Boys will be boys.

And what interests boys? Football? Sex? Both?

Going back to the golden broadcast age of Roone Arledge, Chris Schenkel and Keith Jackson, ABC Sports college football cameras were among the first to start featuring cheerleaders and student bodies in search of healthy examples of the female form. Coming as no surprise, seemingly no one argued.

Why not incorporate beauty into football broadcasts to drive ratings? We all know that sex sells.allie

But what happens when pure sex appeal is brought down to the sidelines? Is the network mission to inform or to titillate? The majority of football fans are still male, so why not introduce telegenic women to the broadcast?

The rub comes when less-than-intelligent “reporting,” emanates from the sidelines, causing the viewer to question whether the reporter knows what she is talking about. Is our collective intelligence being insulted because the perception is that all males care more about T&A, than the T-formation?

There are few instances in life that drive serious football fans insane than an ex-beauty queen making inane remarks and asking less-than-intelligent questions of coaches and players. Can’t the networks provide us with more than a pretty face?

Before Launching Your Verbal Grenades

Almost DailyBrett will always plead innocent when it comes to any-and-all allegations of misogyny.

At the same time, your blog author is guilty as charged in terms of being an over-the-top, über football fan.

For the past 26 years and counting, yours truly has been a season ticket holder on the opponent’s 30-yard-line at Autzen Stadium in Eugene. My tenure at Autzen started with Bill Musgrave and company in 1990 right through this season’s one-year stint of Vernon Adams.

The author of Almost DailyBrett also served as a football manager for the Oregon Ducks and the USC Trojans, and therefore knows what goes on in the huddle, in the locker room and on the sidelines. The “Sam” backer is lined up over the tight end on the strong side. The “Mike” patrols the middle. The “Will” plays the weak side.

Wonder how many former beauty-queen sideline reporters understand the placement of “backers” on the field, let alone the other intricacies of the complex game of football? If they do not, then why are they there?

This question is not to insinuate that women shouldn’t be on the sidelines … they should … but to contend they must know what they are talking about before they are given a sideline pass. Does Miss Teen USA 2005 and Trump Modeling Management model, Allie LaForce, really know football? The 26-year-old played basketball at Ohio University and majored in broadcast journalism, but did not graduate.

Why is she covering football? She knew how to instinctively flip her strands of blonde hair while interviewing Nick Saban at halftime during the SEC championship game, while asking canned questions. Hey CBS Sportss, is that all it takes for Allie to earn a ticket into the living rooms of literally millions of fans across the country?

Less Ornamentation; More Knowledge Please

Let’s compare Mizz LaForce to Doris Burke, who covers NBA basketball for ABC. When she interviews LeBron James or Dwayne Wade, she asks probing, intelligent questions. Burke, 40, started playing basketball in the second grade and starred with the Providence Friars, and is second all-time in dishing out assists. She was inducted into the Providence College Hall of Fame. Doris received her bachelor’s in Health Service Education/Social Work and her master’s in Education from the same university.dorisburke

Doris is attractive, but not a former model. More importantly she is accomplished on-and-off the court, and she obviously knows her zone and man-to-man defenses. She played the game. She holds two degrees. Almost DailyBrett has far more respect for Doris than Allie.

The same is true for ESPN’s Lisa Salters, 49, a Penn State graduate in Broadcast Journalism. She played guard for the Penn State women’s basketball team, and is the shortest ever player for the Nittany Lions at 5’2.” She covers football and basketball, and once again she can distinguish between her Xs and her Os.

Washington Wizards v/s Cleveland Cavaliers November 18, 2009 at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.

Washington Wizards v/s Cleveland Cavaliers November 18, 2009 at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.

Michele Tafoya, 50, has seemingly reached the pinnacle of her trade, serving as the sideline reporter for NBC’s Sunday Night Football since 2011. She received her bachelor’s degree in mass communications from University of California, Berkeley, and her MBA from the University of Southern California (May the Horse be with you, Michele).

She joined CBS in 1994, covering March Madness and U.S. Open tennis. Michele moved on to ABC/ESPN in 2000 as a sideline reporter for ESPN’s Monday Night Football.

Does Michele Tafoya understand basketball, football, tennis and conceivably other sports? Yes. Was she chosen strictly for her ornamental value? No. The same is true for Doris Burke and Lisa Salters.tafoya

Can we say the same for Allie LaForce?

The purpose here is not to beat up on Allie and other beautiful sideline reporters. They should not be penalized for their appearance. At the same time, they should not be awarded prime sideline real estate just for being a pretty face. They should know the game and they should be smart and accomplished, otherwise the networks are insulting our collective intelligence.

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/12/06/business/roone-arledge-71-a-force-in-tv-sports-and-news-dies.html?pagewanted=all

http://www.si.com/more-sports/2015/12/06/media-circus-michelle-tafoya-sunday-night-football-lorne-rubenstein

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allie_LaForce

http://nypost.com/2015/03/16/meet-allie-laforce-a-former-miss-teen-usa-whos-ruling-the-march-madness-court/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michele_Tafoya

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lisa_Salters

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doris_Burke

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/misogyny

 

 

 

 

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