Women + Hockey


Earlier today Bryan Reynolds, who does a great job covering the Minnesota Wild over at SB Nation, posted an article based on (I’m assuming) this tweet by Caity Kauffman, who does PR for the Florida Jr. Everblades. In his post, Reynolds makes a ton of great points, but he also makes some I have to disagree with.

Let’s start with this:

"Obviously, Caity Kauffman is not the PR guru for the Junior Everblades, she must just be another “puck bunny,” right? Obviously, Sarah Spain doesn’t really know anything about… well… every sport in Earth, she clearly became on of the must-follow Chicago sports reporter because of her car commercials, right?"

Let’s start with Sarah Spain. Sarah Spain does not know sports. I know (well, know via the internet) many people from Chicago, male and female, and they all say that Sarah Spain has no idea what she’s talking about. As for Caity, I haven’t seen her tweet about sports all that much, but for the moment let’s assume she is the most knowledgeable hockey fan on Earth. In each case, there is one basic characteristic they share: their attractiveness.

Lets look at a scenario: I decide to send in my resume to become the Director of Media Relations for the Junior Blades. Lets also assume I have the exact same resume as Ms. Kauffman. I may flatter myself and call myself handsome, but regardless whatever you rank her from a scale of 1-10 looks wise you have to knock me down 2-2.5 points. If I walk in to interview and am polite, personable and smart, and an attractive blonde walks in and is polite, personable and smart, she is obviously going to get the job. I am not saying it is right or wrong, just that it is how it is.

Did Jenn Sterger go from some random girl in the stands at a Florida State football game to writing for Sports Illustrated because she is talented? Or is it simply because she is attractive? It is human nature for people to bend over backwards to help attractive people. It has been scientifically proven. Whether we are talking about Sterger, Spain or Kauffman, they may well be the smartest people on Earth (though I could only ever be convinced that one of them is), the door was opened not by their brains, but their looks. This is not an indictment, just a statement of fact.

The woman in sports I most respect is Doris Burke at ESPN. She does sideline and color commentary for college basketball and NBA games. A former player at Providence, Burke worked her way up through the broadcasting world and she is the first woman to do color for a New York Knicks game and a Big East mens game. I don’t like watching the NBA, but when she is doing color I will always stop and listen, not because I hope the camera will pan to her, but because she is, in my opinion, the best NBA commentator around. I always learn something about the game listening to her talk about it.

Sadly, the Doris Burkes are few and far between. I think Erin Andrews is great at her job, but if she looked like Rosie O’Donnell there is no way she would have the gig she does now. It’s just a way of life. Women (and anyone) should get their job because of their skills, not because of their looks.

Caity is a nice person, but her complaining in this case is absolutely ridiculous. The fact is, attractive females get every advantage in life. I fully agree women should be judged on their merits and not their looks, but it’s tough to argue that someone’s looks shouldn’t be relevant when the door has been opened because of said looks.