Are Sideline Reporters Necessary Or Just a Distraction

Charles JohnsonCorrespondent IJuly 21, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 15:  ***EXCLUSIVE***  TV personality Erin Andrews poses during the 2009 ESPY awards held at Nokia Theatre LA Live on July 15, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. The 17th annual ESPYs will air on Sunday, July 19 at 9PM ET on ESPN.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images for ESPY)

I've been wondering what is the purpose of sideline reporting? Especially when it comes to reporters like Erin Andrews and multitude of female reporters on ESPN, none whom are particularly unattractive. Think of the female reporters who do sideline reporting for the NFL (especially Monday Night Football).

I mostly cover Nascar and even there we have Jamie Little whom they put in a fire suit yet there's that whole hair flowing in the wind thing going on.

Don't get me wrong, I am engaged man but I'm also a purist when it comes to sports, not a chauvinist but there's a time and place for good reporting and there's separate place for eye candy (like Maxim Magazine). Now with the story out about Erin Andrews being spied on in her Omaha hotel room while naked, it just makes me wonder about her place in sideline reporting.

I watched the College Baseball World Series this past month and she reported from the dugouts and foul territory on the series and at times she was a distraction to the game going on and at other times she was completely unnecessary.

I mean I really don't like it when a baseball manager is interviewed during a game in the dugout. It doesn't matter if it's Erin Andrews or Joe Morgan asking the questions, let the manager do his job. There will be time for questions in the post game interviews.

Same goes when talking to a Nascar driver just after he exits the infield care facility after a crash. I know from wrecking a few cars, the last thing you want to do after having a crash is talk about it, even if it his your job.

When you attend a game or a race in person there is no sideline reporter to give you facts (most which are trivial in nature anyway), so you follow the score and come to your own conclusion of what's going on.

Sports have gotten so in your face and around the clock (thanks ESPN), that its hard to form your own opinion about things or have the time to think for someone is always telling you something. And it doesn't matter if its a pretty blond, a dumb jock or some hack, do we really need to have a reporter always around to get in an athletes face to ask questions.

Aren't the media sessions enough? Apparently not, though I've had enough this aggressive style of reporter for even with Erin Andrews its still hard to swallow and enjoy my sports. I hope the networks don't think that this will make us watch more sports or adds to the broadcast.

Stopping NBA players or coaches on their way to the locker room at halftime of a big game doesn't bring more credibility to the game or add much information.

Talking to a Nascar driver while he is in the car during a rain delay isn't riviting television.

I mean when does it stop? In Nascar they open a radio frequency to interview the driver while he is driving the car either pre race or during a caution. How would you like it if you were questioned as you tried to do your job? Well you probably are, but it's your boss or a co-worker not a national news source.

And yes, as a Chicagoan (but not a Cubs fan), I'm aware of last years Cubs vs Brewers series when Erin Andrews was in the Cubs clubhouse in a skimpy dress and acting provacative while trying to be a journalist.

That's just unprofessional and as a former journalism student I realize you do what you have to do to get the story, but there are ethical limits and plain ol' good taste.

Call me a fuddy duddy but it's just too much these days with reporters constantly walking a sideline and giving up to date reports. It's that much worse to have a young woman flaunt herself at the same time. Its just not professional or respectful.