Archive for the ‘ Sportscasters ’ Category

From the Sidelines

Erin Andrews will replace Pam Oliver as Fox Sports number one NFL sideline reporter starting this season. Andrews was covering the MLB All-Star Game and talking to Cardinals and National League starting pitcher Adam Wainwright. He was backtracking on his comments about grooving Derek Jeter pitches to hit. He is not a fan of social media and said so at the end of the interview.

The Dennis and Callahan show, weekday morning hosts of Boston’s sports radio station WEEI went off on Andrews calling her names, and the host had to apologize later on the same day. Sideline reporters have always been criticized because their job has been called useless. The reason is the NFL has placed limits on what they can or can’t report on. The NFL Broadcast Fact Book has explicit rules for what they are allowed to do and that prevents them for doing their job.

These limitations on the field and plus the networks habit of hiring young ladies to covering the NFL really hurts the overall coverage of the game. It is denying these women having a true voice covering the game. The paradox of being an sideline reporter is how many women breaking into sportscasting. Suzy Kolber and Andrea Kremer who were sideline reporters are doing their best work in studio and in depth interviews. I hope in the future that sideline reporters are able to do that without the NFL hindering their work.

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She is in the Booth

With the NFL season starting in two days there is one question that is bothering me, and it is has nothing to do with anything on the field.   There are so many talented female broadcasters, but few have been in the booth for an NFL broadcast either on radio or tv.    There have been two in the booth for a game.   Gayle Sierens called a Kansas City Chiefs vs Seattle Seahawks in December of 1987 for NBC, and Lesley Visser was color analyst for a game on Westwood One/ CBS radio in 2001.   The standards for a female sportscaster is more difficult than a man.   The incidents such as Erin Andrews’s peephole video and being stereotyped as dumb eye candy, plus not taking seriously as sports experts.    It is about time  for a woman to be a regular part of an NFL broadcast team in the booth instead being on the sidelines.

Versatility

I have been concentrating on being a sportscaster because I wanted to do this since I was seven years old.   Some of my favorite sportscasters have been versatile doing other things.   Some like Al Michaels have called major events like the World Series, Super Bowls, The Stanley Cup Finals, and the NBA Finals.  Other like Bob Costas have excelled outside the sportscasting field.  Costas has hosted a late night talk show on NBC called Later, and a radio show called Costas on the Radio.   His guests included legendary athletes, coaches, and broadcasters, plus musicians, actors, comedians, and authors.   Hannah Storm before hosting ESPN Sportscenter was the co host on CBS This Morning and did interviews, lifestyle segments, and cooking as well.    Howard Cosell did a radio show called Speaking on Everything where he talked about many subjects and interviewed authors and playwrights.    This versatility has helped them become better interviewers, and more well-rounded in their preparation.   Maybe I need to do something else to prove that I am well-rounded.    I know I can do that, and not give up being a sportscaster.

Munich

When the NFL open this sunday afternoon it will be on the 10th anniversary of the Terrorists attacks on the United States.     During the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany 11 Israeli athletes were murdered by Arab terrorists.   Both of these tragedies put sports in its proper perspective.    When the athletes were kidnapped by the terrorists ABC broke away from their regular scheduled Olympic coverage to update on the hostage situation.   Jim McKay, who will win two Emmys one for sports reporting and one for news reporting for covering this story, and after finding out the other nine hostages were killed in an unsuccessful rescue attempt simply said “They’re All Gone”    This story was done before the 24/7 news cycle. cable television, and the internet.    McKay conducted himself like a true journalist and even got a letter of praise from Walter Cronkite.  It would be hard to go from one minute hosting the Olympics and then covering a hostage crisis.   Coverage of games and off the field issues are hard enough, and it takes someone extradordinary to cover some like that.

Lady in the Booth

In the past I have blogged about women not getting chances to do play by-play of pro or college football.   According to an ESPN.com article there has been a big increase of women covering football either in the print or electronic media, but not in calling games from the broadcast booth.  They have been a few doing NFL and college football on a national level. In 1987, Gayle Sierens was the first and only woman to do play by-play of a NFL game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Diego Chargers. Lesley Visser, who is the only woman in the Pro Football Hall of Fame did color analyst for a Miami Dolphins vs New Orleans Saints pre season game in 2009.  Pam Ward and Beth Mowins have done play by-play for college games.  In that same article it reports that 44% of the NFL fans are female, and revenue from female apparel is 21 times higher than it was then 10 years. It is not due to hiring practices, but women don’t want to do play by-play they would rather do sideline reporting or anchoring.   Doing play by-play take the proper training, and  College football programs conferences, the NFL and the networks that show games have to work with broadcasting schools to show female athletes as well as broadcast students all aspects of the media dealing with football.   If the country can handle a women running a Fortune 500 company, it can handle a women discussing a football game.

Respect

I came across an article on the Women Talk Sports Network, it was written by Megan Hueter. The title was “Women and Sportscasting: Internet Objectification and Regulation.” In reading this article it bothered me that Deadspin, who has continually degraded female athletes and broadcasters, is worth over $16 million dollars. There are other blogs and lists that mentions their hotness and the television networks are encouraging this behavior by hiring women who may not know anything about a sport. Other blogs such are posting violent and misogynistic commentary that would shock anyone.

Will Leitch, who is the founder of Deadspin, is an embarrassment to bloggers. His content is in contrast of other blogs who are insightful and provide quality information, such as Pro Football Talk done by Mike Florio. Ranking and judging female sportscasters for their looks, plus treating them like sex objects is an embarrassment to likes of Andrea Kremer, and Hannah Storm who have earned credibility and respect for their work.

The first blog I ever did was about Erin Andrews and what she had to endure after a video voyeur filmed her in the nude and Michael David Barrett  is in federal prison. It stinks that some blogs still objectify female sportscasters instead of talking about their work.

Equal Access

Tara Sullivan, columnist for the Bergen N.J. Record, recently tweeted that Augusta National Country Club would not let her talk to Rory Mcilroy. This occurred after the final round of the Masters in the players locker room. However, she tweeted later on that it was a misunderstanding by the tournament security. This incident will be fuel for letting women be members of Augusta National. This reopens the old issue of letting women in the locker room. Augusta National issued an apology for this incident, and after years of being backwards on gender issues this could cause major changes on how they interact with women in the future.