The benefits to a sports broadcast of having a sideline reporter seem obvious: immediate access to players and coaches; a source near the bench for injury updates; and an up-close-and-personal perspective on the action. However, thanks to honest mistakes, individual eccentricities and the unforgiving nature of live television, sometimes things can get a tad uncomfortable.
Tuesday night after Game 1 of the World Series, Fox's Erin Andrews and the San Francisco Giants' Hunter Pence had this exchange:
Being corrected on air is one thing, but what about being kissed? Fox Sports sideline reporter Allie Clifton experienced that last week, courtesy of Cleveland Cavaliers forward Tristan Thompson:
The internet lit up over the moment. Yahoo! Sports' Kelly Dwyer slammed Thompson for sexual harassment. In response, Joe Gilbert of the Ohio sports website Waiting For Next Year described Dwyer's assessment as "a little overboard,"but acknowledged the incident was inappropriate. For what it's worth, Clifton herself tweeted that it was "not a big deal."
After last season's NFC Championship Game, Andrews conducted a brief and bizarre interview with a fired-up Richard Sherman, who seemed to have had had just about enough of the San Francisco 49ers' Michael Crabtree:
In hindsight, it's actually surprising that this sort of explosion of intensity isn't seen more often, given how quickly cameras and microphones are shoved in players' faces only moments after adrenaline-fueled competition.
Of course, no post about awkward sideline interviews would be complete without mentioning Suzy Kolber's interview with Joe Namath from a "Monday Night Football" telecast in December 2003: