The Original Instagram: Sports Snapshots Flowing Through My Mind


Family outing to Heinz Field

Some of my greatest memories are sitting in a foldout seat of plastic and metal with a number engraved, gazing out onto a field of green. When given a chance to remember and embrace the nostalgia, the collection of cherished snapshots flows through my mind (the original Instagram).

Fourth down, a minute to play, playoffs on the line. The chance to finish the all-elusive “perfect game.” The last penalty shot.

Reflecting on watching the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field with my family as part of our holiday vacation. A loss against the Bengals felt like a devastating blow; it’s not logical or rational why we care so much as fans. Monday mornings are always a little bit happier with a win or shadowed by a loss.

My fiancé is a Jets fan but supportive of my love for the Steel Curtain. In fact, an upcoming Jets vs. Steelers game was the driving force behind our decision to host our wedding in Steel Country. Yes, this is true. It’s going to be great no matter who wins the game. (That’s a lie. Really hoping for a “W” for the black and gold!)

Beyond my everyday fan support, my life has been made the better through sports. Notably because of the experience of taking a once-in-a-lifetime tour of U.S. stadiums and arenas with my mentor/aunt/friend Erica in 2008. I was going through a particularly rough breakup (aren’t they all?) and in desperate need of a change. Erica had just published GameFace: The Kick-Ass Guide for Women Who Love Pro Sports and wanted to explore a new book signing/meet-the fans concept. Instead of the standard signings at bookstores, we would venture to local bars, restaurants and sports stadiums to do giveaways and signings.

Our tour brought us the highs and lows that only sports can provide. Erica and I (along with 60,000 fans) witnessed the season-ending injury of Tom Brady. We shouted and jumped up and down along with the rest of the Chicago Cubs fans when they clinched the NL Central Championship. And we experienced the wind-defying Candlestick Park (me for the first time) with an amazing hot dog in-hand.

Our journey brought us from the east coast and back via planes, trains and automobiles (and even a couple of boats). The heartbroken young woman who set off that fall day for the sports book tour came back forever changed. I love being a fan. I love sports.

Martina Campbell is an executive at a digital agency by day, entrepreneur by night and all-around sports enthusiast all day, any day. She is also a contributor to The Relish. Born in California (and a west coast girl at heart), Martina has spent the last decade on the East Coast and the UK, teaching her UK friends the rules of American football. Martina spends her free time focusing on new pursuits to become a true transcendentalist while always falling back on her favorite pastimes such as running (and watching the Boston/NYC marathons), CrossFit (and following the elite athletes), adventure trips (river rafting, skydiving, hiking, etc) to relieve stress and remember not to take life too seriously.

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