Pick me! Pick me!

Anyone with a pulse could feel the energy building across campus this week.

Vitality and zest are hanging like a fog in the air, from Lee Hills to Greek Town to Bond Life Sciences Center and beyond.  I wish I could bottle it up.

Imagine a hammering beat, bouncing from lead guitar to drums and back, finding a crescendo in the roar of thousands upon thousands of gold-clad Tiger fans flooding the Francis Quad.

When the Quad opens at 3:30 a.m. tomorrow, MU will attempt to beat rival Nebraska’s GameDay crowd record of 15,808.  I’m sure many have hopes of appearing on national TV, even if only for the most ephemeral moment.

Why?

To be sure, I’ll be there waiting in the cold, dark, predicatably-rainy conditions, but I don’t care if I fill the lens of an ESPN camera.

I was on TV every Friday night from three years, from August to March. I worked with an amazing group of sports journalists, and I kept coming back because it was unbelievably fun.  And I love sports.

Reflecting on that time, I wonder if I doled out a significant dose of stereotyped bias.

At whatever high school game I happened to find myself, I was charged with engaging the crowd for a quick skit, joke or reference to the theme of the broadcast.

More often than not (read: always), I chose the first beautiful cheerleader or girl from the student section who came running when she saw the microphone in my hand.

I could have chosen somebody else, but I stuck with the looks.  Did I act as a purveyor of a reiterating cycle for selecting beauty first for television?

Is there a reason Erin Andrews is on College Gameday? Yes.  She’s well informed and excels at her job.  But does her appearance also play a role?

ESPN would probably tell you that she has her job because she’s talented and worked hard.  ESPN’s marketing gurus would probably not deny that she helps draw eyeballs for a male-dominated audience.

I think Andrews is good for sports and good for journalism.  Both fields need more gender equity.  I just wonder if my actions reflect on these words.

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