Will someone please explain the whole Erin Andrews fascination thing to me? Aside from being born in the cool state of Maine and starting her career as a reporter for the Tampa Bay Lightning, what's the hook? What makes her so appealing?
First, her interviewing skills, encapsulated by the Russell Wilson interview, are just awful. Sticking a mic in an athlete's face and asking about "execution" never brings forth an honest response. Second, if any reporter is going to dress in pearls, a sequinned dress, and actually feel important as an interviewer on Dancing With The Stars, they have to act the role too. Did anyone else gag when she was upset and shunned by a man who wanted to propose on stage live and not to her? Third, sports fans know honesty, it's in the eyes and voice and she doesn't have it.
So who does? Well check out this list. In an era where female sportscasters are type-casted, we need to end and break the mold. There have got to be hundreds of exceptional female reporters who are not 5'10", 125 pounds, and have long, wavy blonde hair. I tried my hardest to find many of these women but the hiring lines and the fit is hard to break.
My search was earnest albeit somewhat successful. We should look for women that honor the skills, diversity, and identity that makes American sports the greatest melting pot in the world. I'm sure I missed some beautiful and talented women, but here's a start.
15 MOLLY QERIM
There is so much cool stuff about these women. Molly was born from Albanian and Italian parents and is from New Haven, Connecticut. If you've never been there, the industrial little city has one of the greatest pizzeria battles in the country: Pepe's vs. Sally's, nestled between highways and bridges. Molly graduated as a U. Conn. Husky and then earned her Masters from Quinnipiac.
She's got to have a deep connection to hockey from studying there, and after graduating she hooked on with the UFC. But as a dedicated New York Giants fan, she moved to the NFL. She's also worked on Fantasy Football shows, and we're all thankful she doesn't move to Las Vegas. She's now best known for moderating First Take, trying to get a word in over a loud Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman.
14 KATHRYN TAPPEN
The 36-year-old is from (drum roll please) the GREAT state of New Jersey and can I get some love for the newest member of the Big 10, Rutgers University. That alone moves her way up the charts and when you consider she loves hockey and the Olympics, she's the total package. She always loved sports, and when she was a girl she played baseball and hoops. As a teenager in high school, she ran track, played tennis and also golf while studying her tail off and earning a scholarship. She was an all around, well developed Scarlet Knight. She majored in Journalism and was a four-time Academic All American and Big East All Star. You can catch her on NBC sports and you'll be glad if you do.
13 ROSALYN GOLD- ONWUDE
If a person's smile could speak, Rosalyn's could bring peace to the world. Does anyone have a sweeter and more welcoming face? Rosalyn was born in Queens, New York, and her father is Nigerian and her mother is of Russian, Jewish descent. As a child, she fell for basketball and her love for sports stuck with her. She worked for Tesla after graduating but the lure of the hardwood pulled her from the world of technology. She's worked for the NBA on TNT, the San Francisco 49ers, the WNBA, and, despite some serious knee injuries, still plays the game. She also has a degree in Sociology, so if the professionals strike she can keep the checks rolling in. She definitely doesn't get her due.
12 HEIDI WATNEY
Let's hear it for the 36 year olds! Living in California, Heidi Whatney's down to earth style and smile is just the beginning of her all around "gorgeousness." Her first love is baseball as she covered the Red Sox while working for the New England Sports Network. It's hard to imagine her not having fun in Beantown and being a regular at Fenway Park. But what really separates her from Erin? No, it's not that she was a runner up for Miss California earlier in her career. It's that she was in the Dropkick Murphys' music video "Going Out in Style." The Dropkick Murphys! Oh yes, gorgeous, successful, and a great taste in music is all anyone can ask for. Give this woman a promotion!
11 EVANKA OSMAK
I love the name Erin, but the name Evanka spelled with an "E" and not an "I" is even nicer. She's a Jersey girl, loves hockey, earned a degree in Civil Engineering, and lives in the great country of Canada. Is she not absolutely amazing? And it even gets better. How? She was also a sports reporter in Yuma, Arizona. If you watch the film "3:10 to Yuma," you'll easily fall head over heels for anyone who's got enough gypsy and soul to call the land of desert and mountains home. The film was based on a 1953 short story by the rocking, hipster, dark mind of Elmore Leonard. See it, read him, and visit her old haunts to understand how unique she is.
10 ANGELA SUN
Talk about an awesome name and does it get any cuter? She should copyright it. Born and raised in Northern California. Angela Sun reported on tennis, the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, and then got into American Ninja Warrior. But Angela is multi talented and also got involved with film. She acted with Forrest Whitaker in "Street Kings" but she's really done incredible work when she got behind the camera.
Sun directed and produced a feature-length documentary, Plastic Paradise: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch. She investigated how people, animals, and the environment is effected by pollution and plastics. She's also a travel writer and one of her favorite destinations is Australia.
We're sure many sports fans wish they could see her make a return to covering more sporting events.
9 MICHELLE BEISNER
Let's get the only strike against her out of the way. It's a doozy so stay with me... she's married to... whispering now... Joe Buck. I know, it hurts that any human could fall for the only person who can ruin any sporting event, suit, haircut, and any other professional or fashionable nuance. In their pictures, she seems to pose with one foot out the door but alas, she signed on the dotted line so she is guilty. So now, on to the positives. She was a cheerleader for the Denver Broncos, an emcee for the Colorado Avalanche, and acted in Any Given Sunday, Throttle, and Alice and Wasteland.
We all know Any Given Sunday is a classic film, but Alice and Wasteland was an awesome late night, B movie. It's about Michelle and her gang of ladies who break out of jail and wreck havoc in Detroit. Good stuff, I promise!
8 BRITT MCHENRY
Would it surprise you this gentle faced young woman is from Jersey? What do they feed their children to help them grow up as gorgeous sportscasters? Maybe it's the lure and beauty of the Pine Barrens, the breezy, cozy beaches and state parks, or the delicious mom and pop bakeries, pizza, subs, and diners.
But don't be too fooled, for she's a bit of a wolf in sheep's clothing for a few times in her career, the "Devil" has come out. While at ESPN, she had a few run ins with other employees. Her temper can get the best of her, but don't we all have to temper the scorpion inside us? None the less, she's covered some major stories from Muhammad Ali's funeral to the MLB Playoffs.
7 MARIA TAYLOR
Am I the only one out there that loves the long, flowing locks but is sick and tired of seeing them on EVERY sportscaster and reporter? Enough I tell you. And that's about the only strike against the gorgeous and down to earth reporter. Maria works for ESPN, The SEC, and loves everything associated with the University of Georgia. She was a Bulldog as a student where she spiked it on the volleyball court and was an All-SEC player in each season. She also played for the US Volleyball Junior National A2 team and won a bronze medal. When she graduated, she was in the top 5 in Bulldog history with 1,729 kills and over 2,000 points. She's stayed in Georgia and covers the school's football, basketball, and volleyball games on the big and small stages.
6 LISA DERGAN PODSEDNICK
Good luck catching up Erin, cause Lisa's got a lot on ya. First, she's got three names. She's got great hair, the whole Farrah thing going, and she was a Hugh Hefner Playmate. So let's add that she's covered the Super Bowl and Kentucky Derby, and there is no way she doesn't look dynamite under a hat and holding an Old Forester Mint Julep.
She was also married to Scott Podsednik, who if you remember played in the majors for 10 teams and won a ring with the Red Sox. But back to the lady of honor, who was also a Bond Girl, the St. Pauli Girl, and interviewed Chuck Liddell. If she is not the coolest of cool, who is? We wish there was more of her on TV!
5 INES SAINZ
Don't let the long, wavy, blonde hair, her blue eyes, unique name, or photos of her pacing the sidelines in "big black boots" fool you. Ines grew up in Mexico City and by the time she was 14 she was a black belt in Judo. At just 35 years old, she had reported on six Super Bowls and interviewed the greatest stars in tennis, the NBA, soccer, and MLB. She also moved into boxing and covered numerous, World Championship bouts with Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto. For something completely different, when the ego maniacal Terrell Owens cried because only Eagles' fans thought he could still play (ouch), it was Ines Sainz who interviewed him!
Plus, who can forget the infamous incident of the New York Jets not being able to control themselves when Sainz walked into the building?
4 JENNY DELL
For those of you tired at all the attention on blonde sportscasters, Jenny adds a little change of pace. Born in Connecticut and a graduate from U Mass. at Amherst, Jenny grew up a Yankee fan. She faced a bit of controversy when she hooked on with the New England Sports Network and reported for the enemy, the Boston Red Sox. As if that wasn't bad enough, she certainly tested loyalties at the dinner table when she married Red Sox 3rd baseman Will Middlebrooks. I'd love a seat at their holiday party dinner table.
After leaving New England for CBS, she hooked on with Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts as their sideline reporter. Whatever fans she may have lost with her new baseball team, she's gained back as a tweeting sensation. She has over 100,000 followers as she tweets often about everything under the sun.
3 CHARISSA THOMPSON
So what does a girl from Seattle, Washington, do with her life? No, she doesn't fish or watch killer whales, but she goes onto making her way in the super competitive world os sports communication. She went to Washington State University, moved to California to attend Community College, and then transferred to UCSB. When she graduated she got serious right away and worked for the NFL as a side line reporter, Versus, the rodeo, NASCAR, the World Cup, and the NBA and NHL All-Star games. But the girl wasn't done working and traveling as she then hooked on with NBC, ESPN, FOX Sports, and also interviewed Cole Hamels. It seems her wayward spirit has settled down, as she is now a religious woman who lives in Malibu, California.
2 ALEX CURRY
Aside from her gig covering Team Ninja Warrior, there is NOTHING not to love about Curry. She covers the Anaheim? California? Los Angeles? or whatever they call them, Angels. She also covers the Los Angeles Kings and can help your fantasy hockey team with the late scores, stats, and trades. But what really makes her stand out, what makes her so special, is she is not about sports and herself. She started a mentoring program with the Richstone Family Center and works with their Kids Club After School Program. Curry is also actively involved in another non profit, Growing Great, which educates and inspires children to eat right. The program focuses on science-based garden and nutrition education, which is often spoken about but rarely acted upon.
1 TONI COLLINS
Antonietta "Toni" Collins is from Mexico City and grew up in Florida. After college, she started covering the major franchises in Tampa Bay, including the Buccaneers and Lightning. Then, she moved to Texas where she covered baseball, football, hoops, and hockey. Soon, she was bumped up and started covering playoff games. She followed the Mavs, Rangers, Cowboys, almost every team packed into the Longhorn state. Soon, her work was discovered by ESPN and she moved to the frigid Bristol, Connecticut. I'm sure she loves in there, but her old haunts must still be calling.
That concludes our list, and obviously, everyone will have their own opinion on where Erin Andrews ranks among female sportscasters. We feel the 15 women listed above presented a very strong case.