One wonders if, before her first interview and despite all her education, training and preparation, she’s reduced to wondering: “Am I pretty enough?”
In the otherwise noble pursuit of logical gender equity, diversity and inclusion, we’d be intentionally ignorant to ignore the obvious:
1) Those now chosen for college football, NFL, college and NBA basketball and MLB sideline reporting gigs are predominantly women. Is that a form of balance or of discrimination?
2) Those women selected are predominantly young women. More discrimination?
3) Those young women chosen are predominantly very attractive. Knowledge of football is fine, but incidental, a matter of kismet rather than requisite. Is that a form of inclusion or exclusion?
As reader Mike Murray indelicately but succinctly nailed it: “Where on TV is the female version of Tony Siragusa?”
Crime detectives and forensic accountants learn early: There’s no such thing as a coincidence.
Again, the obvious can’t be ignored. Are these young, female, attractive sideline reporters hired for their broadcast journalism abilities or because they’re, excuse the expression, “hot babes?”
Are they seen and heard as legitimate contributors to game telecasts, or as token, hollow and defensive props — artificial additives — lest anyone question a network’s gender diversity?
Are these hires on behalf of football-substance reporting or as symbols of sexism and ageism posed as legitimate feminism?
It’s impossible to watch Erin Andrews deliver her sideline reports on Fox without recalling why Fox was so eager to sign her from ESPN.
Andrews, described by ESPN as a serious broadcast journalist, is attractive, so much so that she chose to pose for magazine glamor photo shoots, including one in which she provocatively stood in a locker room among half-dressed male football players.
Andrews’ horrifying 2008 hotel stalking episode — she’d later settle with the Nashville Marriott for $55 million — was soon followed by an accepted invite to appear on ESPN’s Disney sibling ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars,” where she danced sensuously, partially-to-barely clothed.
Curiously, she explained that as part of her “healing process.” But her minimally attired appearances on “DWTS” simply did not correspond with a serious broadcast journalist, especially one recently terrorized by a peeping creep who invaded her privacy.
Bottom line: Sports TV for the most part does women no favors. It does not unshackle them to be welcomed to telecasts of sports played by men.
As women now patrol football sidelines and co-host studio shows as an ostensible matter of gender diversity, it can’t be a coincidence that so many of them are uncommonly attractive, sexy, if you will, to the majority of the audience: men.
Male sports broadcasters, on the other hand, don’t seem to be under such cosmetic, superficial hiring restrictions.
That sports TV has trained us to regard female hires as eye candy is blatantly unfair — discriminatory — to all women, especially those attractive hires who may actually know their stuff — an irrelevant if fortuitous accident.
My guess is that if a network were to hire the female version of Tony Siragusa, she’d be hired for her superior knowledge of the subject matter and her ability to impart it … if she were indulged long enough to be auditioned.
Thus, what TV asks us to believe or at least consider as a matter of altruistic inclusion is, far more times than not, a matter of gender bigotry, a matter of beauty first.
Wishing Joe would Buck the media trends
Fox’s Joe Buck is another who’d read his obituary on the air if it were handed to him.
He has spent his career calling baseball and football, yet speaks as if there’s no difference. Thus, during Thursday’s Eagles-Packers, Buck was happy to parrot a large stat graphic telling us that Philadelphia quarterback Carson Wentz “is 8-13 on the road.”
Yep, he’s the starting pitcher. No matter that, unlike pitcher-to-batter baseball, football calls for 22 men to be in simultaneous action on every play — and is played with a two-pointed ball that makes it bounce funny.
If the defense fails or the ball is fumbled or a thousand other what-ifs, that fully falls on the quarterback’s won-loss record, as if his split-seam curveball was flat.
Thursday, Buck also was eager to throw another stat at us: “The Eagles have not had a 100-yard rusher in their last 31 games.” Wow! That’s terrible!
But that would include most of the 2017 season, when the Eagles went 13-3 and won the Super Bowl!
And, of course, like the rest, Buck was quick to note red-zone possessions — team ranks for successes and failures — as if, a) anyone knows when the red zone, starts, first down through fourth, and, b) they’re all the same under the same circumstances, when not even two are alike.
History in the making! And you are there!
In its recent announcement that they will sell everything and anything allegedly touched or eyed by Pete Alonso — baseballs, batting gloves, jerseys, bats — the Mets headlined this come-on with, “New York Mets and Pete Alonso Reach Historic Game-Used Merchandise Agreement.”
That’s right, pathetic is now “Historic.”
Meantime, the NFL Network is advertising its coverage of Conference USA football as a way to experience “the history and tradition of the league.”
Yesterday, as reader Mike Millet noted, NFLN carried the traditional, historic matchup of Florida Atlantic at Charlotte, playing each other for the fifth time!
KU not ‘always’ accurate
So the NCAA has placed sneaker cash-scandalized Kansas basketball on its hit list. KU’s response is that it has always adhered to the highest ethical standards, which apparently includes Larry Brown’s recruitment of star Danny Manning by hiring his father as an assistant coach.
When did simple down-and-outs and other sideline completions become “back-shoulder catches”? Why no front-shoulder catches?
Let’s see, by Sept. 21 there were two reported episodes of violent attacks on visiting college’s bands, Florida’s at Miami, Iowa’s at Iowa State.
Fox is back to showing 1-yard plunges as insert “highlights” from other NFL games. The plays that got them there are ignored, likely to serve fantasy league gamblers rather than football fans.
The Jets, last Sunday against the Patriots, scored 14 points, all on defensive touchdowns. No matter, those 14 points will be credited to the Jets’ average scoring offense and the Pats’ average scoring defense, then presented, today, for the illumination of TV audiences. It’s all baseball.
Are you starting to get the feeling Yoenis Cespedes won’t be back this season?
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