The Philadelphia sports scene is among the most hectic, passionate and wild you can find anywhere in the United States and you can be sure that Keiana Williams (PHSportsGoddess on Twitter) is there with a strong opinion and knowledge of the happenings.
The NJ-born, Delaware-raised Williams (who serves in the Air Force reserve) hosts the Goddess and Hurka podcast with her friend Dave Hurka on BlogTalkRadio and writes for PHLSportsNation.com (Eagles) and TeamToBeat09.com (Phillies) and holds court on Twitter and Facebook with a witty and sharp edge necessary to cover Philly sports.
I caught up with Keiana to talk about her love for sports and how social media has played a huge part in her passion of observing Philadelphia sports in particular.
Q) How old were you when you first got into sports and who or what got you started?
A) I wasn’t much older than 5 years old. My dad raised me on them. As a child, I was watching and learning about Philadelphia sports.
Q) Did you play any sports growing up? What were your favorites?
A) I never played sports, ironically. I was the girl taking drama classes and singing in the chorus. That didn’t stop me from enjoying gym class, and I did very much. I was the kickball champion. I also enjoyed dodgeball. I had my tom-boyish moments. I went to all of the football and basketball games, and NOT to see the guys (haha). I enjoyed the sports for what they were.
Q) It seems that you writing and talking about Philly sports is a natural fit, would you characterize it as a labor of love or just pure fun?
A) It’s both, actually. I’ve always thought of Philadelphia sports as a passion and hobby, and a hobby that I would never detach myself from. I like to write to update and inform people. It’s very fun. I love the roller coaster ride my sports teams take me on, and I love knowing that people care about my opinion.
Q) You’re routinely one of the more interesting people I follow on Twitter, how has social media helped get the legend and brand of the Philly Sports Goddess so far in your opinion?
A) Social media has been huge. I started making sports posts on Facebook here and there, and people really began to understand that I had a knowledge. I was pushed by several to make a Twitter account, and once I did, the followers came quickly. I dabbled in blogging for sports sites as well, and pretty soon the athlete followers and radio host followers came. That inspired me to podcast. People began to know who I was.
Q) You have your own podcast and you contribute to several sports outlets, and you’re co-hosting a radio show tomorrow morning, did you see things taking off this way for you when you started out?
A) I never did. At first I thought it would just be for fun because I could sit and talk about sports for hours. My friend Dave was the perfect knowledgeable co-host. We had a big listening for our debut, so I decided to keep it going. Our listeners grew quickly, and before I knew it we were drawing numbers in the thousands. People began asking for more than 1 show a week. Little did I know, local sports writers and radio hosts were listeners as well. When I got the offer to be on 900 am on Tuesday, I couldn’t believe it. I enjoy the recognition, but I do it for the love of talking about sports. Getting recognized is a bonus.
Q) Twitter and society as a whole can be very judgmental of women who follow sports and are knowledgeable, does it bother you at all that it’s still a chauvinistic attitude towards women or do you just ignore it and keep pushing?
A) There’s always the one man who snaps back with a chauvinistic comment when one of my tweets is retweeted by a lot of people, but I’ve found it’s best to ignore them. They eventually learn. The fact remains, a large chunk of my 2,000+ followers are in fact male. With them and people I know personally, the fact that I am female has become a non-factor. It’s pretty awesome when men at my job come to me asking me for the latest in the sports world. And for the large number of women that don’t follow sports, there are men who don’t as well.
Q) I know asking you to pick a favorite Philly sports team would be like asking to pick your favorite pet, but what team are you probably the most passionate about in this area?
A) I love the Phillies, 76ers, and Flyers, but this is easy for me. The Eagles own my heart, and always have. Philadelphia is a football town, and everyone knows (myself included) that an Eagles celebration would top anything this city has ever seen. The Eagles fanbase is a rare breed in itself. These people get up for practices, scrimmages, training camp, and preseason games better than any other fanbase. I’ve never seen anything like it.
Q) Aside from sports, what are some of your hobbies?
A) This may surprise people, but I own a Playstation 3 and am VERY big into video games. I also like to go biking a few times a week. It’s nice to admire scenery while getting a nice workout. I’ve dabbled in story writing in the past as well. I’m currently writing a mini-series about teenagers in college.
Q) What would you like people to know about you as they follow you on Twitter and Facebook and such?
A) I go out of my way to find the best and legitimate stories in Philadelphia sports, and national sports as well. I may over tweet and over post, but I like to get people the information they want. I like to have fun on social networks as well. I’ve made friends. I tell jokes. I have strong opinions while respecting others. I will not tolerate derogatory or disrespectful people. When times are rough in Philadelphia sports, I’ll be the one lightening the mood with jokes, or keeping the fans off of the ledge.
Q) Lastly, NFL season on deck. Hopeful for the Eagles? Why or why not?
A) Hopeful is an understatement. I’ve witnessed one of the best offseasons in my lifetime as an Eagles fan. I am excited about a defensive line that is going to terrorize many teams. This is an offense people know can be top 5, as they demonstrated the last two seasons. My concerns lie with the offensive line, limiting turnovers, and Vick’s health. If they can overcome those things, the sky is the limit for this very talented and young team. I’m ready to go.