To call Marilee Gallagher ambitious is an understatement. A budding sportswriter and feature columnist for the fourth highest read sports blog in the country since October 2011, the Bleacher Report, Gallagher has made it her mission to break the stereotype of women in the field.
Curly-haired and wide-eyed, 21-year-old Gallagher does not look like a die-hard sports fanatic. At first glance she is soft-spoken and polite, but once she gets started on her favorite team, the Phillies, the animated Philadelphian in her comes out. Born and raised outside of Philadelphia, Gallagher’s venture into sports writing happened almost accidentally, and it wasn’t until one day while watching a baseball game with her brother that she realized she had a passion for it. “I connected with baseball and the more games I watched, the more it helped make the game make sense,” said Gallagher. “I followed what my brother told me to do: to watch and figure it out for myself—and I did.”
Now in her final year at Chestnut Hill College, Gallagher has her eyes set on making her name stand out in a field typically dominated by men; a challenge she is willing to face head on. “There shouldn’t be a gender box in sports writing,” she said. “Women have to work harder than men in this field because by nature men are supposed to know more about sports and I have to prove that I am just as educated yet more equipped to handle it.”
Gallagher hopes to solidify her place as a sportswriter by one day writing for a national publication like The Philadelphia Inquirer, and eventually working her way up to anchoring for ESPN. She currently serves as the sports editor on her college paper, The Griffin, and just scored a highly coveted position writing for Rant Sports, another online sports blog; an accomplishment Gallagher calls rewarding. “I didn’t start writing for the sake of recognition but because I loved to,” she said. “Embarking on my new career in a big city is exciting and I am ready to take that leap—sink or swim.”