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Networks clearing sidelines
Field reporters can be valuable, but they're being used less

by Mel Bracht Published: July 25, 2008
"You get a guy like (Texas Tech football coach) Mike Leach who can give you some hilarious stuff.”

Fortunately, TV producers no longer hire female reporters just because they're attractive, even if they don't know sports. Lisa Guerrero, who posed for Playboy, brought the role to a new low on "Monday Night Football” with her inane questioning.

Jones said she still has had to overcome the stigma that as a woman she doesn't know much about sports.

"Some may wonder, ‘Are you going to be a chick that spouts out whatever somebody tells her or do you really know what you're talking about.' No one gives me any of my stuff.”

The role can have its humorous moments. Blevins recalled a Purdue telecast in which he had snuck off to the restroom at halftime.

"This producer thought he would pull a fast one on me, and Brent (Musburger) pitched it to me while I'm in the bathroom,” Blevins said. "Gosh, I didn't know what to do. There's all these people around, so I started reporting. ‘From the bench down here, the attitude is really good.' Then I ran out the front door as I was trying to get adjusted. Everybody in that bathroom was just rolling on the floor.”

by Mel Bracht
Copy Editor, Sports Media
Mel Bracht is a copy editor on the presentation desk and also covers sports media. A 1978 graduate of Indiana University, Bracht has been a print journalist for 34 years. He started his career as sports editor of the Rensselaer (Ind.) Republican...
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ESPN sideline reporters Suzy Kolber, second from left, and Michele Tafoya, second from right, are expected to appear only during pregame and postgame coverage this season. Assicuated Press

Rating sideline reporters

The best

1. Michele Tafoya, ABC/ESPN

2. Pam Oliver, Fox

3. Chris Myers, Fox

Honorable mention: Erin Andrews, Bonnie Bernstein, Stacey Dales, Andrea Kremer, Suzy Kolber, Jim Knox, Holly Rowe

The worst

1. Tony Siragusa, Fox

2. Lynn Swann, ABC/ESPN

3. Laura Okmin, Fox

Honorable mention: Jack Arute, Jim Gray, Armen Keteyian


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