By JOHN P. WISE
One Great Season
FORT WORTH, TX -- The lovely gal pictured here is Katie Witham, added to the Hot Girls Of College Football gallery about a month ago.
She's also a freelance reporter who could very well attract an Erin Andrews-like following in the next few years as she rises up the ranks on college football sidelines.
But the Ohio native insists she doesn't do it for the pretty. She herself is a former athlete, and told OGS in a recent e-mail interview that if she can't tear up a soccer field anymore, why not earn a living watching it and other sports?
"Let's be honest; it's pretty cool when you can say, 'I just got paid to watch that baseball game?'" she said.
Witham said she's all too aware of the stereotypes often associated with attractive young women reporting from the sidelines of seemingly every televised sporting event.
Many of those women "are in the business just to be on TV and have no real clue about sports. I'm different because I'm a sports fan. I basically grew up at the ball fields watching my older brother and begging my parents to play. I'm truly in this for the sports."
Witham's take seemed genuine when she followed it up with a charming admission that she sure as heck enjoys interviewing hero athletes and chumming it up with other celebrities.
"I went into (sports reporting) to tell stories, but the rubbing elbows part is what makes this such an exciting and popular industry," she said. "It's the icing on the cake, and I love cake."
Sweet as it sounds, Witham keeps her ga-ga in check and tries to keep it professional. She's interviewed the two biggest names in her own favorite sport—Mia Hamm and David Beckham—and has even stuck her microphone in the face of California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. That gig was actually the young report-a-nator's first assignment. When she comes down from any anxiety, she remembers she has a job to do.
"I want to be right there, in the middle of the action, seeing it and living it," she said, sounding like we shouldn't expect to see her working the fluffy, red-carpet scene anytime soon. "This is an extremely difficult, cut-throat business and only those who truly love what they're doing will make it."
You can see Witham on the Big Ten Network, all over the many FOX sports channels, SportsTime Ohio and the Ohio News Network.