Sometimes, you never know where life can take you — and Latasha Miles is a prime example.
While the 2016 football season takes off, Miles works on promoting her 2014 book “When Football Season Turns You Into His Side Chick.” The Burlington, N.C. native and Winston-Salem State University graduate shares personal experiences and knowledge of the game in her book to help other women who aren’t as football-savvy. Despite winning three national awards for journalism and while the sport has become a big part of Miles’ current life, she wasn’t a fan of the game early on.
In an exclusive Barbershop Mentality interview, writer Junious Smith III asked Miles a few questions about her past, along with present and future plans:
JS3: When did you fall in love with football? Was it since birth or did it take time?
LM: I hated football initially. I was a Sunday routine and I was forced to watch it — we would go to Grandma’s house to eat and watch football, and the older cousins dominated the TV. I was a very family-oriented atmosphere, but as I got older I went from looking at football because of the cute guys to developing an understanding for it like “OK, that’s a third-and-6” or “that’s the difference between Cover 2 and Cover 3.” It became a part of my lifestyle and I went from not being able to deal with it to falling in love with it.
JS3: Where did the inspiration come from to start writing about the sport?
LM: It was actually an accident. I used to write more poetry and music, but ended up merging football with writing. I used to see Pam Oliver on television and she made me interested in wanting to take journalism classes at Winston-Salem State. I was a sports editor with the school paper, took pictures and graduated with my mass communications degree with a concentration in sports journalism in 2010.
JS3: How did the idea of the book come into fruition?
LM: I fell into the idea about three-and-a-half, four years ago. I had done sports in Tennessee, Indiana and North Carolina and being on sidelines and fields, I always run into men who were blown away because I actually knew sports. I’ve been asked on numerous occasions to help their wives understand football and other women have asked me to council them, so I became a medium for them. I remember one year, I wrote a status on Facebook about ladies hating this type of the year, but gave a few tips. The status kept getting shared and others people were in my inbox saying I should turn it into a book.
When my grandmother passed in April 2011, I gave up on sports in general. My dream was to make it on ESPN or TNT so she could see me, but I gave up on the dream. In Nov. 2012, on a cold, rainy night, I felt like Grandma’s spirit descended from Heaven and told me to write the book. I couldn’t play around anymore, so I started taking notes and, here we are.
JS3: What’s the plan for the book?
LM: I’m really trying to promote the book more because it’s a very important subject to me. It’s done pretty well locally and I’m trying to get more statewide and national coverage — it’s very relatable and something no one is talking about, so I wanted to represent in an amusing way. I’m not criticizing women, I’m providing assurance and letting them know the game. With the 2016 season starting, I want to push the book more, gain more exposure and network.
JS3: Anything else you’re working on?
LM: Well, I’ve trademarked my brand “SheSPN” and trying to get a show called WFT Too, which stands for Women Talk Football Too. I wanted the shock value in the title, but the concept is that we can hold down football like the fellas. We know things like I-Formation, shotgun and the option, but we can also keep the femininity with fashion topics as well. We would incorporate recipes from some of the teams—for example, if the Panthers played the Patriots we could talk about Eastern and Western North Carolina barbecue, along with the best lobster and clam chowder in the New England area. It would be more like The View meets Sportscenter.
For more information on When Football Season Turns You Into His Side Chick, go to facebook.com/FootballSideChick.