I’m Back (and Ready to Talk Football!)

Comebacks are as much a part of sports as they are a part of life.

Five years ago, I was in a professional groove hosting “Black and Gold Today” and “Talkin’ Tigers” on NOLA.com – New Orleans Saints & LSU video series with unique content for sports fans like myself.

It was a dream job connecting others to a passion I first developed when I was a young girl.  In fact when I was 12 years old, I began writing postgame Saints commentary in a spiral notebook, reflecting on what they did right and wrong on the field from week to week.  I never wavered once when people asked what I wanted to study in college – sports journalism.

I need sports in my life.  I believe we all do to some extent, whether to cheer the team we love to victory or bond through the joy of competition.   - Just look at how the Saints were a strengthening force for New Orleanians after Hurricane Katrina.  I attended the famous Saints-Falcons game when the Superdome reopened (pictured, circa 2006), and my father and I marveled at the relationship that only the Saints have with their city’s people.I need sports in my life.

I believe we all do to some extent, whether to cheer the team we love to victory or bond through the joy of competition.

Just look at how the Saints were a strengthening force for New Orleanians after Hurricane Katrina.  I attended the famous Saints-Falcons game when the Superdome reopened (pictured, circa 2006), and my father and I marveled at the relationship that only the Saints have with their city’s people.

So after three years building an audience around my NOLA.com videos, I learned I was one of many who would be laid off from the company in September 2015.  My confidence was shattered.  But that’s the turbulent state of journalism.

Dabo+Swinney+Rachel+JonesWhile I knew the decision was in no way personal, I sort of ran away from my passion instead of confronting the challenge.  My career involvement in sports since then has been volunteer-hosting the American Heart Association’s Facebook Live broadcast at the Paul “Bear” Bryant Coach of the Year Awards, an incredible annual event in Houston combining sports and philanthropy where I’ve been honored to bring my expertise.

RachelAdamMarried1434So what else has changed since 2015?

  • Obviously I have a different last name.  I married my husband Adam in a classic New Orleans wedding June 2, 2018, and we live in Lake Charles but visit New Orleans often, especially during football season and Mardi Gras (he actually proposed to me on St. Charles Avenue).

  • I’m also pursuing a master’s degree from the University of Florida.

  • Finally, I have battled epilepsy for 16 years since 2004, and I’m pleased to report that for the first time in nearly a decade, I am seizure-free for more than a year.

Now I’m excited to share my comeback story!  On my blog called Seize the Day, you’ll find my take on the Saints and life as a Catholic wife finding her purpose, and I can’t wait to share my 2021 Saints offseason project, the Black & Gold Rush Podcast with you.

I’m back!