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June 12, 2008 at 11:41 am ET
Title IX Writer Weighs In II: Rick Sutcliffe Boogaloo

Nice pornstache, Rick.Perhaps this will become a regular feature here at Bugs & Cranks. My first one went up in response to a request by a fellow writer to give my opinion about the Ozzie Guillen slumpbuster hullabaloo. This next one was sent to me by Alert Reader Jeff Schwager and features a story from the USS Mariner. The story concerns last night’s Braves-Cubs game and Rick Sutcliffe. After the first Title IX post featured Ozzie Guillen, can you really be all that surprised about an appearance by Mr. Sutcliffe?

(Yes, I know he has cancer. Good for him. That doesn’t mean he gets a free pass to be a jerkoff.)

It seems that last night, Sutcliffe went off on a rant during the game about Erin Andrews, “how good she looked, her skirt, and how everyone was watching her and her skirt and when they cut to the broadcast booth, his partner had this weird look of terror and shock on his face, and they chatted about how distracting she was around the batting cage” (via USS Mariner story). There is video available here.  Here is what I have to say about it:

1. How does this man still have a job? That was not rhetorical. I’m seriously asking. It’s sort of like when Michael Scott does something outrageous and think to yourself that in real life he would never ever keep his job, except Rick Sutcliffe has yet to do any of the redeeming things that make you think, “That’s why Michael hasn’t gotten fired yet.” (See Valentine’s Day episode.) Sutcliffe has been drunk on the air, with a nice moment where he slurred that George Clooney was “down there trying to solve that thing” (“that thing” being Africa, I believe). And now he can’t keep his inappropriate comments about Erin Andrews to himself.

2. Erin Andrews. First off, I get the allure. I love Erin Andrews. I want her to be my BFF, but then I’d probably end up SWFing her. I approached her once at the Big Ten Men’s basketball tournament and in telling me to come back during halftime, she touched my arm and called me sweetheart. Best moment ever. However: we all know she’s hot, Rick. Hell, the blind baseball announcer who got plunked with a foul ball knows she’s hot. But time and time again I think she’s proven that she’s way more than just a pretty talking-head, which is a damn sight more than we can say about Rick Sutcliffe, who is a talking-head but sure as shit ain’t pretty. She also seems cool and fun. Let her do her job, you dirty old pervert.

3. Erin Andrews’ Restraint. Frankly, I cannot believe the restraint this woman has shown regarding the cadre of idiotic asshats she works with. You just know that at some ESPN function Chris Berman has drunkenly sidled up to her and, like, honked her boobs or something. The fact that she hasn’t been arrested for grabbing a baseball bat and wailing on these guys astounds me and says that Erin is a better woman than I am.

4. Who Thinks This Behavior is Okay? A few months ago I got in an argument with a guy because he called a woman a bitch. The reason he called her that was because he had tried to chat her up at the gym and she had asked him (politely, I double-checked with him) to stop talking to her because she wanted to work out. And that made her a bitch. When I took issue with him calling her that, saying that I go to the gym to work-out and I’m not a bitch just because I don’t want to get chatted up by dudes while I do so, he said, “Oh, boo hoo. It’s so hard to be a pretty girl.”

That is so far beyond rational thought to me. So if a girl is pretty she is inviting this kind of behavior? And she should just take it because, I don’t know, that’s what you get for being physically attractive? Erin Andrews should thank her lucky stars that she’s pretty and just roll with it when a colleague wants to make pervy comments about her ON THE AIR? Who teaches these men that this kind of behavior is acceptable?

It’s unprofessional, to say the least. It’s demeaning and degrading. It’s not as though Sutcliffe would ever say that about ESPN’s more attractive male analysts, like Kirk Herbstreit or Jay Bilas. I can’t believe this blowhard still has a job.

After having watched the video, I don’t think this is quiiiiite as bad as the USS Mariner makes it out to be.  I was expecting worse, frankly.  But I don’t think this is the first or last time something like this has happened and the points still stand.

Got something you want the Title IX writer to weigh in on?  Hit me up at andrealeigh203@gmail.com

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9 Responses to “Title IX Writer Weighs In II: Rick Sutcliffe Boogaloo”
  1. Rachael W says:

    Well said! I didn’t see the broadcast in question, but I can imagine this type of thing happens often enough to Erin Andrews and other attractive female sports broadcasters. I think men are intimidated by attractive women who know sports — not that this excuses their behavior. Several times — but not often, thankfully — I’ve joined in an all-male conversation about sports, only to be met with mostly cold, blank looks, as if I shouldn’t be involved in the discussion because I’m a woman. (Usually, in situations like these, there’s been at least one guy in the group who’s tried to make me feel included by responding to my points, so not all guys are like this.)

    I feel like Erin Andrews was hired on her looks first and her reporting skills/knowledge second. I don’t mean that she doesn’t know what she’s doing and that she’s less than a first-class reporter. I mean that I think the guys in charge of hiring over at ESPN probably said, “We want an attractive female sideline reporter,” operating on the idea that they already have a knowledgeable baseball commentator in the person of Peter Gammons, so why not value attractiveness over substance when hiring a woman? I feel like I’m expressing myself badly — I agree with you, Andrea, and I’m trying to offer one more reason why Erin Andrews probably has to put up with this type of sexism on the job.

    Oh, and your reaction to Michael’s behavior in “The Office” is exactly the same as mine: “Why hasn’t he been fired yet? Oh, so that’s why he wasn’t fired!”

  2. Oh, I agree that her looks definitely got her hired. They aren’t the sole reason, but between a girl who knows sports who isn’t as pretty and Erin Andrews, you’re going to take the pretty one. And that’s fine, b/c that’s how the medium of television works.

  3. Good call. Completely agree.

    A couple weeks ago, during the first interleague series, I heard an interview on an O’s radio station with the Nats on-field reporter, a woman whose name escapes me now. After the woman made a lot of serious points about the Nats/O’s series, the radio dorks said something like, “hey, let’s skip the game and have the on-field reporters mud wrestle!” (both teams have women on-field reporters, obviously.) While she gamely tried to deflect the stupidity, you could hear how embarrassing it was for her and you could really hear the disappointment in her voice.

    When knuckleheads start getting shitcanned for stuff like that, it’ll stop. Until then, nope.

  4. Pearl says:

    Erin Andrews wasn’t hired as a reporter. She slept her way to the top and I’m not being jealous of her. We went to the same high school and college and she hasn’t changed a bit. A few of my fiance’s frat brothers work at ESPN and they know first hand. It’s gross but it doesn’t give anyone the right to talk to her the way Sutcliffe did.

  5. Sarge says:

    Well Pearl just opened a new can of worms…

  6. I’m choosing to ignore that Sarge. I don’t exactly think my best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s frat brothers are the best source.

  7. Anarchist Accountant says:

    Shouldn’t Title IX writers be less worried about baseball announcers and more concerned with how many men’s collegiate wrestling programs they can destroy in the upcoming year.

  8. BRad says:

    Sounds like you’re harboring some serious hatred towards the opposite sex. It must be really tough being a woman and getting hit on. Did your daddy beat you as a child or something?

  9. I’m the last guy around here to argue with our readers, but BRad – that’s just weak. Sounds like you’re the one harboring hatred.

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