The IX: Hockey Friday with Erica L. Ayala – January 3, 2020

The business of women's sports — Oh my fisheye! — Interview with Doxie McCoy

Happy New Year everyone!

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First, I’d like to take a moment to remember David Stern. I’m sure Howard will have this covered (like here for Forbes), but David Stern was a huge sports business personality and played a major hand in the longest running women’s team sports league in the United States. The WNBA is the golden model for many when it comes to women’s sports leagues. He wasn’t without controversy, but he certainly left us with an example of what it takes to support women’s sports and women in sports.

On that note, 10.7k viewers watched the United States win gold against Canada in the U18 Women’s World Championships. IIHF offered a free stream of the tournament via an odd, Go Pro-style single camera.

The Saucy Rockets Podcast reached out to the IIHF for comment and eventually the tournament improved the video quality. However, 10.7k fans watched the remainder of the tournament and the gold medal game overtime with no commentators. Nobody to help us identify the rising stars of Russia, Finland, Canada, and the United States.

In this way, the new year started just as the old one ended. But never fear, there were some amazing people that found a way to offer coverage of the tournament, despite the lack or resources or respect.

This Week in Women’s Hockey

More on the #U18WWC stream gate here.

Anne Torarski listed some players to watch during the tournament.

Secret was named a sponsor for the PWHPA Dream Gap Tour in Toronto.

Stick taps to photographers Kate Frese & Mike Hetzel on their shots from the Buffalo Believes Outdoor Game.

Latest Founding 4 Pod covers the Buffalo Believes Outdoor Classic.

Goaltending gets Canada a win over the United States at the #U18WWC

Marisa Ingemi with a preview of the Buffalo Believes Outdoor Game. Marisa continues to cover women’s hockey, even when Boston isn’t playing. The Boston Herald is giving ink to #WoHo because of Marisa. Let’s support her work!

A review of “A Team of Their Own: How an International Sisterhood made Olympic History”, the debut book by Seth Berkman.

Stick taps to David Pendrys for bringing this to my attention! A Century Ago, Women Played Ice Hockey.

Tweet of the Week

Five at The IX: Doxie McCoy

Doxie McCoy (#77) was one of the first Black women to play hockey at Boston College. Picture courtesy of Boston College Magazine.

What was it about Boston College at the time seemed like a good fit? How did you end up there?

Well, I’m born and raised in Washington D.C. and (went to) an all-girls Catholic high school. I was exposed to sports, field hockey, there and other sports (too). At the time, a lot of students from Washington D.C. were going to college in Boston. And so it just seemed like the thing to do.

I had a sister a year older than me who was going to Brown University. Because we were very close, naturally I applied to Brown, but I didn’t get in. Along with applying to Brown I also applied to Boston College. I visited BC and it was a great campus. In high school, I began to be interested in Communications … so my interest in communications also drew me to Boston College because one of the things I could do there was major in Communications. So it just seemed like a good place to go to for college.

Boston has a reputation for not necessarily being the most progressive when it comes to race relations. And I’m curious if you were aware of any reputation that Boston had at that time?

You’re right. That is kind of an irony because I know that the end, the time that I was at Boston College was around the time there was school busing. And all over the news that, you know, there were people who were adamantly opposed to busing, and you know, there were even incidents where people threw rocks at the school buses. I know that I must have been aware that before I went. But, I think because the way I was raised, my parents taught me and my sisters just to just to go after what we wanted to do, and not to be turned back by, whether it be racism or any kind of roadblocks that were in our path. Because I went to a predominantly white high school, I think that I did not have any particular fear and going into a place like Boston, which did have a reputation as being not too kind to black folks. And you did hear about places like South Boston, where while I was there, we knew that we should not go there because it was one of those hotbeds of racism.

How much ice hockey experience did you have before being recruited to this very new women’s club team that was that was started by a fellow a fellow student?

I had absolutely no ice hockey (Laughs).

I don’t even remember if I had ever been skating. But I did have the field hockey experience … I think they made me a goaltender (in high school) because I was not really fast. So I was not fast to run up and down the field. I think because my sister was on the team and she was a star, they thought that I could probably be good at it. some position.

When I went to Boston College while playing field hockey, it was the time when they were starting the women’s ice hockey team. And so it came to be that I was recruited while I was playing. I was there in the net and playing field hockey and a gentlemen, Snooks Kelly, who was a legend at BC came up and asked me if I wanted to play. And I said, “Well, I do not know how to skate.” But they said they would teach me. Sure enough, I got my own coach and I learned to skate. I did pretty well at it for someone who did not know how to skate at all.

I think, some of this came out in the article, that there are times when one serves as a pioneer, perhaps without really realizing the impact. What are what are some of the things that you make of your time as one of the first women’s ice hockey players at BC?

It was enlightening and it was heartwarming because I really did not realize that some of the players thought of me the way they did. I knew I was different, because I was African-American on the ice. There were times when, for example, when there was an article that was written in the Boston Globe and I was interviewed … I really didn’t see myself as a pioneer. I mean, again, I knew I was I was different. I knew I was, you know, the only one out there, but I didn’t you know … I was humbled, I guess, by some of the things that were said about me in the article.

One of the coaches, you know, later in an email to me personally talked about how I played a big role in, in the, in the progression of the team. I think the record was 9-7-1. He said that I was the stopper and that he felt like they would not have done as well as they did without me as the goaltender. That really, you know, it almost was brought me to tears as I was reading that article because of some of the things that were said about me.

Do you keep up with the sport at all at any level?

I keep up with it to some degree, especially when you know they were the Capitals were in the playoffs and, and there was, you know, definitely Capital hysteria all across the city.

Every opportunity that I get, I do talk about my hockey playing. I’m a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and I went to the conference in August. During the conference, the National Hockey League sponsored one of the forums for the attendees on diversity in hockey. And I actually spoke up during the comment period and talked about my ice hockey days. I’m proud of it, you know. Every chance I get the opportunity to talk about it, I do. From that, I was invited to a movie screening of the documentary on Wille O’Ree.

I met Bill Douglas and his wife at that forum and she told me about the Black Girl Hockey Club. I have not been able to go to any games or anything with them but I plan to check them out. I sent them the article about the BC women’s hockey.

So, I talk about it and the fact that the Capitals are have been doing good over the last couple of years has given me an opportunity to relive those hockey days.

Mondays: Soccer
By: Annie Peterson, @AnnieMPeterson AP Women’s Soccer
Tuesdays: Tennis
By Stephanie Livaudais, @Livaudais
Wednesdays: Basketball
By: Howard Megdal, @HowardMegdal High Post Hoops
Thursdays: Golf
By Carly Grenfell, @Carlygren
Fridays: Hockey
By: Erica Ayala, @ELindsay08 NWHL Broadcaster

Written by Erica L. Ayala