WOW sat down with Shaneika Dabney, creator of “Chicks in the Huddle” to talk NFL Fashion, Football and more!
01.06.2012 / Blog Posts WOW Interview Series
You may recognize Shaneika Dabney from the NFL "Fit For You" campaign or from the Ellen DeGeneres showwhere she was a guest early last year to compete for Super Bowl tickets. Whether the New Orleans native is rocking the latest from the NFL women's apparel line or managing her own website at "Chicks in the Huddle" - a football blog written by female fans - she lives for football! WOW sat down with Shaneika to talk about her expieriences as a woman in sports and how she made it to where she is today.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your company - what has it been like starting your own blog?
I was born and raised in New Orleans and I've had a long-standing love affair with the Saints. My friends eventually got sick of me ranting about the team's ups and downs so I decided to start ‘Chicks in the Huddle’ as a way to connect with other female football fans.
Eventually, the website attracted female fans from around the league who wanted to cover their teams. So my "huddle" expanded to feature writers covering about 10 other NFL teams. Now we have our own little community of female bloggers. Each of us has an intensely passionate view of our team and a love affair with football.
WOW and Chicks in the Huddle are proof to the female fan's rise in football - how have you personally viewed this shift?
I think it's great that the NFL is finally taking notice of the shifting demographics in its fan base. We're not just watching the games to support our husbands and boyfriends. In fact, many of us love the game even more than the men in our lives. We have our own fantasy leagues, tailgate, trash talk - you name it!
You're also a producer with CNN, how do you balance your time?
It's definitely been a challenge but when you love something, you make time for it. It means a lot of sleep deprived weeks during football season but I think it's worth it.
What has been your best experience with Chicks in the Huddle so far?
Wow! It's hard to name just one. I would say taking part in the NFL's "Fit For You" campaign this season was certainly a phenomenal experience. It was so fun being treated like a "real model" and pretty intimidating too.
I also think my website played a big role in helping me get on the Ellen DeGeneres show to compete for Super Bowl tickets. I never imagined that one day I'd be jousting on national TV for a chance to watch the Saints in the Super Bowl. But it happened and I'm proud to say, I kicked butt!
You're featured in the NFL Women's campaign several times this season - what has that experience been like? How was it behind the scenes?
Of course my favorite outfit was the Saints outfit they put together for me. It was so chic and sophisticated. It was extremely hectic behind the scenes of that photo shoot, but I loved every minute of it. The crew was so patient with all of us and went out of their way to make us feel comfortable with what was a very intimidating experience.
I'd say the hardest part of the shoot was having to model Falcons gear. They're the rival team of the Saints so it felt a little sacrilegious. Thankfully, my ‘Who Dat’ nation forgave me!
Watch the 'Behind the Scenes of the NFL's "Fit For You" Photoshoot,' courtesy of Chicks in the Huddle.
For more "Flip Chick Videos," click here.
We know you love football, but what other hobbies do you have?
I love to run. I got into running a few years ago and haven't looked back. I think it's so important for us ladies to take care of ourselves. I've found that running not only helps me stay in shape, but it's a great way to release the stress of the day.
You're known online as "Nola Chick," what's your favorite Saints memory?
Watching the Saints win the Super Bowl was obviously an amazing experience, but I'd say it's right up there with being in the Superdome to witness the team's first home game after Hurricane Katrina. It was such an emotional night and the energy inside that dome was like no other. I'm so thankful to have been a part of that great night in our team's history.
Any advice for our young female professionals in WOW?
Never be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone. Starting this blog has been such a learning experience for me. I had zero business experience when it began, but over the years I've learned about everything from trademarks and advertising to publicity.
While I realize my site has a long way to go, I'm proud that I never got too overwhelmed by the challenges I've faced along the way. I ride out the ups and the downs and even when I hit stumbling blocks, I appreciate the fact that I'm going to come out on the other side with a new skill set.
Here are more photos from the NFL "Fit For You" photoshoot.
Each week, the WOW Interview Series features the women of the Redskins organization, as well as successful women in business. Check back next week to see who WOW will feature next!
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