Is there a specific type of woman who gets hired to be a correspondent or sideline reporter for sports these days? Are “sideline Barbies” sought, or is it just a big coincidence? Just ask Pam Oliver, who was replaced this year as the lead sideline reporter for NFL on FOX. In 2014, she told Essence Magazine, “The business is very demographic-oriented. As one executive said to me, Fox Sports will look radically different in the coming years. I assume that means they want to look younger. It's not difficult to notice that the new on-air people there are all young, blond and hot."
Thank you, Captain Obvious. Oliver said it for us so we don’t have to. The female personalities covering sports have obviously changed over the last several years. While male sportscasters simply have to toss on a blazer and comb their hair, female reporters look more like models these days. Sarah Todd, a beat writer for SFBay wrote about the subject: “The term ‘sideline barbie’ is an interesting one. The truth is that most sideline reporters who are women are very good-looking. I am absolutely not going to fault any of them for being beautiful. But it is interesting to think whether or not these networks would hire a less conventionally good-looking female over the bombshell. Obviously if the woman looks like a supermodel and is more qualified than more power to her. I’m not saying the networks have these type of shallow hiring practices, but where are the plain Jane sideline reporters?”
And here’s the answer: The plain Janes are on radio or writing for magazines and newspapers. Of course hot girls are being hired and of course the networks have shallow hiring practices. Sorry to let Oliver and Todd know, but sexiness does factor into TV jobs, especially in the sports world. After all, we’re talking about an industry that helped a chicken wings franchise, Hooters, become wildly successful mixing sports and good-looking girls. Men like sports. Men like to look at beautiful women. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out the best formula to attract viewers. Here are 15 females who qualify for hottest in the sports world.
15 Lauren Gardner
For a sports reporter under 30 years old, male or female, Lauren Gardner has amassed an impressive resume, but you’ve got to wonder if she tries to forget her 2011 stint covering the Lingerie Football League for MTV2. Although, since she was a former Denver Broncos cheerleader in 2008, maybe being around women in skimpy outfits was normal for her.
Gardner, a graduate of the University of Colorado, landed her first job in her hometown serving as the "In-Game Host" for the Colorado Avalanche, Denver Broncos and Colorado Rockies. After being picked up by CBS sports, the red-haired beauty has covered college football, tennis and most recently baseball. Gardner also has her pilot’s license.
14 Britt McHenry
Like many female sportscasters, Britt McHenry was another blonde up-and-coming reporter for ESPN when she had her first taste of 15 minutes of fame, but it wasn’t the kind she was hoping for. McHenry was caught on a surveillance camera at an impound lot berating the attendant, pulling the “Do you know who I am?” card and negatively commenting about the attendant’s looks.
For this Mean Girls moment, McHenry was suspended for a week, but did make an apology via Twitter. A native Floridian, McHenry modeled to earn extra money while she was a student at Stetson University.
13 Kristina Fitzpatrick
First known as Kristina Akra, this beauty has most recently been seen in her first season on Fox Sports South/Sportsouth as a reporter covering Braves games. We’ve got to believe if the Braves knew this easy-on-the-eyes broadcaster was going to be coming along, they may not have left TBS so quickly.
Prior to joining the Braves, Fitzpatrick was based in New York City and seen on the MLB Network. In the two seasons she was there, she appeared on High Heat With Christopher Russo and as the leader moderator for MLB Now. They retooled the show for season two, leaving Fitzpatrick in the dust. Clearly, beauty was not one of their prerequisites. Before MLB Network, she was seen on television covering the Washington Nationals on the show Nats Xtra.
12 Alex Curry
Alex Curry is another one of the beautiful sports broadcasting personalities who is in a regional market right now, but we have a feeling she’ll be getting some national exposure soon. Based out of Los Angeles, Curry is busy these days, hosting Angels Weekly and Kings Live on Fox Sports West and Tailgate 4 on the Big Ten Network. And since she clearly likes to be busy around the clock, you can catch her as the sideline reporter for the Red Bull Signature Series and the Pro Beach Volleyball Series. If you’re a regular Twitter user and care about the Angels or the Kings, Curry does a better job delivering the news and commentary about the teams than anything else you’ll find on television or the Internet.
11 Ines Sainz
Ines Sainz proves that you don’t have to be a 20-something blonde with blue eyes to make it in the sports world. The 37-year-old, aside from creating and hosting the Spanish-language show Dxtips and serving as a reporter for Mexican sports channel Aztec Deportes has been called the “Woman of Sports” in Mexico.
Known for her personality as much as her looks, she has had some crossover success as a model, appearing in magazines such as Esquire Mexico, Maxim and FHM. American sports fans unfamiliar with her work may remember her kicking up a little controversy with the New York Jets when, while waiting to interview quarterback Mark Sanchez, she was on the receiving end of lewd comments made by Jets players and tweeted about it as it was happening.
10 Renee Young
If you’re the hottest woman behind the microphone for the WWE, are you technically a sports reporter or an entertainment reporter? Taking one look at Renee Paquette, known to millions of fans as Renee Young, the answer doesn’t matter as long as she stays on the screen.
Obviously a genuine fan of pro wrestling, Young, a Canadian, worked for Score Television Network on a WWE-themed show prior to being hired for the big show. Now she can be found interviewing wrestlers during Monday Night Raw and hosting the pre-game show at WWE’s pay-per-view events. Don’t get any ideas about asking her out, though. She’s been dating pro wrestler Dean Ambrose for nearly a year.
9 Erin Sharoni
Erin Sharoni, seen most recently as a correspondent on Jim Rome on Showtime, may have one of the most impressive resumes beyond the broadcasting world. Prior to making the leap to broadcasting, Sharoni worked as an equities trader on Wall Street for Bear Stearns. She also has a thing for extreme sports, having said she loves surfing, snowboarding, and has also worked as personal trainer at the elite New York Health & Racquet Club. After making her leap to the small screen, her first gig was covering St. John’s before moving onto her gig with Rome. She’s also used her financial past occasionally appearing on the CNBC show The Kudlow Report.
8 Sara Carbonero
Yes, she’s one of the most beautiful women on Earth, but she may be able to claim the title as most distracting beautiful woman in the world following an event with her longtime boyfriend Iker Casillas, who has been a goalkeeper with the Spanish national team. In 2010, during the FIFA World Cup, Casillas turned in a less-than-stellar effort. Blame was immediately given to Carbonero by English newspapers, who was standing just off to the side from the soccer field, covering the event for Spanish television, but also rooting on her boyfriend. Spanish papers came to her defense, saying it had nothing to do with the loss. Both countries’ newspapers got to run pictures of Carbonero, so everybody won in the end.
7 Jaime Maggio
If you’re a sports fan, Jaime Maggio may look familiar, but that’s only because if it’s a job on television in sports, she’s probably had it, and most likely while balancing a bunch of other jobs. Maggio started as a correspondent for Fox Sports Network shortly after college in 2006. From there, it was a gig as courtside reporter and studio host for the Philadelphia 76ers that caught the attention of several national outlets. She served as a courtside reporter for the NBA playoffs for TNT and a correspondent for Inside the NBA. She also helped cover the baseball postseason on TBS and found time to cover the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. On weekends, she served as a sideline reporter for the NFL for CBS. It was that job that caught the attention of the NFL Network, which hired Maggio in 2012 to host its NFL Fantasy Live show. That’s one crazy schedule, but taking a look at her, it’s clear she must also find time for the gym.
6 Heidi Watney
Heidi Watney is one of those broadcasters who gets a lot of attention, positive and negative in the world of sports. Accused by some of sideline reporting during her time covering the Red Sox for the New England Sports Network that wasn’t exactly hard-hitting, Watney is actually a National Merit Scholar who earned a scholarship and graduated from the University of San Diego.
During her time with the Red Sox, she was romantically linked to catcher Jason Varitek, but those rumors were shot down by Varitek’s wife. Watney was hired to cover the Lakers in 2011, but her employment with Time Warner Cable Sportsnet was short lived, lasting just a few months and before she ever appeared on television. Watney has settled in with MLB Network. Her cousin is professional golfer Nick Watney.
5 Cari Champion
Cari Champion recently landed her highest-profile job of her career, being the first African American woman to anchor ESPN’s flagship show SportsCenter. Prior to the promotion, she could be seen as the moderator on ESPN2’s debate-style show, First Take, refereeing arguments between Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless and has contributed as a serious journalist to E:60. Champion’s early career was not geared toward sports, but while working as a reporter for a TV station in West Palm Beach, Florida, she developed a love for tennis, and her first sports gig was with The Tennis Channel. You may have also seen her on entertainment news show, The Insider.
4 Jenny Dell
Boston Red Sox fans may be angry over the recent release of longtime broadcaster Don Orsillo, but they do owe the braintrust at the New England Sports Network for their choice of female field correspondents. After the departure of statuesque blonde Watney, NESN went in a different direction in hiring a brunette, but stayed the course of hiring smoking hot women when they introduced the Beantown faithful to Jenny Dell.
She now is an NFL reporter for CBS, having been removed from her position at NESN after starting a relationship with third baseman Will Middlebrooks, who now plays for the San Diego Padres. Dell never planned on getting into broadcasting, but was spotted by a producer while working in the marketing department for ESPN and the rest is easy-on-the-eyes history.
3 Charlotte Jackson
If this is truly a list of the hottest female sports reporters, it’s time to get our passport and head overseas to gawk at British babe Charlotte Jackson. Now a leading personality on Sky Sports News, Jackson is one of the only women to break into the television side of the business who came from the world of blogging, having contributed to both golf and football sites. Her first break in television was for Setanta Sports News, covering of all things, a dart tournament.
Jackson’s background is quite varied. She originally studied to become a doctor and was also a musician in an all-girl band. She is married to soccer player Chris Coleman and the duo recently gave birth to their first child.
2 Marisol Gonzalez
Mexico is simply teeming with gorgeous female sports personalities and with all-due respect to Ines Sainz, nobody south of the border holds a candle to Marisol Gonzalez. A former Miss Universe contestant, she is a reporter for Televisa Deportes. Gonzalez has also rightfully done some modeling and has worked as an actress on cheesy Mexican soap opera Contra viento y marea and has made several other appearances as an actress since. González was once engaged to Mexican boxing champion "Canelo" Saúl Álvarez. Gonzalez has over 1.2 million Twitter followers, but if you can’t read Spanish, it’s probably best to stick with her sexy Instagram account.
1 Erin Andrews
Is it the obvious choice? Maybe. Erin Andrews certainly is more well-known than any other female sports reporter in the game today. After all, she’s the only one that has been invited to co-host on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars.
Andrews rose to fame as a reporter and anchor for a variety of shows and sports with ESPN from 2004 to 2012. She made the jump to network TV after being signed by FOX, where she has covered the World Series and worked her way up to lead sideline reporter for NFL on FOX, replacing Pam Oliver, who was demoted to the B-game.