 Hour Fitness” in high school and read that quote on the wall every visit. The gym no longer has the Armstrong name; the murals of Lance, the quotes, they’re all gone. I stopped wearing my Livestrong bracelet about six months ago, the first time I was without one since seventh grade. There was a time in my life where I thought I would wear one forever. I know about pelotons, coasting and the yellow jerseys because of Lance Armstrong. Once I believed him when he said he wasn’t cheating. I knew long before last night that he fooled everyone.

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Colorado Buffaloes Made Horrible Misstep in Firing Coach Embree

By Derek Kessinger
Nov. 27th 2012

Mike Bohn survived a rough press conference and emerged victor after successfully firing his third head coach as Athletic Director. The University of Colorado let Jon Embree go after two seasons as the coach of theColorado Buffaloes football program. Bohn’s termination of the Jon Embree era occurred with three years remaining on a five-year contract. The Athletic Director cited that the program’s trajectory is not where they hoped it would be. Now Bohn has to find a new Head Coach…..

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Colorado Buffaloes Press Conference: Drama, High Emotions in Boulder

by Derek Kessinger

In a packed Athletic Building on a rainy day in Boulder, Colorado, now former University of Colorado Football Coach Jon Embree addressed the media, fans and players before turning the microphone over to the administration. It was an emotional roller coaster briefing after the news that Embree would be let go after two yearsraced through Colorado last night. Add Buffalo students and alumni to the equation and it was one of the most charged press conferences in recent memory.

The man who fired him, Athletic Director Mike Bohn, introduced Embree. The coach spent a lot of time talking about the kids in his program. He reiterated that he did things the right way no matter what anyone said. He told his players to never let anyone take anything away from them. He talked about being a mentor to the kids and looking out for them. At the beginning of the conference, the first of several times he choked up, a player in the back of the room yelled, “We love you coach.”

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Jessica Redfield, Aspiring Sports Broadcaster and Friend, Among Victims in Colorado

Her Twitter Bio said it best, “You can find me in the TV studio, NHL arena/ locker room, on a plane, or writing. Southern. Sarcastic. Sass.Class.Crass. Grammar snob.” When I first started talking to Jessica Redfield, she was the new girl from Texas looking for a place in Denver. She tragically left this world while trying to enjoy the Dark Knight Rises in Aurora early this morning. The gunman took away the life of a young woman who had blossomed into everyone’s favorite red head in the Colorado Avalanche community and the Denver media.

My friendship with Jessica was based on talking about sports. She was a big hockey fan and was covering the Avalanche for a blog and later a radio station. The first team she helped covered was the minor-league hockey San Antonio Rampage. She spent her college years in College Station, at Texas A & M, and then moved to Denver to continue her education and pursue her dream in sports journalism.

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Boxing, Horse Racing, Dying Old World Sports

by Derek Kessinger

It’s been almost a week since the prime events for both boxing and horse racing went awry. Both sports were hoping for big comeback victories, but a late scratch and a controversial decision have left the classic sporting events reeling. With the controversy already dying down, both sport’s declining popularity will likely continue, as the new landscape of sports does not have time for either of them.

With the Belmont Stakes being significant in the Triple Crown for the first time since 2008, horse racing was hoping to build on their first three-race champion since 1978. Unfortunately, I’ll Have Another was scratched from the race and will likely never enter a competition again. The hype of the previous three weeks was suddenly lost among suspicion and a feeling of defeat for those hoping to see the pinnacle of the sport achieved one more time.

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