Author Topic: Women in sports media: No longer a second fiddle?  (Read 4738 times)

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Women in sports media: No longer a second fiddle?
« on: November 03, 2013, 12:33:11 PM »

Offline indeedproceed

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So for a long time, women in sports media have been limited to 'low impact' (my term) positions. Sideline reporter tossing up softballs, 'host' who basically plays as a weak moderator, stuff like that.

But in the past few years, that's been changing. The immortal Jackie Mac is probably the standard, but there have always been solid female sports personalities if you knew where to look (Doris Burke, Michele Tafoya come to mind).

But now the scarcity is coming to a close. I was watching Yahoo Sports' Fantasy Football Live (http://fantasysports.yahoo.com/ffl), and they have a young woman, Kay Adams, who comes off every bit the fantasy nerd that fellow commentators Brad Evans and Andrew Behrens. Matthew Berry's got a female analyst too, Stephania Bell who while not on Berry or his co-host Nate Ravitz is still obviously beyond knowledgeable and a valuable part of the commentary. 

I'm sure there are way more talented capable women I'm leaving out (and please mention them), but is this a trend anyone else has noticed?

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Re: Women in sports media: No longer a second fiddle?
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2013, 12:49:22 PM »

Offline Mr October

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So for a long time, women in sports media have been limited to 'low impact' (my term) positions. Sideline reporter tossing up softballs, 'host' who basically plays as a weak moderator, stuff like that.

But in the past few years, that's been changing. The immortal Jackie Mac is probably the standard, but there have always been solid female sports personalities if you knew where to look (Doris Burke, Michele Tafoya come to mind).

But now the scarcity is coming to a close. I was watching Yahoo Sports' Fantasy Football Live (http://fantasysports.yahoo.com/ffl), and they have a young woman, Kay Adams, who comes off every bit the fantasy nerd that fellow commentators Brad Evans and Andrew Behrens. Matthew Berry's got a female analyst too, Stephania Bell who while not on Berry or his co-host Nate Ravitz is still obviously beyond knowledgeable and a valuable part of the commentary. 

I'm sure there are way more talented capable women I'm leaving out (and please mention them), but is this a trend anyone else has noticed?

I find it interesting to note that the nba is the most progressive of the major league sports once again. (I consider Jackie macmullen a nba person first and foremost.) Very cool.

Re: Women in sports media: No longer a second fiddle?
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2013, 12:53:25 PM »

Offline Mr October

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On the other hand, i found Erin Andrews grating during the World Series. And i cant think of any women who cover the nfl or MLB as well as the women who cover the nba.

Perhaps that is mostly due to the fundamental similarities between men's and women's basketball in high school and college.

Re: Women in sports media: No longer a second fiddle?
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2013, 02:10:55 PM »

Offline mgent

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So for a long time, women in sports media have been limited to 'low impact' (my term) positions. Sideline reporter tossing up softballs, 'host' who basically plays as a weak moderator, stuff like that.

But in the past few years, that's been changing. The immortal Jackie Mac is probably the standard, but there have always been solid female sports personalities if you knew where to look (Doris Burke, Michele Tafoya come to mind).

But now the scarcity is coming to a close. I was watching Yahoo Sports' Fantasy Football Live (http://fantasysports.yahoo.com/ffl), and they have a young woman, Kay Adams, who comes off every bit the fantasy nerd that fellow commentators Brad Evans and Andrew Behrens. Matthew Berry's got a female analyst too, Stephania Bell who while not on Berry or his co-host Nate Ravitz is still obviously beyond knowledgeable and a valuable part of the commentary. 

I'm sure there are way more talented capable women I'm leaving out (and please mention them), but is this a trend anyone else has noticed?
I know we live in the Northeast where everyone ignores the magnitude that is Nascar, but the biggest female reporter/personality in sports media is probably this chick:



Nobody loves Nascar more than Nicole Briscoe.  Perfect combination of objective, random-pretty-face reporter/interviewer and sincere die-hard fan/commentator.  ESPN has her palling around with and hosting the Shaq's and Barkley's of Nascar.  And at times it seems like the drivers connect with her more (as she ad libs with them about college football and stuff like that).

She doesn't have the substance of Jackie Mac brings, but as far as holding a "high impact" position she's done well.  Especially considering she worked her way up from a weak role on the Speed Channel.

If you could imagine what the immortal Jackie Mac dreams she could've been at night, that's Nicole Briscoe.
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Re: Women in sports media: No longer a second fiddle?
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2013, 02:43:49 PM »

Offline Lucky17

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If you could imagine what the immortal Jackie Mac dreams she could've been at night, that's Nicole Briscoe.

Pretty sure that Jackie Mac, who's a New York Times bestselling author and been recognized by the Basketball Hall of Fame for contributions to the game, is perfectly fine with how her career has turned out. I'd wager she dreams of Bird hitting that shot over Worthy in Game Four of the 1987 Finals instead.
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Re: Women in sports media: No longer a second fiddle?
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2013, 03:40:51 PM »

Offline TheLegendaryClub

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I think it's great that women are becoming more visible in sports coverage, but the answer to your question is: definitely still second fiddle. Look at the positions that most female nba media personalities are employed in: sideline reporting and brief studio spots that are more focused on delivery than analysis. In other words, these women still aren't being invited to offer analysis and perspective, they're just there to deliver lines (and based on what I've seen for female csnne and celtics.com correspondents, conventional attractiveness and physical appearance seem to be as much of a factor in gaining employment as interviewing skills or actual basketball knowledge).

Jackie Mac is a personal idol of mine, but no matter how much knowledge she has, she (and women like her) still aren't being invited to the halftime table. Until major sports media stations like ESPN, TNT, ABC etc include women on their analytical panels in pregame and halftime shows that focus on actual sports knowledge rather than token appearance, it's not really much of a step forward in my eyes.

(I'm speaking specifically of the NBA--I've never been interested in NASCAR so I can't speak to that.)
« Last Edit: November 03, 2013, 03:47:16 PM by TheLegendaryClub »

Re: Women in sports media: No longer a second fiddle?
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2013, 03:45:48 PM »

Offline mgent

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If you could imagine what the immortal Jackie Mac dreams she could've been at night, that's Nicole Briscoe.

Pretty sure that Jackie Mac, who's a New York Times bestselling author and been recognized by the Basketball Hall of Fame for contributions to the game, is perfectly fine with how her career has turned out. I'd wager she dreams of Bird hitting that shot over Worthy in Game Four of the 1987 Finals instead.
Who said she wasn't?

This is like if Jackie woke up tomorrow and was offered to replace EJ on TNT.  I'm sure many authors wouldn't dream of trading their success in print for success on the TV screen, but you can't deny the fame and publicity that comes with being seen nationally by millions.  Even if writing was all Jackie cared about why wouldn't she jump at a chance to become more known and have more people viewing her stuff?  I definitely didn't downsize Jackie's contributions, it would be an opportunity for her to contribute even further....
Philly:

Anderson Varejao    Tiago Splitter    Matt Bonner
David West    Kenyon Martin    Brad Miller
Andre Iguodala    Josh Childress    Marquis Daniels
Dwyane Wade    Leandro Barbosa
Kirk Hinrich    Toney Douglas   + the legendary Kevin McHale

Re: Women in sports media: No longer a second fiddle?
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2013, 04:00:17 PM »

Offline eja117

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Jackie is awesome. Keep Erin Andrews away from me