Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch let’s off a gigantic oestrogen bomb in his “My television wish list” piece on SI.com’s Scorecard Daily section. In a list if 10 things he would like to see on sports television this year he includes this bizarre suggestion:
ESPN should create a female version of The Sports Reporters… why not develop a half-hour show featuring both ESPN and female sports journalists from around the country debating the sports issues of the week? Talent isn’t an issue. There are hundreds of women in various mediums who provide sports content on a daily basis… I guarantee such a show will get better ratings than ESPN Hollywood. Why? Because men will actually tune in, for starters.
Does Deitsch watch The View a lot? I rather doubt it, and I seriously doubt that a lot of men would tune in to see what a bunch of women with an unusual interest in competitive team sports have to say about the Yankees newest batter or the Arizona Cardinals’ draft picks or what have you.
Not that it really matters a heck of a lot what kind of prattle-shows ESPN puts on. I can’t imagine that many people watch the turgid all-male “The Sports Reporters” to begin with. But Deitsch has an even worse idea:
Networks should aim to break the play-by-play gender barrier
Dietsch is “stopped cold” by the fact that “[n]o network is using a woman in the booth for the NFL, NBA, NHL or Major League Baseball.” Personally, I’m stopped cold by Pam Ward calling a college football game. Luckily, there’s almost always a half-dozen or so other college games to choose from on my cable system, and it would be really nice if things stayed that way.
Finally, Dietsch wants NBC to “flood the zone” with the Olympic Games in Turin.
[W]ith no ready-made television superstar heading into Turin (I’d bet even money that eight out of 10 Americans would not recognize Bode Miller or Daron Rahlves on the street), the TV public is going to need a major primer on the likes of Lindsey Kildow, Chad Hedrick and Catherine Raney. So unleash the hounds, Mr. Ebersol. As the the Lord of the rings in this country, NBC controls the volume on the hype of an Olympic Games.
For some reason I just don’t feel a need for a “major primer” on the likes of Mr. Hedrick and Ms. Raney. What I would like NBC to do is to show more college football. Sans female commentators.
Update: Chris Chase agrees that female play-by-players just don’t make sense:
[I]t just doesn’t work. Pam Ward isn’t terrible on ESPN, but she’s totally unwatchable. Meanwhile, Kenny Albert is terrible on FOX, but I don’t change the channel just because of him. I had to actually stop watching a Maryland football game earlier this season because I couldn’t listen to Pam Ward’s voice. It’s irritating. It’s out of place. It’s just not right.