Controversy is swirling in New York over whether or not female reporter Inez Sainz was harassed by Jets players and head coach Rex Ryan. It would seem that Sainz, who was covering the Jets for a Mexican television network, was subjected to catcalls in the Jets locker room and that Ryan had supposedly had his defensive backs run drills that would cause them to run into Sainz. Now, many think that this harassment is due to the fact that Sainz is a woman. In fact, she has already defended herself by saying that she was dressed appropriately. But the dark secret here is that there is a long history of reporters, both male and female, being subject to harassment.
– In 1993, Chris Berman arrived at a Buffalo Bills practice in late August. It was a hot day so Berman stripped down to just a white tee-shirt. Jim Kelly then threw a bucket of water on him and the players crowned Berman the First Annual Miss Buffalo Wet Titty winner. Berman was said to be proud but also slightly embarrassed and to this day is obsessed with pec exercises.
– In 1976, Howard Cosell visited the training facility of the Oakland Raiders and was forced to pose by Ken Stabler as Stabler’s dying father so Stabler could pick up women. It worked like a charm and occasionally Cosell would even get in on the sympathy sex, as he and Stabler cooked up a heart rending routine about giving a dying man his last wish. Cosell, however, soon grew tired of the routine when he realized that Stabler was taking all the attractive women and leaving him with all the grenades, which incidentally was a term coined by Cosell, who was known as the original “Situation.” Cosell was left feeling bitter and used by the experience. Stabler has no recollection of those days on account of the fact that he was routinely drunk.
– In 2006, Joe Buck was horrified when he heard Tony Dungy say the word “darn” during a Colts practice. Buck lectured Dungy for an hour about it and then they went to a prayer group together for two hours while Edgerrin James told women that a concussed Troy Aikman was his retarded brother in order to work the sympathy angle a la Stabler and Cosell. If women objected on account of the fact that James was black and Aikman was white, James would move on because they were too smart and would only give him trouble. When Buck learned that this was happening, he lectured James for an hour and then took him to the prayer meeting with Dungy. Aikman drooled on himself and then issued a statement saying that he was appropriately dressed at all times. Buck claimed he was offended and then lectured a random group of reporters for an hour before making them all attend the prayer group with Dungy and James.
– In 1972, a young Marv Albert was forced to hold Wilt Chamberlain’s exposed penis while Chamberlain granted an interview in the locker room to a group of reporters. Chamberlain claimed that he didn’t like knowing his “friend” was “lonely” while he was engaged in conversation and so Albert had to serve as his “friend’s date.” Albert later identified this incident as the genesis of the weird sexual fetishes which caused him great shame and embarrassment when they were eventually brought to light.
– In 1843, while explaining the rules of his new sport baseball to a crowd of interested reporters, Abner Doubleday exposed himself, using his erect penis as a visual aide when explaining the concept of a baseball bat. A Mrs. Margaret Buck, covering Doubleday for her small, church newsletter, passed out. When she awoke, Mrs. Buck lectured Doubleday for an hour and then forced him to attend a prayer group. This story was passed through her family for generations until it was finally heard by her great, great, great, great grandson Joe. The story and the incident was said to play a powerful role in the young boy’s development.
As you can, there is a long and sordid history of harassment of reporters (and the Buck family) by athletes in our nation’s history. It is sad that Ines Sainz was caught up in this nonsense but it’s not particularly surprising that this would happen at a New York Jets practice. After all, this is a team that has Joe Namath routinely wandering around, dispensing advice to players and coaches alike. They probably would have harassed Margaret Thatcher. Ines Sainz, I know it’s small comfort, but just remember that it’s not you, it’s just that those guys are assholes.