...Why the networks keep foisting inane sideline reporters on us.
I think this topic was actually suggested to me by a friend some time ago, but I'm not sure I fully appreciated it until recently. Don't get me wrong, I've been feed up with these "reporters" and their tired act for years, but not until the tournament started did I fully understand how very little I needed them. I realized in watching way too many hours of basketball last weekend that I never saw a sideline reporter. With so many games and so much stuff happening at once I'm guessing they decided they neither had the time nor the manpower to force feed us such drivel. And what drivel it is. I think I recall a time back when I was a wee lad that Lynn Swann(damn Steelers!) used to appear on my TV screen and let me know if someone was injured, and possibly even to what degree. You know, actual information that I could use. But those days are long since gone.
Now, sideline reporters come in two basic forms. The female reporter who's coming at you with prepared pieces about so-and-so who used to play Frisbee golf with his dead uncle and how those memories spur him to be the exceptional athlete you see today (i.e. Suzy Kolber or Pam Oliver[see above]). Or you get the ex-jock who just makes failed attempts at being funny (i.e. Tony Siragusa...yeah, that guy). The former(which is a large majority of the sideline reporter population), when they're not giving me useless personal interest stories, are usually trying to prove they belong be either adding their own commentary or just generally acting egotistical about their role in the entire affair (see Pam Oliver especially). There's also evidence to suggest that the ladies deepen their voice when they get on the sideline. Now is where I tell you something that will probably get me pegged as a sexist, but I think you need to hear it. You see, guys (about 85% of the sports watching audience) don't want to hear commentary about sports from the ladies. I'm sorry. We're not that enlightened (We are the type of guys who really like sports, after all). The moment we hear it, we either pay attention for points of comedy or just stop listening altogether. The result of all this is that we basically have no use for the female sideline reporter unless they happen to be attractive. Yes, it's primitive and crude and barbaric but, I am talking about men after all.
This in no way means that I have any tolerance for the second example as well. Maybe less. They should know better. But all these ex-jocks are so used to people telling them how great they are, I think they fail to realize how great they are not. I have been known to inadvertently change the channel at the mere sound of Tony Siragusa's voice. I actually think at the Superbowl they had three sideline reporters on duty. And by duty I mean...well I don't know. At one point, and my memory is real spotty here, someone who should have been on the field wasn't. I wondered if that someone was injured. I'm pretty sure had you been in close proximity while I viewed said bowl, you might have heard me yell at the screen that if only there were some sideline reporters to go report on such sideline activity. But no. They were too busy trying to decide if Tom Brady's romantic life was having a negative impact on his play. Maybe it was, but no one who cares about the game, any game, wants time wasted on these pompous, preening sideline starlets. So enjoy these games without them, because I'm pretty sure your respite will be short.
And finally, no talk of sideline reporting could be complete without mentioning that great day when Suzy Kolber ran into the very drunk and very frisky hall of famer, Joe Namath. Strug-gle-ling...