By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Right, incidents. A few weeks ago, some TV gal in Minnesota was suspended for what a WCCO-TV (a CBS affiliate) spokesperson called "inappropriate behavior" during the Minnesota Twins division-clinching locker room party. According to the local newspaper, the Pioneer Press, reporter Anne Hutchinson was caught on tape "pouring beverages over several players' heads, trading tokes on a cigar with second baseman Luis Rivas and squealing with delight while being chased around the room...'It was like a frat party,' one CCO staffer was quoted as saying, 'and she was the only girl who showed up.'"
These types of stories are hardly news. I could tell you tales that have become legend in Philly, but it would probably get the paper sued and me fired. All that is beside the point. You never really hear those same stories about the guys, even though, for example, if you've watched a League Championship Series in the past 10 years, you've seen baseball analyst Tim McCarver shamelessly incorporating himself into any number of postseason celebrations.
"It's unfair that we even have to deal with it; it's unfair that it's even an issue; it's unfair that there's a double standard," says KLUV Cowboys radio reporter Kristi Scales. During the preseason, she became the first woman to serve as color analyst on a Pokes radio broadcast. "But we live in the real world, so you deal with it the best you can. Everyone is entitled to their opinions.
"In my experience, the job has been great. The Cowboys--everyone from the players to the coaches to the trainers--have treated me with respect. When you do your job, you earn respect. There may be some sports females out there who got their jobs because management thought they needed a woman or some eye candy for the guys to look at. I don't know, but I hope not."
Again, I never gave all this much thought. Women in the locker room never bothered me. That might sound like a cop-out, but I've always seen them as peers because I was never exposed to the pre-chick atmosphere. Besides, better to hang out with Gina Miller than some wrinkly Depends dependent like Rooney.
So I'm not sure what all this means. I'm not sure that the ladies in the locker room have it any tougher than the guys do. I'm not even sure they believe it's all that bad, either. They have it different, certainly, but I don't know that it's any harder or that they've been unjustly stereotyped. I do know that there was a consensus on one issue among both the men and women: Jack Morris was on to something. Interviewing an athlete with his man-meat exposed is not a perk.