The Best Houses to Trick-Or-Treat At

Throughout this week I have seen various news channels, websites, and blogs feature lists on “the top trick-or-treat candy.” Okay, not a bad idea. Well it wasn’t a bad idea until seemingly everyone started doing it. Believe me, I definitely know by now that Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are gold on October 31.

So forgive me if I refrain from using the above topic exactly…instead I want to add a more original twist to it. Growing up as a kid I definitely had my favorite candy that I wanted handed to me but even more so I had the favorite houses that I wanted to make sure I either knew about ahead of time or stumbled upon while going door-to-door. Please take note, my favorite houses did not necessarily give out the best candy, rather they just did something cool that most other homes did not, thus making them stand out even more from the houses that passed out Peanut M&Ms (my favorite candy). Here now is my list of the three best characteristics to look for in houses when trick-or-treating.

#1: Full Sized Candy Bars! – Everyone who has ever trick-or-treated has at one time or the other gone to a house where they were handing out (gasp) full sized candy bars! We look back on it now as adults and laugh because all we have to do is go to the vending machine at work and pay 75 cents to get a Snickers. But back when we were ten it was as if the person at the door was handing out $100 bills. Even if the nice man or woman was giving out Heath Bars (which I despise) it was a big deal to get a full sized candy bar. It definitely put a badge on your Halloween costume, something to tell your friends about at the bus stop the next day. Especially for someone like me who grew up in a household where if my mom ever gave me a candy bar it was cut in half, getting a full sized one thrown in the pillow sack was a major thrill.

#2: Help Yourself, Leave Some For Others – This is another situation that I am sure most of you probably encountered at least once or twice during your trick-or-treating days. You go up to a house and the lights are out and the garage door is shut and it is obvious that the people are not home. You start to walk away before fully reaching the door but then you see something on the door step. Is it what you think it is? Yes! It is a bowl of candy. Upon reaching the top of the steps you eye the candy bowl and the note that is attached to it: “Happy Halloween! We are sad that we can’t be home tonight but we still want to take care of our trick-or-treaters who come by every year. Take a piece or two of candy but please leave some for the next group.”

This is terrible, but I trick-or-treated with friends who once they saw the unguarded bowl made a straight out dash to the candy, knocking over the dish in a hasty attempt to be the first person to the loot. The candy would fly all over the place and my friends would scour like hyenas to pick up every piece they could. It was barbaric and bush league of them but the fact that the homeowners left a big bowl of candy out for the taking always impressed us.

#3: Goodie Bags – For me, the houses that gave out these goodie bags I am about to describe weren’t always as random as the full sized candy bar and help yourself houses. Whereas I never knew which homes would give out the big candy bars or leave a bowl of candy for the taking, I could always count on at least two specific houses in the neighborhood to give out goodie bags.

Again, this is something that was much cooler when I was a kid than looking back on it as an adult right now. The goodie bag consisted of a small Halloween decorated sack. Inside the sack you would find a combination consisting of a piece of salt water taffy, a fun sized Starburst pack, and a fun sized Milky Way. Getting a cool bag with an image on it that probably cost three cents and a few pieces of not very good candy got us very excited. Probably it made us so happy just because it was different. There was more effort thrown into it and it held a very good trade value later that night when bartering with friends.


There you have it my friends! What were the characteristics of your favorite trick-or-treating houses? Please let me know. Happy Halloween Eve! Have a fun and safe time tomorrow night. Don’t Blink.

The Overarching Metaphor of My Life

Today at our last home Griz soccer game I was talking to Nate, our video production coordinator in the department. One of Nate’s many duties is to produce the show you see on Griz Vision each Saturday in Washington-Grizzly Stadium. He oversees several student-workers and lots of expensive equipment to make sure the 26,000 fans who pack the stadium each home Saturday are treated to a great experience via our video board. I asked Nate how yesterday’s game went for him and his crew and how it compared to the rest of the games this season.

He answered by saying several things. He said that yesterday’s game went well and that it was a solid, consistent effort from his crew. He said that his team has really come together this year and exceeded the expectations that he had at the beginning of the year. He said that the last two games have gone great and improvement has been evident. He mentioned an early season game where things didn’t go too well because of some timing issues, a rough second half, and things (equipment) breaking down. Nate then stopped right about there and said “Sorry, I sound like a coach.”

I responded right away by saying, “Nate, don’t be sorry, I do the exact same thing…for everything.”

Nate and I filming a Monte Movie this past August.

Nate and I filming a Monte Movie this past August.

Working in intercollegiate athletics you are around a sporting mindset 24/7. You work with coaches and players every single day. You hear them at press conferences, coach’s shows, and just in casual face-to-face conversation. With soaking so much of this in, and with so much of it repetitive, it is easy to kind of pick up on what they say and use it in your own vernacular.

I use “coachspeak” within the responsibilities of my own job all the time. I evaluate how our marketing interns do (they executed their responsibilities perfectly for all four quarters on Saturday), how our website performs (our site is taking advantage of the busiest time of the year and really producing some incredible traffic numbers) , how our gameday presentation goes (Pregame was well planned and ran smoothly on Saturday), how our social media channels engage (Griz Social Media is at the top of the whole FCS and it still has considerable room to grow), how Monte competes in the Mascot Challenge (Monte’s loss in last week’s round has really motivated Griz Nation to not let it happen again as his opponent this weekend, the Oregon Duck, is getting absolutely trampled) , and on and on for pretty much every other duty I have.
I can’t help it. I work in athletics so naturally I take my tasks and speak of them in the same way our football coach or basketball coach would. But here is the thing: I don’t just use a coach’s way of talking and thinking just for my job…I use it pretty much for everyday life.

If I need to clean my apartment I tell myself that I just need to start picking up a few things and that will build my confidence to where I can take on the whole chore. At the start of the week in the gym I tell myself that I need to work extra hard the first couple of days and that will build the momentum that will carry me through the rest of the week. When I drive long distances I divide the mileage total by four and keep track of what quarter I am in (when I get to the “fourth quarter” I turn up the music really loud and prep myself for a strong finish). Whenever I put something together I look at the directions and think to myself “just follow the game plan.” Whenever I am presented with any type of task where other people are either watching or evaluating me I tell myself to focus and thrive under pressure.

The above examples aren’t jokes. I honestly think this way. My life is constructed under one big sports metaphor and I don’t think that is a bad thing. Athletics brings about a very methodical and rational way of thinking. My years as an athlete combined with my current career in sports has engrained this mindset into every aspect of my life and I know it has helped me much more than it has hindered me. I just always gotta keep my head in the game! Don’t Blink.

What Passionate Fans Do

This morning I got to work and as I walked from the parking lot to the entrance doors of the Adams Center it looked like through the still dark conditions that a homeless camp had formed right outside the last entrance door. Humans sprawled out on the cold cement covered in shaggy blankets started at the door and then went up some nearby steps. I started to think about why Missoula’s transient problem had extended all the way to campus but then a light clicked on in my head…tonight was the Macklemore concert!

The rapper’s hardcore fans had already started to line up at 8 a.m. in the morning for a show that didn’t start until 7 p.m. However, I didn’t think they were crazy for lining up so early with the hopes that they would get an awesome view of their idol. Rather, I thought they were a little uneducated for thinking that it might guarantee them an all-access, front row position for the whole concert. You see, these fans were lining up for general admission standing room only spots on the floor. It doesn’t matter if you are the first one in or the 2,000th person in, if you are aggressive and sneaky enough, you can work your way to the front and bypass people who had been waiting outside for eleven hours longer than you.

But that is not the point I am trying to make. Rather, I am sticking up for the Macklemore fans who bummed outside the whole day to at least improve their chances of getting the best possible view during the concert. The best fans are the passionate ones and if you don’t mind throwing a full day away to sit on concrete I salute you.

I love the stories of students at Duke camping out in Krzyewskiville just to get tickets. I nod my head in approval at the people who stood outside of the Missoula Buffalo Wild Wings for hours on end in anticipation of the grand opening (and a year’s supply of wings). Even though I hate “Harry Potter” I admire the maniacs who wait outside the theater in ridiculous costumes in order to get tickets and have the best seats in the house.

I have such a high affinity for these types of people because I am actually one of them. Throughout my lifetime I have been the guy that has started lines and waited double digit hours to dash into a venue and get preferential seating. Whether it was to see Santa Claus (seriously), be the first one to register for classes in middle school, get the courtside seats for our rival high school basketball game, obtain Griz-Cat football tickets, or to secure floor seats for a handful of different concerts I have stood patiently in line for long periods of time throughout my life.

But let’s get real here. Of course people like me and the people who were lined up for Macklemore today don’t do it solely for the gratification of getting our desired seat or ticket. Rather, we put ourselves through these long waits because in a way it is fun. There is something about being that first person and there is something about hanging out with other passionate people that just makes it exciting. And even if it turns out that you have to sit out in miserable weather and even if you end up spending 9 hours next to the most annoying person in the world and even if you end up not even getting your ticket or desired seat you still have something: an experience.

Even though I wouldn’t walk across the street to see Macklemore perform, or in my literal sense, walk down some steps right outside of my office, I respect the throng of 18-24 year olds I walked past this morning. At this time right now Macklemore is probably taking the stage and I hope those kids are having a great time. Don’t Blink.

Cookies, Parkour, Slasher Movies

I have not blogged since Sunday. That means this is the third night since my last post. Because of my laziness since that previous post (in all seriousness I have actually been insanely busy) I will make up for the missed days by writing about three different topics. Of course I would have used these topics as stand-alone posts if I had not neglected my blog for my job and late night Halloween horror movies but such is life. Let’s get this over with.

Monday Cookie Day: Although I hate the way every single day on our calendar is designated for some activity or food, for all I care this past Monday could have been called The National Day of Giving Cookies to Brent. Imagine my surprise and gratitude when a student-worker in our internal operations department came into my office and gave me a bag of chocolate chip homemade cookies. Although I had hinted at her before that I wouldn’t mind it if she ever brought me some cookies since it is well known that she is a great cookie baker I did not expect it to actually happen, especially not on a random Monday. It was very nice.

That exact same day, HuHot ran a Twitter promotion for Missoula residents. Thanks to my brother who screen captured the tweet and sent it my way, I was the first person to respond to a specific tweet from HuHot’s Twitter account asking followers if they would like their special dessert called Cookie Dough Conquest (several fried wontons filled with cookie dough). Because I was the first person to respond, a rep from HuHot brought the deep fried cookie dough to my office! Complete with chocolate dipping sauce I had to give most of them away because after eating just one I felt like the most terrible and unhealthy person on the planet.

Me standing with the cookie dough dessert that was delivered by HuHot to my office.

Me standing with the cookie dough dessert that was delivered by HuHot to my office.

Parkour: I had another one of those moments where I realized I am not that young anymore this week. For our big Griz-Cat volleyball game on Monday night I booked an act called Unparalleled Movement for halftime. To my knowledge I thought they were just an eccentric, entertaining group who used some basic props and did cool flips. I was not up to speed on the fact that Unparalleled Movement is part of something much bigger, something that has swept the nation, something that people cooler than me call parkour. I admit it, I knew very little about the parkour movement that has attracted thousands of people to the demanding and physically daunting discipline. But I have now done my research and I have a lot of respect and appreciation for parkour. I also now know how to pronounce it correctly. Even if for some unfounded reason I didn’t like parkour I would at least feel somewhat indebted to it because on Monday night Unparalleled Movement rocked the gym during halftime and had over 1,000 fans on their feet. When my crowd is happy, I’m happy.

A photo from Unparalleled Movement's performance on Monday.

A photo from Unparalleled Movement’s performance on Monday.

Slasher Movies: As I mentioned at the start of this post, I have watched my fair share of horror movies this week. With Halloween right around the corner, a couple networks go the route of showing horror movie marathons. Over the past several days I have watched bits and pieces of Chucky, Friday the 13th, and Halloween. I think probably the only reason why I watch them is because it is that time of the year. I mean why else would I? In my opinion these movies are garbage. I find no thrill or suspense in a guy wearing a mask or, worse yet, a doll in overalls going around killing people. It is not scary, it is predictable and rather boring. If I want something that is scary, I am watching a movie that is either about a possession, about something that is unexplainable, or about a girl who has telekinetic powers with a mom who is nuts. It is Halloween so I can tolerate and even watch some of these slasher flicks but once October is over I never waste my time with them.

Time now to sit down on the couch and eat some cookies while watching Halloween 6 and keeping an eye on my phone that is playing parkour demos off my YouTube app. Ah yes, another typical Wednesday night in the life of Brent Reser . Don’t Blink.

A Special Day to be a Griz

This Saturday I had a first! Never before until yesterday had I worked an overtime football game in intercollegiate athletics. Well, it happened. When things looked very bleak for the Griz football team, the heart and pride of our student-athletes shined brightly as ever as a comeback occurred.

With a little over two minutes left, Cal Poly lined up to kick a chip shot field goal from the nine yard line. This would have iced the game with the Mustangs already leading 14-7. The snap and hold were good but the kick never had a chance as Jordan Tripp, the leader on defense, stormed through the line and blocked the kick.

Quarterback Jordan Johnson then engineered a 90 yard drive that ended in a touchdown on a fourth down and then came an ensuing game tying kick. Cal Poly couldn’t return the kickoff with just a few seconds left in regulation and overtime it was!


A photo I took from the press box of the team singing the fight song after the win.

A photo I took from the press box of the team singing the fight song after the win.

Now I had never worked an overtime game before so Brynn and I had a quick “what now?” type moment but that faded very quickly and we just went with it. I silenced the music so the fans could hear the overtime directions/coin toss from the referee and it was on! Cal Poly won the toss and as is custom in a Kansas City tiebreaker format they chose to go on defense first. However, the defense that seemed to keep the Griz at bay for 58 minutes of the game was no longer on the field and it took just two plays for a touchdown reception by Ellis Henderson to put Montana up.

After the extra point went through the uprights it was pandemonium in Washington-Grizzly Stadium as the almost 26,000 fans went nuts as Cal Poly came out for its turn on offense. The noise in the stadium was absolutely crazy and it hit an all-time high when our marketing intern/captain/amazing football player/player of the game/great person Brock Coyle hauled down a spectacular interception to end the game and start a dog pile in the north end zone. It was an absolute emotional swing from one end to the other.

Our marketing team after the game in the control room.

Our marketing team after the game in the control room.

It was an interesting and fun game to be part of. Our Pink Game gets bigger and bigger each year. This season’s game saw us have our team come through the stands with area cancer survivors, a change to the traditional tunnel entrance that up until yesterday hadn’t been touched in years. The players had a pink touch to their helmets, we showed a very emotional video prior to the game, and Team Up Montana had a great day in front of the biggest gathering in the state.

Also making the game special were a couple things that happened after Montana clinched the win. In a total surprise, I got to talk to my high school football coach for the first time since I last played for him in 2005! I went down on the field after the game and right away I spotted Mead High School head football coach Sean Carty standing by the player’s tunnel. He was there watching Bo Tully, a former Mead Panther who Carty had coached. It just so happened that it was the first ever game he had watched in Washington-Grizzly Stadium. He said it was an awesome experience, even after attending games at Notre Dame and Michigan. Then, I got to introduce my parents to our athletic director, Kent Haslam. It was special just in the fact that my parents were able to attend the game…I never even thought about the opportunity about getting to introduce them to the big boss of Grizzly Athletics. But it happened just about five minutes after I talked to Coach Carty. Not a bad post-game if you ask me.

I got to visit with my high school football coach, Sean Carty, after the game.

I got to visit with my high school football coach, Sean Carty, after the game.

So even with the Pink Game festivities, even with getting to see my old high school coach, and even with my parents getting to meet our athletic director, the memory that was most special for me on October 19 was the final 15 minutes of the Montana football team’s comeback win. To observe the heart and passion shown by our guys was really cool. I won’t forget it anytime soon. I am so thankful to be a Griz. Don’t Blink.

Photo Editing Apps: Making Instagram Photos Even More Beautiful

Every now and then when I scroll down my Instagram feed I will see photos that jump out from the others. The colors of the photo are magnificent and you can tell that a pretty sweet filter has been applied, one that you can’t get from Instagram. When I would see these pictures I knew that the person posting it was using an app outside of Instagram. However, although I always meant to research what these people were using to make their photos stand out so much I kept putting it on the back burner.

Last night I was reading a magazine when I flipped to the tech section that talked about photo editing applications. It mentioned a lot of different ones and then highlighted a few as the best available currently. After taking 2,600 photos on Instagram without using any other third party applications except for Instaframe and a couple others similar to it, I knew it was time to spice up my “Instagram Game” a bit.

Today I downloaded the free version of Pixlromatic and then I purchased the newest version of Color Splash. Let me tell you, these apps will blow your mind. I don’t want to spend too much time getting into specifics about what these two apps do. Just know that Pixlromatic is a service that allows you to apply a couple different levels of filters to your photos, filters that are 10x better than anything Instagram offers. Color Splash lets you isolate colors around a canvas of black and white. I am pretty sure you have all seen the product of this app before….think of an Easter basket sitting in the middle of a busy kitchen with everything black and white except for the vibrantly colored eggs inside the basket. That is what Color Splash does.

My first photo with my new apps. I used Color Splash to make just Glen and I in color at Dodger Stadium and then used a filter in Pixlromatic.

My first photo with my new apps. I used Color Splash to make just Glen and I in color at Dodger Stadium and then used a filter in Pixlromatic.

These apps totally transform a normal photo into something totally different. When done right, this “totally different” product looks like a work of art. In just the second image I created with Pixlromatic I took a photo of a tree with its leaves changing right by campus. By itself it was a decent picture but after I applied a couple Pixlromatic filters it went from a tree with yellow leaves in front of blue skies to a striking reddish-orange tree in front of purple skies and cool shadows. It immediately got 22 Instagram likes (a high number for me).


This was the original picture I took.

This was the original picture I took.


This is what I ended up with after using Pixlromatic.

This is what I ended up with after using Pixlromatic


I feel now that if I wanted to I could do all my Photoshop work that I do on my PC right from my iPhone…and maybe even get better results! The technology available to edit photos on smart phones is absolutely incredible and for the most part, easy. Another cool aspect of these apps is that you can use them together. I can take a photo and use it in Color Splash. After I save it I can pull it up in Pixlromatic and manipulate it some more from there. Finally I can bring it into Instagram and do any further editing that I see fit.

However, it is important not to overdo it. I definitely have no plans to start uploading heavily filtered photos each and every time I post to Instagram. I just think if you continually post significantly doctored photos to your account it makes you and your photos look a little fake. We all know that filters help to disguise and flatter and trust me, some of the new photo editing apps take disguise and flatter to new levels. Whether it be a photo of nature or a selfie, it is important to go #NoFilter at least 35% of the time and give your audience a regular dose of reality.

I don't really look this way so there is no need to always portray me like this.

I don’t really look this way so there is no need to always portray me like this.

I think an Instagram account for a sports team should go even lower than that 35% number but I will save athletics filtering for an entirely separate blog post.

If you like photos and you like posting to Instagram, definitely check out the photo editing apps out there. They provide a great way to get very artistic and creative. Remember to have fun with them but also remember to set a limit for yourself. Don’t blur that line too much between reality and Filter Land. Don’t Blink.

Halloween Haunted Houses

Ever since I was just a little kid I have liked scary movies, paranormal phenomenon, and ghost stories. Basically I have always enjoyed the unsettling and suspenseful feeling you get in the stomach from controlled fear. I think I was born with an innate tolerance and appetite for scary things but I also think that something my dad did with me when I was young also helped build my threshold for long childhood sessions of “Bloody Mary” and my never think twice attitude of strolling through any cemetery that I might drive by. As always, let me explain.

When I was just six years old, my dad took my sister and I to our first haunted house. Let me be clear for the people who might not know about the type of haunted house that I speak of. My dad didn’t take us to some old, abandoned house that once served as an insane asylum that is now possessed with demonic spirits. He took us to a Halloween haunted house, a modern day staple in our country where a group takes over a building and uses actors dressed in scary costumes, a variety of misdirecting routes, a plethora of strobe lights, and several guys in Jason masks with chainsaws to try to scare the customers who pay money to walk through.

My dad drove us from the north side of Spokane out to the valley area and to a deserted high school. It was at this defunct school where the haunted house was staged. I probably remember about 2% of my sixth year of life and about 1.3% of it comes from that haunted house. I remember standing in a long line in the dark outside the school. I remember hearing screams from where we stood in line. I remember getting to the front of the line and seeing the witch pointing us into the entrance…and then from there I remember all the images inside. A floating graveyard on what looked like blood. People hanging from nooses. Grotesque figures moving in the strobe lights. Dracula style coffins coated in blood and graffiti. Then there were the noises too. High shriek screams. Sounds of glass breaking. Maniacal laughter. Slamming of doors. Then there were the actors jumping out at us from every corner possible and coming out of trap doors. Of course the final (and cliché) thrill came when we were chased out of the premises with guys in hockey masks revving chainsaws.

I loved every second of it.

From then on we made it a tradition for the three of us (and later the four of us when my brother was old enough to join in) of going through a haunted house each year. Besides the high school set up as the years went by and sites changed we also toured through old “haunted” grocery stores and warehouses. We would always rate each one compared to the other ones we had visited in the past, although it always seemed like we had an affinity for that very first one at the old West Valley High School.

Then something happened: I got old. High school came and I didn’t have a prayer of doing anything not related to academics or athletics. I then moved away for college and the drought continued except for during my junior year where I went with a church group to a haunted corn maze. Although not completely like a haunted house I did have a great time and was reminded of what I had missed for the past several years. However, it must have not reminded me enough because I have not gone back to a haunted house or a haunted corn maze since then.

This year that changes. Despite the absolute craziest time of the year just on the horizon for anyone associated with intercollegiate athletics, I am going to find a way to go through the main haunted house attraction here in Missoula. I got the Facebook event invitation and I have my heart set on it. I am working Halloween night this year so I need something else to get my fix in. A haunted house will do just that for me. Of course I want to take a date with me so if you want a brave man who will protect you from zombies and Michael Myers freaks, let me know…it will be a fun time. I am ready for a good scare! Don’t Blink.

The Modernization of the Teacher

One of my responsibilities at my job is to coordinate a student of the month program. From nominations that I receive from teachers across the Missoula area I pick a student each month to recognize. I then take a couple of our student-athletes and our mascot with me to the student’s school and we stage a little presentation. If there is one thing I have learned from visiting various elementary and middle schools it is this: teachers have changed.

When I say teachers have changed I mean it in the coolest, most productive way possible. To me, teachers seem much more energetic, much more outside of the box, and much more happy! The whole classroom environment is completely different. Now you might say that I just have a skewed perspective and I look at things in a different way since it has been a good 15 years since I was last in elementary school but I tend to disagree.

Take for example today. The teacher whose classroom we were in came up and warmly greeted us and then asked if we were ready for him to get the attention of the students so we could start the presentation. We said yes. He then went to the front area of the classroom, pulled out a guitar, and then started playing a simple melody. He did not say one word nor did he sing one lyric but as he played all the students stopped what they were doing, zipped their lips, and formed a circle around a piece of fluffy red rug that looked like it was from the 1970’s. It was pretty incredible.

Say what you will, I NEVER had a teacher play guitar in any of my classrooms and I definitely never had any of them use music to capture such perfect attention. I have also noticed that there just isn’t that rigid structure anymore. Desks aren’t lined up in perfect rows, class time doesn’t move exactly according to an agenda written on the whiteboard, and strict formalities such as raising hands and staying in your seat are no longer sacred commandments. School at the elementary level just seems much more modernized and fun.

Not to say I didn’t have good teachers growing up because I definitely did. I can’t remember one teacher I had who didn’t teach us material or who didn’t look out for our best interests. I am just saying the total teaching dynamic has changed. Obviously it has taken a new kind of teacher to change that dynamic. I personally like what I see. We owe a lot to our educators who are doing all they can to get through to our young students in the most impactful way possible. Don’t Blink.

My Top 3 Sideline Reporters

Last night’s Red Sox-Tigers ALCS game had a few major images that will last for years to come. Of course you had the grand slam from David Ortiz that sent Torii Hunter over the short Fenway Park fence and into the Sox bullpen where a cheering cop became an instant celebrity while a bullpen catcher casually made the grab that Hunter couldn’t. Then you had Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s walk off hit that initiated a Red Sox celebration that started with a mob at second base that gradually got pushed all the way into the outfield.

However, the image that I will remember most vividly came during the post game interview where Erin Andrews interviewed Saltalamacchia and mid-sentence got completely doused in lemon-lime Gatorade. Dripping in sports drink, Andrews didn’t miss a beat and continued on with the interview while making just the perfect quick mention of her non-dry state.

Watching that take place last night made me once again realize that Erin Andrews is the absolute best in the business when it comes to sideline reporting. Say what you will about her work in the studio, the way she controls a game from the sidelines/dugout is top notch. I respect sideline reporters a lot, both female and male. Some sports fans say they have no use for them but I couldn’t disagree more. Sideline reporters add a different perspective and a fresh voice to sports broadcasts.

In this post I want to recognize my three favorite female sideline reporters. This is in no way a creepy examination on my part of who I think are the hottest women patrolling the sidelines. Rather, this is just my opinion on who I think does her job the best. Looks do play a part in my overall equation but not in a sexy type of way. Like I said, I respect the work that sideline reporters do. I have had the chance to watch them on television for the 20+ years of my sports watching career and have made note on what I like and don’t like. Since working for Grizzly Athletics I have also had the chance to meet a couple of well-established ones in the field (Jen Mueller, Jenny Cavnar) and also observe aspiring ones. Like I said, I have an interest and reverence for what they do.

3. Rebecca Haarlow (Currently with Fox Sports, NFL Network, and Big Ten Network): Because I am a fan of the Pac-12 I became well acquainted with Rebecca Haarlow’s work while watching the conference tournament in Staples Center over the course of a couple years. She is so confident and talks so naturally into the camera. To me, she is a fresh face that stands out on television. Out of all the sideline reporters in the nation she is the one who I have a secret crush on. Rebecca also didn’t hurt her standing on this short list by her willingness to respond to a couple of my tweets and even going as far as to quote one of my tweets that had the link to my blog in it! Although I rarely see her on television anymore considering I don’t have the NFL Network or the Big Ten Network, she is still one of my favorites.

2. Rachel Nichols (Currently with Turner Sports and CNN): I am a huge Rachel Nichols fan. I love it how she can do a piece with absolute seriousness and then seemingly flip a switch and totally change tones and say something sassy and fun. Although her sign off is classically annoying, I can look past that. I think she just brings a lot of credibility to her work. She handles herself well and doesn’t let anything intimidate her. Yes, she does do more non-sideline reporting than the other two people on this list but when she is assigned to sideline duty she always does an impeccable job. I also find her to be beautiful.

1. Erin Andrews (Currently with Fox Sports): I already sang her praises above but they are worth singing again. I love the work of Erin Andrews. I don’t have the infatuation that most guys have with her looks, I just like the job she does. She just doesn’t get rattled about anything…case and point last night with the Gatorade incident. Although she is the most high profile sideline reporter in the country, she doesn’t go about her business in a flashy or diva type way. Probably the only “diva” thing about her are her hair extensions and she even made a joke at that last night by Instagramming a photo of them soaked in Gatorade hanging on a pole to dry out. When I see Erin Andrews at a sporting event I immediately think high profile. I genuinely look forward to her reports.


To be fair, I might do a post in the future on my top three male sideline reporters. You better believe that Shaun Rainey is on that list. Until then, I will continue to always pay attention to the reporters on the front lines giving us a taste of the conversation and happenings on the field. This is Brent Reser and I am sending it back up to the booth. Don’t Blink.

Worthless Sports Statistics

As a kid I loved sports statistics. On my third grade YMCA basketball team I would literally get home after a game and chart how many points each person scored and add them up on a piece of computer paper throughout the season. Now granted our team only scored around twenty points per game so I didn’t have to have an out of this world memory to remember everyone’s point totals but what I am trying to say is that I loved stats from an early age.

When it became obvious that my high school basketball career would not continue, I became the varsity team’s statistician during my senior year, a nice little activity between football and track season. To this day I check box scores each morning, I rationalize mostly all of my major life decisions in a sports statistics frame of mind, and I can still recite all of the key statistics from the 1995 Seattle Mariners baseball season. I am definitely a stats nerd!

With that said, I have started to become a little agitated with the ultra-specific and sometimes bizarre level that the sports media is taking the reporting of statistics to. As someone who values stats, no one appreciates timely and relevant numbers during a sports broadcast like me. Tell me overall averages of a team against a certain pitcher, tell me a quarterback’s record playing in outdoor stadiums, and tell me a player’s free throw percentage during the last five minutes of a game. Given in the past tense, they also help put in perspective what had just occurred. These are all specific and relevant statistics that provide me with information and that help explain what might happen.

But like I said, the reporting of statistics is now at a new level and I don’t particularly find them helpful or interesting. I don’t need to know that a pitcher was able to throw 8 innings of no hit ball on three days rest for only the second time since 1957 in the ALCS. Or I don’t need to know that an NBA player picked up exactly five fouls in three straight games for the first time since 1980. Or I don’t need to know that an NFL team has gone 66-21-1 after leading by three or more points going into the fourth quarter in games played after 2 p.m. over the past ten seasons.

Not only are the above statistics overly specific but they also say nothing of real consequence. Who cares that a player picked up the same amount of fouls in three straight games? Does it really tell me much that a football team wins a majority of its games when leading going into the fourth quarter with other unrelated factors? The answers to the two questions are no one and no.

I do realize that a small portion of the population actually does enjoy these types of statistics. However, I don’t think sports networks should cater to these small numbers by jamming their broadcasts with them. Save them for the back pages of magazines, the small print of newspapers, and the depths of the almanacs. Don’t have them lead off an episode of Sportscenter or don’t use them on a lower-third during a crucial point in an MLB Playoff broadcast.

I know technology keeps increasing and I know that statistical staffs are growing. Obviously these two factors make the overly specific worthless statistic more abundant but there is a point where producers and the talent have to question what they are feeding the audience. Aren’t they trying to do their best to inform? A statistic that throws together unrelated factors and random periods of time does not improve the experience for the fan. Most of the time it makes us digest the information for a couple of confusing seconds and then utter how stupid and irrelevant that stat actually was. I don’t know if networks are trying to fill time or if they are trying to come across as sophisticated (or perhaps both) but we as an audience are neither entertained nor impressed.

As someone who once wanted to grow up to be a sports statistician, I am a little turned off these days at the information that is being gathered and then reported. I hope the leaders in sports broadcasting re-evaluate what and how they present from a statistical level. By the way, this is the 165th blog post I have done after 10 p.m. that has contained only four or more sentences in the ending paragraph. Don’t Blink.