Ines Sainz is a genius. Well, at least her publicist is. Overnight, Sainz has become one of the most talked-about nobodies since sports reporter Erin Andrews.
What do they have in common? Intelligence, a critical mind for sports and an insatiable desire to hawk the sidelines of major sporting events for a Pulitzer Prize worthy interview. If you had a different answer, well then you are sexist, discriminatory, or at the very least, as shallow as a New York Jets linebacker.
Let’s not fool ourselves. We live in a society where beauty is not only celebrated, but heralded at the highest levels of entertainment, government and business. Being beautiful can get you a job almost anywhere but NASA. Appearing sexually attractive can get you anything from a free coffee at your local Starbucks to Presidential consideration and even election (see Kennedy, John F. and Obama, Barack).
With that said, do you blame Ms. Sainz for working with what her mother bestowed her with? She simply took a page out of the oldest book in history, with a chapter recently written by the equally clever Erin Andrews.
You might recall a recent news story in which Ms. Andrews was stalked by a Peeping Tom, violating her privacy while simultaneously catapulting her into the national consciousness, as well as the National Enquirer.
Before you could spell publicity, Andrews was quick-stepping her heart out on Dancing With The Stars and showing up on Yahoo! top searches for weeks.
In a few short months, Andrews went from attractive sideline reporter known only to football and basketball fans that were sick of looking at Pam “Sports Oprah” Oliver, to national darling adorning the desktop backgrounds of teenagers across America.Ines Sainz simply made a carbon copy of Andrews’ script, potentially expecting similar results.
The outline goes a little something like this: Attractive female reporter with little exposure, experiences brief, unwelcome gesture or situation, exposes situation to media, and is instantly made several orders of magnitude more famous, resulting in millions of hits on Twitter, Google, Yahoo! and featured on CNN, Fox News and of course, Sportscenter.
She is then propelled to “star” status and is pursued by reality shows, magazines and eventually, Letterman and Leno.
Ms. Sainz has had the occasional glimpse into TMZ-level fame landing an “exclusive” interview with Terrell Owens, and has been photographed with the who’s who of sports celebrity, namely Rafael Nadal and Peyton Manning.
She isn’t necessarily a nobody, but she's not exactly Katie Couric. She did however have the goods, the unwanted gesture and the platform (Monday Night Football). The stage was set.
So when this obscure Azteca TV sideline reporter slunk into a locker room full of half-naked Herculean athletes wearing nary but a low-cut black dress and heels, only Ned Flanders could have expected the outcome to be wholesome and professional.
Reportedly, the Jets locker room reacted much like a table full of their fans would behave at a downtown New York City Hooters. Cat-calls were tossed with reckless abandon, and not a single veteran piped up to defend her honor.
Are we witnessing the decline of chivalry and honor?
Not necessarily, but one might argue it was already dead. The issue at hand is primal. Why do you suppose the Vikings, Cowboys, Texans, Redskins, Eagles, Titans, Broncos, Saints, Bills and Patriots cheerleaders visited Iraq in the past few off-seasons?
I’d speculate it was for the unparalleled Iraqi landscape or perhaps General Petraeus caught wind of a growing dance appreciation movement amongst the troops. The undisputed truth is guys like girls, especially girls with long blonde hair that show interest and flirt. What’s that you say? Those girls are affiliated with sports, specifically football, the most beloved sport in America?
Sign any red-blooded American male without a shackled ring-finger up for a front row seat (and balcony seating for the married guys). Now, I’m certainly not saying the heckling Jets’ players were correct in their treatment of Ms. Sainz. In 2010, with the exception of U.S. Special Forces and Augusta National, women are welcome wherever men are, including the showers and lockers of NFL stars. That previously off-limits territory now requires a level of professionalism above towel-snapping.
Women in the locker room have every right to be there, to do their job as professionals. However, just like a corporate office, there are rules and regulations, especially concerning dress code. Those rules may have been stretched in the case of Ines Sainz—pun intended.
Sexual harassment isn’t right, but in this case, it may have been a calculated encounter.
At the time this was written, a quick Google search of Ines Sainz yielded 5.4 million results. A single fifteen-second clip of Sainz totaled over one million hits on YouTube. Before you know it, she’ll be dancing the cha-cha on ABC primetime television.
Her celebrity stock has, as she undoubtedly expected, skyrocketed in a New York minute.