Sideline bimbos, strange mascots, and Devin Hester

I’ve always thought I missed my calling. If I had a chance to go back and do it all over again, I would’ve been a sports broadcaster. I love sports. What better way to spend my work days then immersed in sports. All sports. And with intelligent and talented women like Pam Ward and Lesley Visser leading the way, I know I could be sitting behind one of those fancy desks on ESPN.

Or could I? What troubles me most is there are incredibly gifted and serious women in sports broadcasting who are overshadowed by the cosmetically enhanced bimbos placed on the sidelines during games. One would think that in 2010 the need to cater to the over sexed, chauvinistic, male viewer would be…well, overrated. The percentage of women watching sports has increased dramatically over the years and those women deserve a  peer who knows a little something about the game. We don’t want to see her cleavage or wonder what she’ll be wearing on the sidelines, whether a red coat was a good choice with her brown stiletto boots, or how she gets her hair that color. No. We want a woman who knows what she’s talking about.

Case in point, last night’s game in Miami. My beloved Bears played the Dolphins. By the way, they won, 16-0, their first shutout since 2006. But what dumbfounded me, as usual, was a remark made by one of the NFL Network’s female sideline reporters. I’m not sure if it was Michelle Beisner, but the talking chest made a comment that the Dolphins were clearly going to avoid kicking to Devin Hester as she’d been “almost hit by a few footballs while standing on the sidelines, courtesy of Brad Maynard”.

What? First, the obvious. You’re an idiot. Second, Maynard and Hester are on the same team. The Bears. So, if Maynard kicking a few out-of-bounds during practice is a revelation to you that the Dolphins will not be kicking to Hester, well Einstein, it’s time to try out for the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders. My final thought was that Maynard was purposefully kicking them at the blonde bozo. That would’ve been awesome.

Now, I realize there are a few women out there on the sidelines who are familiar with the teams, know the sport, and actually ask a decent question other than “So, coach. What do you think happened?” But it’s moments like last night that give credence to the obvious, which is women broadcasters are never allowed to give play-by-play, let alone color commentary for a male sport. Other than Jane Chastain, a pioneer in women sports broadcasting and considered the first to give a play-by-play broadcast, women are relegated to women’s sporting events.

Which is why I’m not so sure I would’ve earned a spot on ESPN. I don’t have the chest nor Playboy centerfold looks to land a spot on the coveted field, and if I did I sure as hell wouldn’t be tiptoeing around the grass in high heels and cashmere. It’s a game, for crying out loud, not a fashion show.

With that said, there is still hope for women in sports broadcasting if women choose to follow the footprints of true women pioneers, and not the “hey, look at me” ding-dongs the networks choose to flaunt in between the razor and beer commercials.

Now, on to strange mascots. Last night, K-State struggled against a little known basketball team from Presbyterian College. While most Wildcat fans are still reeling from the almost upset, I’m still trying to get my head around the mascot. The Blue Hose. No, no typos. They truly are the Blue Hose.

I know, I know. In text lingo, WTF?

Here’s their branding or spirit mark:

Apparently, a Blue Hose is a fierce Scottish warrior. That’s not what I was thinking. Besides imagining either a tall, thin, blue rubbery hose leading the cheers or a big sock, I also wondered how this altered the commentary from the sports broadcasters…”The Hose have come out really aggressive this first half…No one can stop the penetration of the Hose…” And I noted in the paper this morning, while the reporter mentions the struggles of the Wildcats, there is no mention of the Blue Hose. They are referred  to as simply, Presbyterian College. Hmmm. And they make fun of WuShock.

Lastly, Devin Hester needs one more punt return for a touchdown to become the NFL’s leading scorer in returns. I heart Devin Hester.

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