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Friday, October 11, 2013

Girl in the Anchor Booth!

A new ad campaign by Verizon FIOS "Football Girl" imagines an 8-year-old girl using the Internet to study football and ultimately ascending to the NFL anchor booth next to Terry Bradshaw. Q: What's wrong with this picture? A: There are no regular women analysts in the NFL anchor booth and never have been. Time to change that. I hope the ad campaign is the spark to light the fire.
Read my ESPN column on the issue:
"The read option is absolutely shredding this defense," says the female NFL game analyst. The girl knows her stuff; it's clear. Terry Bradshaw turns to her in the anchor booth and says sternly, "Look, are you trying to take my job?" to which she says with a shrug, "Maybe."

The female is a spunky 8-year-old named Ella Anderson, and the imaginary scene is from an ad campaign by Verizon called "FiOS Football Girl" that debuted last week in prime time and turned up in the Giants-Eagles game I was watching. As a longtime advocate for women in sports media, I was floored. While pitching their high-speed broadband product to football fans and general TV viewers, the company has also cast a welcome and bright spotlight on the continuing absence of female anchors for NFL games. Women reporters abound on the sidelines -- commenting from the field in the rain, the wind and the snow. But the anchor booth remains an all-boys' club.