Phyllis George. Woman pioneer of sports broadcastingLet me first say for the record that I was on-board from the get go when CBS added Phyllis George to the NFL Today show way back in 1975.  In fact, I would consider the former Miss America from Texas to be the first female to really have an impact on sports reporting.  And, I still have wet dreams thinking about Jayne Kennedy.

 

(Little story about Kennedy…….I actually met her in the narrow-winding hallways of the old Boston Garden.  I was so excited to see her walking toward me, I forgot I still had mustard on my mouth from inhaling a hotdog;  so I could only muster a few words when we passed each other.  She smiled, laughed, and I turned red as I mumbled some inane greeting.  True story, but I digress…….) Both beautiful women, and both very sports knowledgeable.  They each added value to the telecast and paved the way for the many more that followed them.

 

Today, with the abundance of sports coverage, female sports reporters have proliferated on TV.  Some are definitely intriguing to watch, others just don’t bring much to the broadcast, while a few must have compromising pictures on the producer because it’s the only way they’re even getting on the air.  I have listed most of these women below in alphabetical order, graded them out, and offer my takes on each of them.  Do you agree or disagree?  You gotta have opinions on at least some of these ladies.  Let me hear from you!

 

 

SCORE CARD

Erin Andrews (A-) - 33, versatile, got her start in Tampa doing Lightning hockey reports between periods, father is longtime investigative reporter for NBC affiliate in Tampa, much better on sidelines than in studio, best all-round interviewer in the business, the “All-American Girl Next Door” looks, draws too much attention to herself    
Jill Arrington (C-) - 39, average at best with CBS, totally lost and forgotten now with Fox Sports, has not distinguished herself, did see her up-close and personal do taped interview with Frank Beamer and complain off camera about how she “hated” doing it   
Michelle Beadle (B) – 39, fairly new on the big scene, co-host of SportsNation on ESPN2 with Colin Cowherd, very bright, high-energy, would like to see her have opportunity to do more 
Bonnie Bernstein (A) – 41, one of my favorites, extremely likable, knowledgeable, great personality, warm smile, offers good insight, does her homework, collegiate gymnast
Jenn Brown (C) – 30, with ESPN just  since 2009, one of the best athletes among female reporters, hasn’t done much yet, seems a little unsure of herself at times, cute but not much else so far
Doris Burke (B-) – 47, Providence College basketball standout, sideline reporter and color analyst for ESPN college basketball, also NBA analyst for ESPN and ABC, first female to call Knicks games on TV and radio, not exactly pleasing to the eyes and at times a bit gruff but one of the most knowledgeable basketball analysts in the business
Linda Cohn (C-) – 52, ESPN anchor since 1992, was first full-time female sports anchor on a national radio network, too much fluff not enough substance, buggy eyes and horse teeth
Colleen Dominguez (C+) – 43, LA-based for ESPN since 2004, remote regional reporter only, strikingly beautiful, somewhat unique style but doesn’t offer  much substance
Jeannine Edwards (C-) – 45, primarily known for horse racing, been with ESPN since 2006, had famous run-in with Ron Franklin which led to his firing when he called her “sweet cakes”, mesmerizing eyes
Lisa Guerrero (C-) – 47, did Monday Night Football and Best Damn Sports Show Period, but now with Inside Edition and CNN News, married to former Twins pitcher Scott Erickson, posed for Playboy, basically just a pretty face
Suzy Kolber (B+) – 47, perky, always smiling, and famous for drunken Joe Namath interview when he wanted to kiss her, studio and sideline NFL reporter, easy-going delivery
Andrea Kremer (C-) – 52, NFL on ESPN, dance major in college, huge eyes that never stop blinking, a little too much make-up, very limited, and sounds a lot like Barbara Walters
 Rachel Nichols (C) – 38, Monday Night Football sideline reporter and SportsCenter field reporter, never blinks, odd voice inflection, appears robotic at times, many have raved about her looks-but I don’t see it
Pam Oliver (C+) – 50, long-time NFL sideline reporter and special feature interviewer for Fox Sports, seems to have earned players respect, a bit of a diva persona, highly-touted but don’t see what all the fuss about her is about, also got her start in Tampa
Holly Rowe (C-) – 52, long-time college football sideline reporter for ESPN, way too much make-up and a bit hard on the eyes, can bump out just about anybody to get a post-game interview, does a very basic sideline interview
Sam Ryan (C+) – 34, previously a New York CBS sports anchor, now with MLB Network, looks like she should be doing shampoo commercials, generally seems unenthused
Ines Sainz (B-) – 34, works for TV Azteca (Mexican), have never seen any of her work, but without question has the best body in the business….and she flaunts it too, drew recent attention following her interview of Mark Sanchez for getting sexually harassed by Jet players in locker room
Lisa Salters (C) – 45, very professional, multi-sport college athlete at Penn State, doesn’t seem to get a lot of air time
Shelley Smith (C-) – 53, LA-based ESPN correspondent since 1992, non-descript, too business-like for me, hasn’t met a cheeseburger or pizza she doesn’t like
Melissa Stark (B+) – 38, former Monday Night Football sideline reporter, now with NFL Network, classy, beautiful, solid  professional, but a bit limited
Hanna Storm (B-) – 49, ESPN anchor, married to NBC golf anchor Dan Hicks, perpetual smile, always laughing, known more for her provocative and sometimes controversial wardrobe than actual substance of reporting, tries too hard to please and be popular, fairly versatile though
Michelle Tafoya (A) – 47, longtime with CBS Sports, now with NBC Sunday Night Football, looks younger now than she did 5-7 years ago, classy style, a real pro
Lesley Visser (B) - 58, the “Dean” of all female TV sports reporters and still doing some work, has literally done it ALL, voted #1 female reporter of all-time, first female NFL analyst,  previously married to Dick Stockton, these days rivals Joan Rivers in plastic surgery spending  
Pam Ward (B-) – 41, in 2000 became the first woman to do play-by-play for college football, very distinctive deep voice, tom-boyish looks, definitely unique

 

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