Just learned from this Richard Deitsch piece that Pam Oliver, the excellent, intelligent, informed Fox Sports NFL stalwart, will no longer serve as the network’s top sideline reporter.
She has been replaced by Erin Andrews.
Anyone who has worked in sports media long enough knows what this is. And it sucks.
Oliver is, truly, as good as it gets at this sort of job. She knows how to interview, and doesn’t merely ask fluff nonsense. She’s quick on the fly, researches the hell out of games, has a long and storied history of asking the right question at the right moment. She also has never, ever, ever used the medium to turn herself into a nonsense-endorsing celebrity spokesperson for dietary supplements and the like. In pro athlete translation, Erin Andrews would be, oh, Mark Sanchez; Pam Oliver is Peyton Manning.
However, Pam Oliver is also 53. And African-American. She isn’t white and blonde and perky. These days, that’s what sideline reporters almost always are—blonde and perky. They’re eye candy for the neanderthals who need eye candy.
It sucks. Men can do these gigs forever. Nobody demotes Chris Berman or Phil Simms or Troy Aikman as they age. Nobody ever will.