Sports Journalism Institute

Helping women and minorities get into newsrooms since 1993

What can beat ribs and baseball?

We walked into Gates Bar-B-Q and all of a sudden I felt right at home. As the aroma of the sweet barbeque, with the meat falling off the bones, filled the air, I could feel my SJI classmates becoming a family. We laughed and shared our experiences while all stressed about the next sports check.

All of a sudden, I heard classics from Whitney Houston to Luther Vandross being playing on the piano. I walked toward the sound and saw my classmate Christopher Lopez was playing. Turns out, Lopez started learning to play at the age of five. He lit up when he saw the piano and didn’t miss a beat.

“I really enjoy being able to play and have other people be happy or feel whatever from what I play,” he said. “It was a moment that brought joy to everyone in the room.”

Later, we walked into Kauffman Stadium to see the Kansas City Royals and Minnesota Twins face off. We went into the press room and automatically every one froze and took in the view. The stands looked like the sea with so many fans wearing blue supporting the Royals.


It was a warm summer night and the excitement built inside me as we waited for the first pitch. To see a game in person rather than on TV gives me goosebumps. Sports is of course entertainment but it also takes on a role in communities. It allows people from any race or background to come together by supporting their team. And for me to have a chance to partake in the magical experience will never get old.

–Allana J. Barefield