The check-in: We did it!!
A big THANK YOU, and a few other reasons to celebrate.
Programming note: Power Plays will be going full charge next week — there are a few pieces I really want to get up before the year ends, and I want to seize the current momentum. Instead, I plan to take off a week in early January, because rest is important! I’ll keep you posted on the exact schedule next week.
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1. THANK YOU!!!!
Friends, I’ve never been as nervous to send out a newsletter as I was on Tuesday. But after I pressed “send,” I felt a sense of peace. I knew that no matter what the response was, I had done the right thing by being transparent with you all.
But rapidly, that peace turned into awe and excitement and overwhelming gratitude. You all stepped up. We reached the year-end goal for paid subscribers. We did it!!! YOU did it.
Because of your generosity, Power Plays will enter 2023 from a position of strength, and, well, POWER. This community is a force of nature.
Every new subscription helps raise the ceiling on what we can accomplish together in the coming months.
If you missed Tuesday’s email, you can click here to read all the ways you can help push Power Plays forward — including multiple options that are completely free.
I’ve extended the Sylvia Fowles Holiday Special — which gives you 34% off an annual subscription, bringing the cost to under $4/month — through the end of the month. This deal is good for annual subscriptions, gift subscriptions, AND donated subscriptions.
Paid subscriptions will give you access to our vibrant Slack community, Book Club, and typically 3-5 paywalled newsletters per month, most of which are nerdy deep dives into the archival wonders of women’s sports. You’ll love it.
2. I have so many donated subscriptions now, and I want to gift one to YOU.
Okay, here’s the fun part: SO MANY PEOPLE DONATED SUBSCRIPTIONS. Like, I have dozens of Power Plays subscriptions that have already been purchased, but haven’t been given out to any readers yet.
If there’s anyone in this world who understands money being tight and not being able to subscribe/donate to all the things you love, it’s me. I want these subscriptions to go to active members of this community who will truly appreciate it.
I *need* to give these away for accounting/statistics/sleep-well-at-night purposes. Like, you’ll be helping me out if you take a free subscription. Truly.
In order to get a free subscription, simply click on this link and enter your email address into the form. That’s it!!! You’ll be added to the paid subscriber list within 48 hours — usually much sooner, but I’m giving myself some leeway because of Christmas.
To repeat what I said above, “Paid subscriptions will give you access to our vibrant Slack community, Book Club, and typically 3-5 paywalled newsletters per month, most of which are nerdy deep dives into the archival wonders of women’s sports. You’ll love it.” I will *not* spam your inbox with content. Nobody needs that.
You’re all incredible, and I’m the luckiest newsletter writer in the world.
Now for a few women’s sports stories that brought me joy this week:
3. Texas wins the national championship, and volleyball continues to be the best.
Last weekend, Texas won the NCAA women’s volleyball national championship by sweeping Louisville in a battle of No. 1 seeds, (25-22, 25-14, 26-24). This is the third title in program history and the first in a decade.
You can watch the highlights below, and I encourage you to do so, because volleyball highlights literally never disappoint:
Oh, do you want to see a good locker-room celebration? I’ve got you covered!
In case you’re wondering, college volleyball continues to be a very hot priority, viewership-wise. The championship game took place in front of a sold-out crowd of 16,953 in Omaha, Nebraska. And the ratings on ESPN were impressive, too:
We absolutely love to see it.
4. The Buffalo women’s basketball coach proposed to her girlfriend during practice.
Speaking of things we LOVE to see? THIS!
During practice on Monday, the University of Buffalo women’s basketball head coach Becky Burke proposed to her girlfriend, Savannah Lesesne. Lesesne said “yes,” and the happy couple was cheered on by the ecstatic Buffalo players, who watched the special moment unfold just feet away.
Here’s a good article about it in The Buffalo News.
For so long, LGBTQ college coaches have been encouraged to keep their private lives private, for fear that it could negatively impact recruiting. So to have a young, first-year coach like Burke make such a public profession of love, in front of the players, and then blast it out onto social media? Yeah, it matters.
Oh, and the day after the proposal, Buffalo beat Bucknell 58-51 to win its third game in a row. What’s that saying? LOVE WINS.
5. Finally, in 2023, let us all strive to celebrate our friends’ accomplishments as enthusiastically as the Arsenal players celebrated Beth Mead’s.
Beth Mead, who plays for Arsenal and the English national team, won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award this week, which is apparently a very big deal in England! She won it for her role leading the Lionesses to victory in the Euros over the summer, and she happens to be the first women’s soccer player to win the prize.
That’s wonderful, of course. Yay! But what really, really got me was this video of her Arsenal teammates watching the ceremony from the bus and celebrating like they just won a championship:
My first thought was, “If my friends aren’t like this when I succeed, I don’t want them.” But then I reframed my thinking in a more productive manner: *I* want to be the one that is celebrating my friends’ wins with such enthusiasm. That looks FUN. So, I’m bringing that energy into the new year. Life is hard. Your wins are my wins. Let’s party.
Anyways, here are a few more tweets for your enjoyment:
Happy holidays, you beautiful people. I’ll see you next week.
When you click on the “donate a subscription” page, it says that the annual subscriptions cost $72, which is full price. BUT you will only be charged $47.52 per subscription, which is the discounted price.
I promise to never say that again, but the opportunity was too good to pass up, stop rolling your eyes.