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Thursday, February 10, 2005

Sportztyme!: On The Sidelines

In this week's Sportstyme!, Uncle Buster gets a little on the side. The sidelines, that is.

You probably haven't noticed, but sideline reporters are getting much better these days.

I know for most fans, they are like fertilizer for your garden. You know they help, but you'd rather not have to deal with them. And, with people like Lisa Guererro making an idiot of herself every Monday night last year, it's hard not to feel that way.

But, lets look at a list of the folks in the business who are doing a pretty good job, and bringing credibility to the position:

Michelle Tafoya, Monday Night Football. Ok, taking over for Guererro would have made anyone look great by comparison. But Tafoya is a great combination of intelligence and looks. Only provides relevant information, and isn't there to turn the sidelines into Entertainment Tonight. She may not be in Playboy anytime soon, but she won't make you want to throw a football through the tube either.

Erin Andrews, ESPN. Andrews started doing between innings updates for Braves telecasts on TBS. ESPN picked her up for this year's college football season and it was a really good move on their part. And, if you think she looks great on TV (which she does) you should see her in person.

OK, I know what you women are thinking: there should be more to their performances than just looks. I agree... which is why for all her centerfold loveliness, Guererro was a total waste of a paycheck for ABC. And, after all, this is a visual medium... looks do count for something. With that in mind....

Bonnie Bernstein, CBS. If she's not every sports fans ideal woman, she oughta be. Incredibly good looking, and incredibly sports literate. Great interviews, good insights, and a knack for knowing just how much to add to the situation.

As for the men: Armen Keyteyan, CBS. Every once in a while, he's a little too smart for his own good. But he also tells me exactly what I want to know... and no more than that.

Jay Bilas, ESPN. A basketball analyst with a law degree... there's nothing he can't explain in simple, complete terms. Even if he did play for Duke.

These are just a couple of folks to keep your eyes on. But by and large, give the sideline folks a listen. They've been working on it.

Uncle Buster's Sportstyme! appears every Thursday.

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