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Where Does Ines Sainz Fit On the Sports Reporter Spectrum?

by Joel Keller, posted Sep 14th 2010 4:30PM
Sports reporter Ines Sainz at the Jets-Ravens game on 9/13/10The dust-up between TV Azteca reporter Ines Sainz and the New York Jets, where Sainz claimed there were some joking around and inappropriate remarks directed at her, yet again brings up the subject of what exactly the job of a TV sports reporter should entail.

Sports isn't news. In fact, sports has often been referred to as the "toy department" of various news organizations because of its relative uimportance compared to wars, famines, and natural disasters.

So there's always been a debate on whether those reporting it on television, especially the women who are doing it for a living, should act as serious, professional journalists or if they can play up the entertainment factors of their jobs. That may mean they can emphasize on their looks or have a shtick or do something that would make a big-time news correspondent like Lara Logan or Chuck Todd look foolish.

Where does Sainz fit on this spectrum? After the jump, I'll break down the different types of TV sports reporters into categories, and we'll try to figure out where she stands. We'll keep this list to sideline reporters and correspondents who interact with teams on a regular basis.

Bonnie BernsteinSerious Journalists

Examples: Chris Myers (FOX), Kim Jones (YES Network), Michele Tafoya (ESPN), Suzy Kolber (ESPN), Pam Oliver (FOX), Lesley Visser (CBS), Bonnie Bernstein (ESPN, pictured), Ken Rosenthal (FOX), Jay Glazer (FOX), Heidi Watney (NESN)

These are sideline reporters and correspondents who treat their job seriously. Yes, in many cases, they may be attractive, and sometimes the players they cover may act a little weird around them (Derek Jeter seems to flirt with Jones whenever they talk, for instance). But, for the most part, these people are there to report what they can report and feed that information back to their viewers.

Signs of the "serious journalist" are attire that would be appropriate in an office, questions that are actually probing and go beyond banal stuff like "Coach, what do you think the keys are to the second half?", and a propensity to break news and give inside information, just like their print brethren.

Erin Andrews on 'DWTS' Entertainers
who Think They're Serious Journalists
Examples: Jim Gray (Westwood One), Erin Andrews (ESPN, pictured), Jenn Brown (ESPN)

Reporters in this category think they're hard-nosed reporters, but their bodies of work make us think otherwise. In the case of Gray, he slipped from the "Serious Journalist" category for taking himself way too seriously. His position was tenuous after he grilled Pete Rose about gambling on baseball at the 1999 All-Star Game, holding onto the line of questioning like an angry puppy on a slipper. But Gray's excruciating questioning of LeBron James during the basketball star's signing announcement special permanently shifted Gray from "Reporter" to "Entertainer."

Then there are folks like Andrews. She wants to be treated with respect as an experienced reporter, but at the same time makes questionable on-the-job clothing decisions, does sexy layouts for GQ, and -- this one's the kicker -- goes on 'Dancing with the Stars.' Any one of those might indicate that you're less than serious about the journalistic aspects of your job, but all three? That makes you an entertainer in my book.

Craig Sager with Kobe Bryant at the 2009 NBA All-Star GamePure Entertainers
Examples: Jillian Reynolds (FOX), Craig Sager (Turner, pictured in the pink blazer), Jenn Sterger (Versus), Ahmad Rashad (NBA TV), Tony Siragusa (FOX)

These folks know why they were hired. They have that certain something; they're there for their personality -- or in the case of Sterger, other assets -- and they play those assets up to the hilt. Sager is the chummy guy who wears silly sports coats. Reynolds is the drinking buddy who gets in your face at the bar when her team scores. Siragusa is the former lineman who owns a string of bars and has a regular-guy personality. They don't try to break news or impart info; they're there to be personalities, and that's just fine with them.

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So where does Sainz fit into this spectrum? Well, at first glance, she'd seem to be in the second category. She's been going on various morning news shows to talk about the incident with the Jets, emphasizing the fact that, while she didn't feel harassed, their antics did make her feel uncomfortable.

Inez Sainz measuring a Cardinals' receiver's bicep during the Super Bowl XLIII Media Day in 2009But, when you take a look at the body of her work -- she's shown up on Super Bowl media day to measure the biceps of the players, for instance -- she skews more as an entertainer than anything else. She calls herself the "hottest sports reporter in Mexico." The photos on her Twitter page and website don't exactly scream "serious journalist." Even the "conservative" outfits she wore to Jets training camp, last night's Jets-Ravens game and her round of appearances this morning were only conservative relative to what she's worn in the past.

So she's not really a journalist. That's OK. Not everyone reporting on sports has to be serious. And no matter what, the members of the Jets who made her uncomfortable -- especially coach Ryan -- should have acted more professionally; the woman has a job to do and should be allowed to do it.

But Sainz needs to own up to her own image and career path and stop pretending she should be taken any more seriously than Craig Sager. Because, to be honest, even Sager is closer to a journalist than Sainz is.

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ericthefireguy

The majority of female sports reporters are there for one reason and only one...do "anything" necessary to get the interview

December 31 2011 at 12:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
txryans

UGH!!

October 28 2011 at 7:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tomroach1970

Check out the HOT refs in this music video of "The Tailgate Song"!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhsENN3YQIQ

October 19 2011 at 5:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ChuckBoy

Let's get it right: she's in a pro-sports locker room after a game. Players are nude(completely), penises are exposed on some players, and she's doing an interview? Where is the analysis here. She's a voyeur who wants to see men naked - forget the interview! Even the best female sports reporters don't belong in there. The conditions are absurd; these women have no modesty, they just want attention with no questions asked of them, and want to appear virgin-like. How stupid it is!!!

November 02 2010 at 8:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Schadenfreudian

The worst time to interview athletes is when the testosterone and adrenaline is pumpin' at max capacity. It's still doing that in the locker room, until showered and dressed. I think it should be a rule that no one is interviewed until they are "presentable" and in a location that reflects well upon the team--like a small interview room set aside for this purpose. Ban anyone who doesn't get a paycheck from the home team or visiting team (like a towel/maintenance guy).

October 16 2010 at 11:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David Weston

Ridiculous. She is not at all hot. I am sick of guys thinking some chick is hot just because she has big boobs and/or a big butt. She's not even pretty ... but she has big hooters, so she's hot. Right. I have a big truck with big wheels, so I'm cool and macho and tougher than you. I have to have the bigger Gulp, cuz cuz cuz.... it's BIGGER. It just permeates this superficial society. Bigger is better. Ever heard of QUALITY?

October 06 2010 at 6:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
goldendemon

women do not belong in mens locker talk about looking for trouble.

October 04 2010 at 11:46 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
iambov

Professionalism is the base line. When a woman dresses "sexy" for a job that isn't spread in a centerfold or table dancing, she is waiving her identity as a professional. Seeing Hillary Clinton or even Sarah Palin dressed in a manner other than business casual would not be favorable for their careers. 1. Because they're not attractive and 2. because they're expected to behave in a professional manner (including dress).
When you want to be taken seriously there are things you should do, and things you shouldn't do. This is still a male dominated society. When these "reporters" are flashing skin on TV, most men aren't listening to what they're saying anyway. If they were radio reports the chances of them dressing like this would be almost 0. If they still did though, then it's obvious that they want the attention.

October 04 2010 at 11:35 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to iambov's comment
iambov

also, has anyone thought that maybe the agency she works for asks her to dress sexy to boost ratings? sex sells.

October 04 2010 at 11:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
FranchiseT

You tell 'em Joel! The woman wears inappropriate clothing for a sports event (if she's supposed to be a reporter). I think the players were more displaying their displeasure with her unprofessional looks than actually commenting on sex. There are many women who look better than that "reporter."
If I considered myself a reporter on female fashion shows, I wouldn't show up at a fashion show in a jock strap.

September 24 2010 at 6:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Spyda

first of all how many male reporters go into the ladies locker room? none. if they cannot go into the ladies, ladies cannot go into the men. thats sexist that the women can.

#2 Wear the right attire: the nfl is a sport and business so dress like its one. i dont see chris mortenson in shorts and a tanktop talking about the news in the nfl.

#3 if you wear the wrong type of clothing, thats your fault. when men do it women laugh at us but when women do it they wanna file a fake claim. you dress like a stripper, you will be treated like one case close.

#4 if she does have a master degree, why didnt she use her common sense to wait outside the locker room instead of barging in on them while they are changing, showering, and talking to friends.

#5 all of the idiots that are calling these men animals or stupid stfu. they are in the locker room acting up and minding their business. they didnt ask for the woman to come in.

speaking of that, there should be an arraignment and certain rules made for reporters to enter the locker rooms so players wont be surprise when someone new enter their world. not all of the players have egos.

moral of my point, dress like you are at work not at the club. anyone thinking else of these guys are just dumb. we watch them play sports and some of you probably had dreams of playing in the nfl so shut up and watch.

September 24 2010 at 12:34 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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