Stiletto Sports has come under quite the viscous attack in the last week ( and no, not because I haven’t updated since like April! I promise new things are coming soon! Who’s ready for some football recipe and survival guides?!)
I suppose another title for this post could be “Pride and Prejudice,” as the pride for what I have accomplished and what I do is overcoming the prejudices of others…. One quick side rant before the big rant, I’m very annoyed that this is my Welcome Back! piece. I had another one planned for two days from now all about the new line of Stiletto merchandise and fun football stuff coming, and instead….this.
Last week I had a face-to-face run in with someone from Champs World Headquarters who insisted that there is no market for pink jerseys or sports fashion and that girls who like sports or want to learn sports are all about real jerseys and team colors.
At first I was pretty upset and insulted. But then I realized I could hold my own and defend my site, my company, my vision. That there is a market! I mean, look at all our Facebook fans already! And the Stiletto Bowl Champion Tees have become the best selling product in the site’s history!
And by the end of the evening, we were exchanging business cards and talking about the future. She may never be the pink, sparkly, high heeled kinda sports chick but I opened her eyes to my side of the story!
But tonight was a little different. Tonight there was an “attack” that I couldn’t defend myself against. Tonight I became the mockery of another website. I’m sure any successful blogger at some point in their career has been there. But this is a first for me and it fired me up to the point that I had to tell the world.
Because, as upset as I am, tonight actually reminded me why I started Stiletto Sports in the first place.
Sure, I’ve had some backlash in comments and emails but this was the first time I’ve had someone write an article about me, mocking me and insulting my intelligence, or lack there of, as the case may be.
A few months ago (back when I was posting regularly!) I did a series about the Best Dressed Athletes. It was one of the hardest series’ I ‘ve ever worked on since I delved into a lot of sports that I don’t really follow regularly. I had to rely a lot on outside helpers and my BFF: Google.
Apparently in my NHL article I made a glaring mistake. Did you know there are two Niklas Backstoms in the NHL? Niklas of the Minnesota Wild and Nicklas of the Washington Capitals.
I never claimed to be a hockey (or any sport, for that matter) expert. I can count on one hand the number of NHL games I’ve watched on TV. So no, I had no idea there were two. I knew when I did the article (which, by the way, took hours and hours of research since, like I said, I don’t know hockey. At all.) that these two pictures kept coming up for the person even though they looked shockingly different. Hence what I had originally written:
“Niklas seems to have two different sides to his personality. One is a clean shaven, cropped hair gentleman that looks like he is made to wear suits. The other is a shaggy haired kid who rocks casual clothes and is made to break hearts! Either way, his style is impeccable!”
It’s called making a mistake.
Luckily for me, I had the writers from a ladies’ hockey site stop by and find this mistake and let me know about it.
Unfortunately, instead of taking the polite way of leaving me a friendly comment or shooting me an email, they wrote a pretty condescending and insulting article mocking me. And because they hyperlinked to Stiletto Sports, it pinged-back and let me know. Then I found out it spread like wildfire throughout Twitter and quite a few people came to laugh at me.
Here’s my favorite part of their article. Umm, favorite might not be the right expression. It was more the part that made me die inside, want to cry, punch something and question everything I do:
“Yes, indeed according to this, umm shall we say “lovely”, site Niklas Backstrom, Minnesota Wild goalie (and apparently one of the best dressed players in the NHL,) and Nicklas Backstrom, Washington Capitals angelic center are one in the same.”
Apparently in the last year or so that this hockey site has been up and running, these girls have never made a mistake. (But, for the record, the comma after “lovely” should be inside the quotation marks…) Good for them, I make them all the time.
I don’t care that I made a mistake. And I’m glad someone, after 3,000 views, finally pointed it out to me. What I do care about it the fact that the person used it as fodder for their site and pinged back to me so I was aware of it. And made me feel stupid. (For the record: Someone else did let me know back in April, via a nice comment, not long after the article was published but the site has not been updated since then, summer hiatus and all, so I did forget to make those changes!)
And very angry. To the point of saying very, very nasty things about their little WordPress.com blog (note the .com, not a custom designed WordPress site….) ranked, like 8 million in Alexa. At least my site does look lovely, not white, black and boring. Just saying. ( I thought about taking this line out after I calmed down, but this is how upset I was by what was written about me, I resorted to petty meanness back. And I truly apologize if those girls happen to see this because it’s the kind of hateful thing that cuts ya to the core when you are working so hard to build your site.)
Then I calmed a bit. Afterall, this is the exact reason I started Stiletto Sports: To have a safe place to learn. A place where you can ask any question, big or small, in-depth or “stupid.” I won’t mock you. In fact, I’m usually mocking myself! To have a networking community of people that want to help others learn. To do so without fear of my mistakes. Like I said, I know I make them.
So I end this night on a positive, remembering how many people love Stiletto Sports and how it’s evolved in the last year and half. And thinking towards all the amazing visions I have for it in the very near (and even distant) future.
But unfortunately, as a smart woman once said (is that egotistical to say since it was me?): Sticks and bats may break my bones, but mean words will haunt me forever. So thanks Mean Girls for the un-constructive and mocking criticism. I found a way to make it constructive and inspirational anyway.
So I ask all of you…. do you love Stiletto Sports as much as I do? Become a Facebook Fan or leave me some love below and let me know!
…….I found myself poking around on their blog and came across a newer post about Ugly NHL jerseys which made me think, hmmm, maybe we can be friends afterall.
“I don’t want to “glamorize” my hockey gear or be “flirty” at hockey games. Surprisingly some ladies go their entire day without trying to hook themselves a husband. SHOCKING, I know…. NHL please by all means make these sparkle-y, pink or white or black jerseys. Some people like them. Little girls tend to look adorable in them. However I am not only a grown women but a women who is a “jersey addict….”
I don’t dress for a husband or to impress a guy or to come across flirty at a game.
I dress for me. And I am–always have been, always will be–a pink, sparkly kinda girl!
And I’m damn proud of that.
I did, however, interrupt the article by pulling out quotes. There is more that I actually do stand behind: a plea for NHLs in women’s cuts so she doesn’t look like a slob who buys ill-fitting clothing. There is hope for them afterall!
I have to take a minute to thank everyone for their overwhelming love and support in the last few days. It truly blew me away how many fans and friends wrote comments, emails and Facebook letters–reminding me again that this website basically kicks ass! You guys are the reason I do what I do!
Oh, and maybe I should mention that some of those comments came from the readers that the Mean Girls sent to laugh at me. And instead, they are now following me.
Not to mention, Stiletto Sports had it’s biggest traffic day of all time this week! So thanks Mean Girls!
On a quick side, I want to give huge love to Stephanie from Hockey for the Ladies and Blythe from GuysGirl.com. Both authors are truly amazing, inspiring women–and remarkable sports writers. They both battle against the same stereotypes, ridicule and prejudices that I have been up against. And they both do it with class and style. Both pointed out that usually the people attacking us, are other females.
Which is horribly sad. The female sports writing community, while growing leaps and bounds, is still very small. We should all be sticking together and helping each other grow.
I had to share this article that Stephanie wrote after very similar Mean Girls attacked her website in 2009. Yes I do Know Who I Am And I’m Proud Of It Part II.
And in closing….. Jealousy is a sickness. Get Well Soon.