The phrase “we need to talk” has driven men and women crazy for generations. In a different angle though, CBS’s newest sports talk show, We Need to Talk, will ultimately affect more men than ever, as it will be the first all-female sports talk show in media history. Despite this long overdue milestone, the panel of CBS’s most prominent women sports announcers will be able to prove that they can keep up with the big boys like never before. We Need to Talk will debut on September 30.
Women have always been stereotyped to not be as knowledgeable, if at all, about sports unless they play softball, tennis, volleyball or anything deemed a “woman’s sport.” Even so, men are often categorized as being more knowledgeable when it comes to masculine sports like football and basketball when being compared to women. Times have changed. More women of all ages are following various sports today and may even win a conversation or debate with a man in regards to a game that aired the night before. CBS and even ESPN’s SportsCenter consists of a panel of all men, but often have women sports announcers covering sports individually for the men to comment on. CBS decided to finally end this trend.
We Need to Talk will feature CBS’s own Amy Trask, Lesley Visser, Dana Jacobson, Tracy Wolfson, and former-pageant-star-gone-sports announcer, Allie LaForce. All five of these women have been prominent in CBS when covering sports stories and will create a powerful panel. In addition, appearances by Swin Cash, Andrea Kremer, Dara Torres, Katrina Adams, Laila Ali, and Summer Sanders will be made throughout the talk show. All of these women are sports-driven and will be showing that they love sports just as much as any other male sports announcer in the field.
Women on various sports talk shows, from ESPN to Fox News, have successfully covered sports throughout the years. They are showing up in more news channels than ever and are attracting male viewers throughout the country. Women are indefinitely expected to prove that they can hold a conversation with a man about current news in sports, whether they are in the news or not. The female sports announcers in just CBS’s roster alone can prove just how capable they are with covering sports stories. As the lead sports journalists for shows like The NFL on CBS and SEC on CBS, announcers Lesley Visser and Allie LaForce are just examples of how capable they are of their jobs and successfully informative they are, despite the supposed disadvantage afforded by their gender.
Many would even recall that Allie LaForce was a former pageant queen as she was crowned Miss Teen USA in 2005. Despite being a “girly” pageant girl, LaForce has succeeded in being one of CBS’s most well-known sports announcers today. We Need to Talk will undoubtedly provide a newer and fresher perspective on “manly” leagues such as the NFL and NBA and could affect men more than ever. Women may even be able to use this source to learn a little about what is going on in the sports world just to steer conversation and keep up with the men in their lives. To men, this may not be as negative as it seems.
Sports such as football and basketball have always been more masculine in the opinions of many. For this reason, men have always sat down at the panels in both pre-game and post-game talk shows. We Need to Talk could possibly suffer from low ratings initially, simply based off of the projected negative opinions throughout the nation, especially those coming from men. Just how many of these men will choose We Need to Talk over SportsCenter? The numbers are unpredictable, but in the end, these female announcers have covered their specialized sport before. The only difference is that they are women coming together to do what all sports fans do, regardless of gender. Men will be affected by We Need to Talk, but in the end, this could ultimately open eyes to men everywhere that women are becoming more knowledgeable in sports.
Commentary by Tricia Manalansan