Home > Alex Flanagan, Comcast, gender issues, interviews, Kurt Warner, sports, Sports Night, Super Bowl, television > Coddling Mommies in Sportscasting (with bonus rant)

Coddling Mommies in Sportscasting (with bonus rant)

Back in the annals of the 1990s, there was a show called Sports Night. You may remember it, you may not. It was probably the best show on television at the time, and it featured a lot of acting-folk that went on to star in other shows, among them Desperate Housewives and The West Wing (and, um… Half-life 2).

The Aaron Sorkin-penned show was probably the first in what became the somewhat-unfortunately dubbed “dramedy” genre — that is, it was a drama, it was a comedy, and it was often both in the same line. The show was brilliantly funny, due to the great dialogue and the snappy delivery of the cast, but it also tackled some interesting plot and story territory. One story, in particular, was a short arc in which one of the female leads, Natalie (played by Sabrina Lloyd), is assigned to a post-game locker room interview, in which she was sexually assaulted. Not only was this episode huge from a story standpoint, it addressed the issue of females in sports reporting. Did they belong there? Should women be mixing it up in a man’s world?

Of course, we’ve come to the point where women are all over the place in sports coverage, from NASCAR pit reporting to NFL halftime coverage to Sportcenter analysis. They’re everywhere, and most of them are hot. In researching this post I found dozens, if not hundreds, of sites dedicated to the hottest of the hot female sportscasters. Just for contrast, the first hit on Google for “sexy male sportscaster” is, in fact, a blog link to the Top 10 Hottest Female Sportscasters. (I refuse to link to it. If you want to Google it yourself, be my guest.)

But you know what? I don’t really care how hot my female sportscasters are. I just want them to do their damn job without being overtly female (in a sexual or non-sexual way), just as I don’t want to see the men slapping each other on the back and downing beers and all that macho shit that The Guys do. But the most irritating and annoying offender — aside from the women that do coverage for NASCAR, with their low-cut “fire suits” — is the placating matron stance that some of them take in post-game interviews, especially for the losers.

Take, for example, last night’s post game wraps. In the Cardinals’ locker room — or maybe outside it, I couldn’t tell — NFL Network’s Alex Flanagan (I think) interviewed both coach Whisenhunt and quarterback Kurt Warner. The problem I had was the poor-baby, we still love you, it’s okay you lost tone she took with both of them. “Better luck next year,” her inflection was saying. Now, I realize that when you’re a 130-pound woman who’s dealing with 200-plus-pound, six-foot-tall men who just had their dreams for an entire season crushed by a miracle play, you’re going to be a little cautious. But these are grown men. Losing is part of the game. Ask your questions and get the hell out. Don’t try to coddle and coax them. Don’t be a mom. Be a journalist. You’re doing your whole gender a disservice by acting so stereotypically that you make some random dork on the internet complain about how he couldn’t even listen to your actual words because you coated them in so much saccharine that it was impossible not to notice.

I can’t seem to find a link for the interviews, either, either because no one cared about what they had to say, or because they were so damn annoying that the NFL didn’t want them to get out. I choose the latter.

Bonus Rant Section
For those of us in the Comcast-available area, we’re blessed with the unending ads for getting cable before the digital switch. But what really annoys me is their claim that you can get cable and whether the switch “without having to buy a new television.” You know what, Comcast? I can do that, too, I can BUY A CONVERTER BOX. The converters I’ve seen are $50-$60. With the government rebate coupon, that’s $20 or less. Drop in the bucket compared to cable or a new TV, and it works until my old TV dies.

Thanks for doing your part to intentionally mislead people. And the industry wonders why it’s taking people so long to adopt digital. Maybe it’s because of fucksticks like Comcast lying to make a buck off of people. Sure, gullible people should be harvested of their cash regularly, but there’s some people out there that are genuinely confused about how to go about the switch, and you’re not helping.

Of course, I anticipated this whole thing, and bought a TV with a digital tuner in it two years ago. Not because The Man made me, either, but because I actually care about the quality of the content I’m getting. I’d rather watch PBS all day in HD than two hours of a Lifetime movie of the week.

Dear Comcast: shut the hell up. Either give people their entire list of options, or don’t give them any.

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