In the world of sports journalism, many women still struggle to be seen as relevant. While there are prominent figures such as Erin Andrews (Fox Sports) and Christine Simpson (Rogers Sports net), others are also trying to make their mark. One such lady is Toronto resident Missy Deyo.
As the founder of the website Sportsbabe of the Day, the ambitious scribe is looking to bring a fun and playful aspect to sports, while trying to peel the onion as to what makes both male and female athletes tick. Some of the athletes that have been featured on Sportsbabe of the Day include women’s ice hockey hero Tessa Bonhomme and softball pitcher Danielle Lawrie.
Conceived at a Detroit Tigers vs. Baltimore Orioles contest, SBOTD was the result of Deyo and friends talking about some of the more attractive people of the game. Since then, SBOTD has become a hot spot for alternative sports banter, while evolving along the way. Starting with a feature on JP Arencibia, the Toronto Blue Jays catcher, Deyo has included interviews with featured athletes. In addition, she has created a forum where fans truly feel a sense of ownership. Not only do fans suggest what kind of athletes should be featured, but there is also a Hot Fan of the Week, a tribute to their own hotness.
What Anna Wintour did for fashion with Vogue Magazine, what Helen Gurley-Brown did for women’s lifestyles with Cosmopolitan, Deyo is looking to have similar influence with SBOTD. Not only has she created a great community for fans to belong to, but she has given female sports fans a place where they can share their love of the game in a respectful forum.
Upon first glance, her model like looks would provide the impression that she would look more comfortable on the runway of a fashion show, or in the pages of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Rather than elicit the reaction of being comfortable on the soccer pitch or the frozen perimeter of the hockey rink, Deyo’s ascent to sports journalism extols all the qualities of determination.
The one aspect that makes Deyo’s story so compelling has been her perseverance and stoic dignity in attempting to overcome chronic kidney ailments. While her struggle with illness has led to multiple surgeries (the most recent being in August 2012), Deyo has a tough as nails mentality that is just as impressive as any linebacker in the National Football League.
Similar to Clara Hughes talking publicly (and bravely) about her battles with depression, Deyo has utilized the same approach to discussing her kidney ailments without fear. A few weeks before her 25th birthday, Deyo found herself hospitalized. When the milestone 25th came, instead of a pity party, she had a memorable party in Toronto.
Her enthusiasm is a great aspect in all the success she has experienced. Deyo is the embodiment of Yogi Berra’s timeless phrase, It Ain’t Over till it’s over. Like Mario Lemieux battling back from Hodgkin’s disease, or Frank Reich’s miraculous comeback at Rich Stadium in the greatest comeback in NFL playoff history, Deyo has the resiliency to come back from illness and write her own jubilant and miraculous victory.