Blogs > The Back Page

The musings of a Detroit-area sportswriter in the digital age.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Boys do funny things when women come around

It goes all the way back to elementary school: Boys act odd when there are girls around. No better evidence than last week, when the New York Jets made a stink about TV Azteca reporter Ines Sainz showing up in a way-too-tight ensemble to interview quarterback Mark Sanchez.
Cat-calls and passes fired in her direction. Nobody deserves to be treated like that on the job.

However, Jets media relation personnel would have been well within their right to ask her to change her outfit to something more professional before returning to the facility. They could also insist she act in a more professional manner, and if this behavior was too much for her to handle, then she could face revocation of her presume all-access pass. But as far as we know, that didn't happen. Instead we have the situation we do with Sainz.

I'll be the first to admit I don't wear dress slacks and ties on the sidelines. I'm more comfortable in sneakers and jeans, but I always wear polo and button-down shirts at high school football and Oakland basketball games. I feel it's more important to impress from the waist up, since we sit for most of our day.
Sainz has made it clear she intends to be the "hottest sideline reporter in sports." Sure, our minds next link to ESPN's own Erin Andrews, who draws eyes wherever she goes. Andrews, while she attracted much attention, dresses in a much more professional manner and can't be used to rationalize Sainz' wardrobe choices.
Oakland Press beat writer Paula Pasche has been on the front lines in sports for more than 30 years. Covering the Lions, she makes her visits to the locker room, as I'm sure other female reporters do. In the Sainz instance, she says "professionalism works both ways."
She said the locker-room workplace was a worse environment 20 years ago, when there weren't as many female reporters there. Despite the years of normality in the female-in-a-male locker room scenario, it can still be unsettling, Pasche said.
"I'm always uncomfortable because the locker room is just not a good place to work. However, most male reporters I know are uncomfortable, too," she said.
She joked the only complaint she has in the Lions' locker room is the players can be too polite.
Bottom line: pros need to suck it up and do their job and media members need to dress appropriately. If they don't, somebody needs to escort them to the door.

* Update - The NFL has determined all teams need to undergo training on how to deal with media personnel.

Monday, September 13, 2010

A look at how 'the catch' was played

Here's a look at our Monday front page and those of other area publications as it relates to the controversial call at the end of Sunday's Lions season-opener. I haven't heard of any special designs on a national level. But it was a fun afternoon for design around here.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Don't ruin this movie for us, Joe

In an era when legends and memories are desecrated with steroid admissions and careers are destroyed with other revelations about our heroes' personal lives, one legend has withstood the test of time: The story of Daniel E. 'Rudy' Ruettiger. Rudy, a little guy with a big heart and an even bigger dream, will be passed down from generation to generation, provided real-life Ruettiger teammate Joe Montana doesn't dedicate any more time to further disproving the tale.
1993's "Rudy," was the inspiring tale of an undersized, undertalented football player with a heart the size of Texas. Most people have seen this movie, where Rudy the runt struggles through community college before transferring to the hallowed institution of Notre Dame. He wins over all his teammates, who tell their coach they refuse to play if Rudy doesn't. Their threat works, Rudy plays about one series and gets carried off the field. Now real-life teammate Joe Montana is trying to ruin it for us.
(Real-life coach Dan Devine has previously downplayed that scene, saying players who had the nerve to lay down their jerseys would have been booted from the team)
Montana, a football Hall of Famer seen in some of the NFL's most classic highlights, told Dan Patrick he loathes the film and says Rudy's ceremonious exit was a hoax.
Another teammate has come out to back the legend of "Rudy," much to my (and surely many others') delight.
We know movies are embellished, but that's what makes them magical. I can't believe one of the game's most famous players is saying this stuff. Desecrating someone else's legend. Nice work.
Sure Hollywood takes its liberties, but this was a great story and an inspirational flick. Was Montana upset he didn't get mentioned in this film? Jeez, let it go, Joe. Let the little guy have his legend, you got yours.
If you really want to tear down this movie, pick it apart on IMDB reading about all the miscues, outtakes and omissions, like every other film.

Monday, September 06, 2010

News travels slow in suspended reality

Before I begin, let's get it straight: I understand TV and film are fictitious (mostly) and meant for entertainment.
While watching one of my favorite channels last night, ESPN Classic, I came across "The Replacements," a 2000 film loosely based on the NFL player strike of 1987. Much like Oliver Stone's "Any Given Sunday," the teams and players are made up. However, my issue is with one of the scenes where the team's quarterback, played by Keanu Reeves, gets some bad news.
Sean Falco (Reeves) has learned from the team's coach that the team's normal QB will be crossing the picket line in time to join them for the final regular-season game, relegating Falco back to his houseboat recliner.
Falco waits several hours to tell his teammates the bad news at a local watering hole. End scene.
As this is all going on, I learned the New York Jets had finally signed holdout cornerback Darrelle Revis. The story had progressed in the duration of the movie, the crawl being updated every 20 minutes of the show.
I'm wondering how, we're expected to believe that even 10 years ago, the news of a quarterback switch wouldn't have reached Falco's teammates. I'm willing to suspend some reality when watching movies, but not all sense. It's especially difficult to relax my news sense.
In that era, the Internet had already begun to play a significant role in breaking news and the four-letter network introduced us to scrolling scores and news updates decades ago. There's no way even "way back then" Falco would have been the first one to give his team the news of his benching.
Imagine this scenario today in the context of the Revis situation. Surely he had texted his friends and probably even tweeted about it. That after his agent leaked word of the deal, no doubt.
The 24-hour newscycle wasn't invented yesterday, and watching a washed-up college QB try to make it big as a replacement player helped remind me.