Libby Weihsmann is living in a man’s world – and she wouldn’t have it any other way. As a Charlotte-based sideline sports reporter, she is on the field during NFL and college games, in the locker room afterwards and often doing stories at home with some of the most well-known (and hottest) players in the game. It’s hard work, but it’s fun work, and it requires the perfect mix of spunk, style and sass, and she’s got it all — in spades! She also manages to feed her passion for cooking all while planning a wedding. We managed to snag her for a few minutes to get the scoop on how she manages to be a girl’s girl, while also being just one of the guys. Meet our newest FACE of Charlotte!
At 27, you’ve got a great gig! How did you get started?
I knew I wanted to go into sports — I think when I started I thought I wanted to do print, and then I realized I liked being in front of the camera, and I decided broadcast would be fun. My first job right out of college was with the Charlotte Knights. I was the host and emcee for the Knights doing all the contests on the big board. It wasn’t what I wanted long-term, but it was a good opportunity to stay fresh, and obviously interviewing fans and people who have some beers is good practice for staying on your feet. And a few years into that I started freelancing with the Panthers. I just recently started doing freelance for some college games, and I’m looking to cover different teams and different sports. Eventually the goal is to be a network sports reporter.
Have you always been into sports?
I grew up doing gymnastics and transitioned into cheerleading and dance in high school, but after some injuries — three knee surgeries and a shoulder surgery — I was done.
You started with the Carolina Panthers in the summer of 2015 at the start of their historic Super Bowl run. What was that like?
While we were going through it – we went 15 and 1 that season – I got to see what it’s like to be one of the best NFL teams in the league. That season still feels like it was a dream.
What was it like working and being at the Super Bowl?
I remember going to San Jose. We were there two weeks in advance doing live TV shows at the practices at San Jose State. When we were in the moment, we had jobs to do, but when we would get back to the hotel I would have this moment of Wow! I’m fresh out of college and I’m literally working a Super Bowl. It was insane! I would look down the sidelines and see Steph Curry and his wife and Beyoncé and Coldplay, Bruno Mars and Lady Gaga all right there and all performing, and it’s like holy crap! You walk past celebrities, you’re like WOW! I’ve been around a bunch of NFL players and I don’t get starstruck, but with Beyoncé and Lady Gaga, I definitely did!
What is the most fun part of the job for you?
I love storytelling. You see these guys on Sunday in their uniforms and they go play intense football games, and you forget at the end of the day when they go home at night, they’re people too. They endure hardships like any normal person, and when you take away the fame part and remember they’re just a person and you appreciate all that they do, you realize everyone has a story. I love being able to share these stories that show there is so much more to them than just the game they play.
How tough is it being a hot blonde reporter?
Ha! I don’t identify with that. I’m fortunate that I work with a bunch of men who are very respectful. I never feel like they treat me any differently. I feel very respected in my role. I’ve heard the horror stories, but I’ve never dealt with anything like that. I think we’re finally at the point where we’ve accepted that there are going to be women talking about sports. There are still some people who are hesitant to accept that, but I feel like it’s not surprising to turn on your TV and see this [female] halftime or sideline reporter, and we’re even seeing women doing play by play and calling the game in the broadcast.
Not every girl loves football or can talk the talk. What suggestions do you have for finding the fun in football?
I have friends who love entertaining and having people over. Some like football, but they don’t know what’s going on and don’t really care. If you’re not a football fan, throw the party, plan the food and then you can say you had people over and were a part of the action. But I also think when you step back and appreciate what goes into the game, how much these people dedicate their lives and bodies to this game, it makes it more interesting to everyone.
Your Instagram (@justcookingitreal) is filled with photos of drool-worthy, home-cooked meals. Where did you get your passion for cooking?
My mom is the most wonderful self-taught chef — pretty much a gourmet chef. So as a kid I grew up cooking with my mom in the kitchen. I always remember, growing up, many of our neighbors coming over, and we always had a big Christmas dinner at our house, so food was the way my mom showed her love. And I’ve always had that same passion for cooking. Even when the days are stressful, I can come home and cook a good healthy meal, and I’m a big believer in fueling your body with good foods, and being able to do that for myself and my fiancé is important. We meal plan on Sundays and decide through the week what were going to have. Some people think of cooking as stressful, but I see it as an opportunity to try something new. It’s my stress relief.
Speaking of stress, you are in the middle of planning a wedding. How’s that going?
It’s getting there. We’re getting married after football season, on June 9th. My fiancé is a big college football fan, and he always joked he would never be able to get married during the season, and I’m the one who’s actually dictating when we get married now because of work.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
We love that Charlotte has embraced the brewery scene — we both love craft beer. We’re getting married at Triple C. So we’re at a lot of the breweries around the city all the time.
What is your best advice?
Control your controllables. It’s easy to get caught up in this thing called life. I can get worked up pretty easily, and knowing I can only control so many things actually provides me a sense of relief. It’s a reminder to focus on what I can control, and the rest will just work itself out. And if you’re not 15 minutes early, you’re late. Being late drives me crazy! Set an alarm earlier than normal. Set your clocks a few minutes ahead. Just don’t be late!
Aside from faith, family and friends, what are the three things you can’t live without?
My curling iron. I can go anywhere with no makeup on, I actually prefer not to wear makeup, but 99% of the time, I’m not leaving the house unless my hair is done! Also, my morning cup of coffee and a good bottle of Cabernet. Wind up in the morning and “wine” down in the evening!
Thank you to Piper Warlick Photography for the beautiful photos of Libby.
Meet more amazing Charlotte women in our FACES archives. Click HERE!