11.12.2008

Pet Peeve #3: Female Sideline Reporters

As seen on Diary of Fools.

If there’s one thing I dislike about watching football, it’s the female sideline reporters. The only female sideline reporters that don't make me completely denounce feminism are the ladies that actually played sports.

These types of reporters provide as much value to the game as white rappers do to rap and Vanna does to “Wheel of Fortune.” There’s the awkward interview with a coach who won’t be revealing anything important until after the game, "We'll be running a splitback formation on every play in the second half. They will never see it coming!" And there’s the injury update that is already circulating through the press box. Most of these women are articulate and knowledgeable but lets be honest, they’re really only there because of boobies.

Someone forgot to send network executives the memo stating not all boobies increase ratings, just the hot ones. The people deciding who’s attractive are the same people who think Kelly Ripa is sexy. Despite what a drunken Joe Namath may think, something about a Botoxed face under five layers of makeup and airbrushing just doesn’t do it for me.

Sports have altered the way our society views people on television. Regardless of how short a man is, how much hair he has, or how big his beer belly is, he still has the potential of making it on our screens. The same rules seem to apply to the female sideline reporters. Would Andrea “Big Eyes” Kramer and Michele “Man Hands” Tafoya been hired if HDTV was invented back then?

If she’s not eye-candy she should at least be able to ask appropriate questions and have a clear knowledge of the game and the players. It’s not exactly the most difficult job. When a player is injured and starts heading towards the locker room, do they really need to ask Suzy Kolber for feedback when she is just going to say, “He is injured and is heading towards the locker room, back to you in the booth, the nice… warm… booth.” Isn’t Suzy way more talented than that?

Sideline ReporterWhile interviewing Mike Singletary at the 49ers/Seahawk game, Danyelle Sargent mistakenly attributed Bill Walsh as Singletary’s mentor. Then Sargent went on saying that Bill Walsh was one of the first phone calls that Mike made when he got the job. First off, Bill Walsh was not Singletary’s mentor. Second, Bill Walsh is dead. Other questions Sargent meant to ask Mike included: "Are you going to start Joe Montana or Steve Young?" "What’s the significance of the cross necklace thingy that some of the players are wearing?" And finally, "do these jeans make my butt look big?"

Don't get me wrong, bad broadcasting is bad broadcasting. There is a plethora of horrible male sports reporters. Tony Siragusa comes to mind.

At what point did hiring female sports reporters stop being a “breakthrough” and start being an annoyance? The very fact that the female sports reporter only receives about 20-30 seconds of air time and can only be found on the sideline is enough proof that it is merely a token gesture. Is this network executives’ sorry excuse of an attempt at luring female viewers? I don’t see tampon ads being added to the commercial line-up any time soon. Save these reporters from embarrassment.

It's true there are great ladies on the sidelines. I call them cheerleaders. They don't talk or ask questions. They don’t keep score. Their job is to bounce and look pretty.

Ideally, the female sideline reporter would know the difference between a nickel defense and 30-stack. She would look hot in a bikini, listen to ESPN Radio Primetime and be able to hold a conversation with Bill Parcells. Take Suzy Kolber’s brain and put it in Melanie Collins’ body and you have the perfect sideline reporter... In your dreams.