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:: Playing Ball with the Boys
Playing Ball with the Boys
The use of female sideline reporters is the fastest-growing new aspect of televised broadcasts of professional and college football. Names like Suzy Kolber, Erin Andrews, and Andrea Kremer are now as well known as any of the men in the booth. In recent years women have been sports columnists and reporters, talk-show hosts, even coaches and team administrators. And yet there has never been a book about this phenomenon.
Former ESPN news anchor Betsy Ross fills this void with Playing Ball with the Boys, a fascinating, behind-the-scenes look at the emerging role that women play in sports broadcasting and reporting as well as in the business of sports. Ross interviews a number of the biggest namesófrom Kolber and Kremer to USA Today columnist Christine Brennan and Lesley Visser and many othersówho offer first-hand accounts of the struggles and the triumphs of women playing what has always been a manís game.
She provides a history of this unique facet of the sports world, from pioneering female newspaper sports reporters to the celebrated breakthrough into televised sports by former Miss America Phyllis George, who is interviewed in the book. Ross covers the controversial moments, from locker room confrontations between players and female reporters to the infamous sideline interview in which Joe Namath attempted to kiss Suzy Kolber during a live broadcast.
Readers also learn of women who played pro sports on male teams or coached menís teams. They meet a woman who runs a professional baseball team and another who is a team doctor.
Through this tale, Ross weaves her own story, recalling how she went from a small town in Indiana to the anchorís chair at the largest sports network in the world, ESPN. She explains what itís like for a woman to succeed in the male-dominated world of sports broadcasting.
About Betsy Ross
Betsy Ross was one of the first women to break into national sports media when she worked as an anchor on ESPNís SportsCenter in the late 1990s. She held the position for five years. She is president and founder of Game Day Communications and has more than 20 years of experience as a sports and news anchor. Before anchoring SportsCenter and ESPN News, Ross worked at NBC News Channel and Cincinnatiís NBC affiliate, WLWT-TV, for seven years. She continues to be involved in sports broadcasting as play-by-play anchor for womenís college basketball for ESPN, Fox Sports and other national and regional outlets, and as a sports reporter for Cincinnatiís FOX 19.
She is the host of a weekly sports interview segment, ďThe Front Row,Ē that airs Saturday mornings on WVXU-FM, the NPR affiliate in Cincinnati. She also teaches a masterís level course, Sports and PR, at Xavier University. She is active in a variety of organizations, including the Special Olympics, and the Greater Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky Womenís Sports Association. Ross is a native of Connersville, Indiana, received her bachelorís degree at Ball State University and masterís degree at the University of Notre Dame. She is on the board of the Ball State University Foundation. She has received the Sagamore of the Wabash award, the highest civilian award given to Indiana residents, and is a Kentucky Colonel.
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