Forget for a second that Suzy Kolber should get this job on merit.
Forget that she’s the most qualified in ability and has crushed the Monday Night slot since taking over. Taking over, by the way, in an uncomfortable position as the part-time fill in for Stu Scott at the heigh of his chemo rounds (RIP in Peace on the Cooler Side Of The Pillow).
Forget that she’s the most deserving in regard to “paying her dues”. She’s worked sideline, hosted pregame and halftime, quarterbacked studio shows, etc. for NFL for two decades while expertly managing the scores of outrageous players ESPN puts on those panels. Not to mention how well she handled the Namath thing.
Suzy Kolber is still a goddamn fox.
That woman is 54-going-on-40. An absolute stunner. Which means that even if ESPN was going with the “younger, prettier face” decision… something that, as unfair and demeaning as that may be, is still a reality of this industry… they still chose wrong.
That’s not a knock on Sam Ponder. Ponder is really good at what she does while also being an absolute knockout. And I’m not saying this just saying it. Give her Monday Night. Give her Kolber’s old job. She’s earned a promotion. She’s done a really good job while simultaneously shedding the “hot sideline reporter girl” label. It’s something that guys don’t have to deal with, and she did it at a super young age. Give her a promotion.
Just don’t do that at the expense of someone more qualified and more deserving, who is, yes, still a “pretty face” for the unavoidably large percentage of the audience who need the host to be hot enough to quell their insecurities about women working in sports. There’s not misogynist alive who wouldn’t be okay with Suzy Kolber hosting Sunday Countdown for that reason. And even if that’s wrong, it’s still very clearly a part of ESPN’s decision process here.
If I’m Suzy, I go scorched earth here. She’s put up with too much for too long to get passed over on some bullshit like this. Sundays should be for Suzy. So good morning to everyone except the ESPN suits.