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.