Hockey’s journalistic hero; A profile

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Posted Wed, Mar 24, 2010

Hockey and journalism are two professions that feed off one another’s talent. One plays, the other reports. Danielle Furlong does both.

Danielle or ‘Dani,’ has a loveable way of expressing herself. Whether through jokes that involve mixing a brown chicken and cow to get “Brown chicken, brown cow” or taking hits on ice leaving her shoulder dislocated, she is a person with ample qualities.

The second sibling of four, Dani was introduced to ice-skating at the age of five. Subsequently, talking to people with ease and having an outgoing personality help solidify her desire to cover the world in front of the camera.

Born in Tampa Bay, Fla. in 1987, Dani was introduced to ice hockey through the help of her father working as an advertisement agent with the Tampa Bay Lightning of the National Hockey League. He got the kids skate time on the ice and naturally, Dani, following her older brother to the rink, took a strong liking immediately.

While waiting in line and following her older brother to the counter at the ice rink, Dani established herself with authority to a female clerk working at the rink. Insulted by the question of if she wanted figure skates or hockey skates proposed by the lady, Dani used a low and intimidating voice and said, ‘No, Hockey skates.’ The woman, shocked, had assumed since Dani was a girl that figure skates were the logical choice. For this tomboy, she was wrong.

With her new love for a sport foreign to the warmth of Florida, Dani pursued ice hockey through her adolescence and into high school. However, high school for her was nowhere near the Gulf of Mexico. She moved north to skate and study at a boarding school in Southborough, Mass.

Standing at 5-foot-3, Dani played for St. Mark’s school in Massachusetts before attending two community colleges, the first in Niagara Falls, N.Y. and the second in Tampa Bay, Fla. Wanting to move west, she heard that Colorado was an excellent place to live so she moved there in the spring of 2009 to finish her Bachelors degree in broadcast journalism.

Joining the Metropolitan State Roadrunners club hockey team for the 2009-2010 season, Dani, the only female skater ever to play for Metro, skates just as fast as her male counterparts, checks with great might, but off the ice is as sophisticated as Erin Andrews, a hero of hers.

Dani idolized ESPN female sports reporter Erin Andrews as a young girl. Her coverage of the Tampa Bay Lightning inspired Dani to one day be on the ice interviewing players and reporting to her audience the game as it unfolded.

“I’ve always wanted to be in front of the camera, sports reporting really, and Erin Andrews was a hero of mine growing up in Tampa,” Dani said.

Following her dream to be a broadcast journalist, Dani took an internship with Kroenke Sports Enterprises for the spring of 2010, putting her in front of the camera for the Colorado Mammoth lacrosse team of the National Lacrosse League. Dani says it was not exactly the position she was hoping for, one with the Colorado Avalanche is her dream, but is great because she gets free tickets to the Avalanche and is still in front of the camera.

After an adventure filled trip to the Olympics in Vancouver in February 2010, this charming and lively 22-year-old saw four games and a bobsledding event which only enhanced her love for all things frozen.

When she graduates from Metro State in May 2010, Dani plans on moving back east to attend Northeastern University in Boston to obtain a masters degree in sports leadership with a concentration in sports media. Although, she says that she’s looking forward to studying at Northeastern, she is looking more forward to playing Division I with that team.

Dani says that Denver and Boston are such great sports towns it won’t matter where she ends up when her school career is over, just as long as it is one of those two cities.

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One Response to “Hockey’s journalistic hero; A profile”

  1. Sarah Clare Zachmeier-Kean Says:

    It would be interesting to follow up this article with where this young woman is now… Danielle Furlong is now Dani Rylan, commissioner of the National Women’s Hockey League.

    Reply

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