Her Saturdays growing up were spent either watching the game in the stands or on TV.
Over a casual dinner in Boulder, Colorado she was trying to be grown up and asked a man at the table, “when you’re not fishing what do you do for a living?”
“I’m the president of Ohio State University,” he replied.
“Must have been hell firing Woody Hayes,” Diane responded.
Startled he then shared the story of being in the box the day Woody Hayes hit a player and immediately ended his coaching career.
Fast forward and a VERY nice guy mentions to her that he feels left out. He’s an American, grew up around football but never played, but doesn’t understand conversations around the water cooler at the office or in social settings. Would she help him?
So in the Fall of 2008 she partnered with a former New England Patriot player and they hosted a few workshops. Then life got in the way … so she stopped.
April of 2011 Diane is flying to Texas to teach networking at the University of Texas Law School when the flight hits VERY rough turbulence. As the plane bounces up and down quite violently she gets talking with a less-than-happy man sitting across the aisle. At one point the jolt was so startling they started holding hands.
She put into practice her conversation skills and asked him why he was flying to Texas. He mentions football. To distract herself and the nervous man she starts talking about Water Cooler Football.
Towards the end of the flight he mentions his name, Gene DeFilippo, and he is the athletic director at Boston College.
Several days later when back in Boston and safely on land, Diane looks him up online and sends an email to his assistant asking for a 5-10 minute phone call. She explains the business idea, he is very polite but says he just doesn’t have any time.
Summer of 2012 she read in the Boston Globe that he was retiring. She sent a postcard and asked if he’d be interested in working together.
…. and that’s how it got started!