Some weird news hit the football world yesterday afternoon. Charissa Thompson, former NFL sideline reporter on FOX and now one of the table hosts on Thursday Night Football went on Pardon My Take and admitted to occasionally making up some sideline reports during games.


So first off, I honestly think her biggest mistake here is admitting it out loud. Nobody gives a fuck about the sideline reports, especially during the halftime break. The coaches and players clearly don’t want to be there or give any ammo to the media, so they speak in general boring platitudes to get through it as quickly and painlessly as they can. The Sideline report’s most useful job is getting updates on injuries and getting the post-game interview, which occasionally becomes a spectacle but usually isn’t. Halftime reports are often fairly meaningless. No shit the team that is winning wants to keep doing what they are doing. No shit the team struggling needs to execute better. We don’t need these 30 seconds of fluff. I absolutely understand that sometimes a coach is going to avoid you (especially if the game is going poorly) and you just don’t have time to get anything meaningful for a quick report at halftime. I’m an adult, you reading this are likely an adult, with an adult job. Sometimes shit doesn’t line up for you and you gotta BS your way through something. I genuinely don’t care that she made a few mild lies based on how the games were going when she couldn’t get a pull quote.

But you can’t say it out loud. You can’t just confirm it like that, because even in sports fluff like this, reporters depend on integrity. The job depends on the relationships the reporter can form with the coaches and players to get them to open up and talk to you. No, sometimes you won’t be able to get the interview and you might have to take it from a different angle, or maybe embellish the mild information you did get. I get that. But when she went on the podcast and admitted it, she basically undermined the gig. Every sideline reporter working right now is probably mad at her for saying the quiet part out loud because now they are going to be joked about and scrutinized when they have no reason to be. I think it’s telling that pretty much every sideline reporter I saw react to the news was really mad about it. This affects them. It affects the ones who never make anything up, it affects the ones who have had to do so, and it affects the perception of the position in a negative light. A position a lot of people already don’t have much respect for.

Not to mention, sideline reporting is one of the few jobs in the sports entertainment sphere that seems very friendly to women in the industry. It seems like one of the few places you can make it as a woman in sports. Most jobs seem to go to former players and whatnot but sideline reporters are very frequently women and they worked hard to get there. There’s no need to make people even less likely to take sideline reporters seriously and make it harder for the women trying to make it right now. Sideline reporters are already fighting an uphill battle for relevancy and I don’t think the job should be eliminated or anything, but maybe it deserves some tweaks to how it is used so that we aren’t just dismissing the halftime report for the usual fluff it is.

This honestly isn’t a huge deal and with Thompson long removed from the gig I doubt she even deals with any repercussions for it outside probably a talking to from her boss telling her to be a bit more careful what stories she shares. That’s probably all that’s needed, the short-term social media jokes and outrage are probably enough of a punishment. But I get the outrage from others in the industry.

Lastly I mostly used this as an excuse to draw Eberflus, wasn’t sure I’d get a chance to draw him before he gets fired.