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Candice Crawford Follows Path of Erin Andrews to Legitimacy as Sports Reporter

Updated on February 4, 2009
Erin Andrews of ESPN and ABC Sports
Erin Andrews of ESPN and ABC Sports

These days, when you hear the phrase “female sports reporter” one name comes to mind: Erin Andrews. A former cheerleader for the Florida Gators, Andrews has parlayed impressive sports knowledge, uncanny talent in front of a camera, and – yes – stunning good looks, to become the most popular and well-known female sports reporter in the business. Google “Erin Andrews” and there are 519,000 search results. Many of those are sports blogs, with mostly male administrators and visitors, who have made a cottage industry out of tracking her every move and outfit.

Erin Andrews: Achieving Success, Overcoming Criticism

What has allowed Erin Andrews to separate herself from her other female counterparts is that while many male sports fans, not unexpectedly, focus on her looks, Andrews has also earned respect for being a knowledgeable sports fan. She is not just a “hot chick” who is allowed to roam the sidelines because she keeps male eyes viewed to the TV screen; she is a very capable sports journalist who just happens to be pretty easy on the eyes.

Now, Andrews has not been completely immune to criticism. Last year, she came under fire from columnist Mike Nadel for using her sex appeal in the locker room; the example cited by Nadel referred to Andrews’ purported flirting in the Chicago Cubs locker room. There have also been numerous rumors, all unsubstantiated but widely publicized in the sports blogosphere, of romantic trysts between Andrews and various athletes. (Links below)

Erin Andrews interviews Illinois head coach Bruce Weber.
Erin Andrews interviews Illinois head coach Bruce Weber.

Considering her stature, exposure level, and the male-dominated arena in which she works, such criticism and gossip is not really all that surprising. What is somewhat surprising is that Andrews has been able to consistently remain above the fray and maintain her credibility as a journalist. Erin Andrews is not the first female sports journalist to be universally renowned for being attractive, but she has probably been more successful than any other “hot” female sports reporter at leveraging her looks into mass exposure while also receiving tremendous respect for her professional work.

Suzy Kolber, Rachel Nichols, Shelley Smith, Andrea Kremer, Pam Oliver – all are respected as journalists, but none have received one iota of the hype for their looks that Andrews does. “Hot” reporters like Jillian Barberie and Jill Arrington were chided for being all looks and not respected for their actual journalistic work. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I haven’t seen either one of them on TV in a while. There is a short shelf life for female reporters who get opportunities because of their looks but cannot back it up with talent and credibility.

The question then becomes, is Erin Andrews paving the way for a new era of female sports reporters who will be able to embrace their supreme good looks and still be respected for their journalistic talents?

The answer, at least in this author's opinion, is yes; an attractive woman can be respected as a journalist in a predominantly male arena, so long as the woman in question actually has and displays true journalistic ability.

University of Missouri senior and KOMU-TV reporter Candice Crawford.
University of Missouri senior and KOMU-TV reporter Candice Crawford.

Candice Crawford Charts Her Path to Success

An example of an up-and-comer in the sports reporting and broadcasting industry who appears poised to follow in the respected footsteps of Erin Andrews is University of Missouri senior Candice Crawford.  And if that name sounds familiar, it should.  Candice Crawford is not your average college senior. 

Fans of the TV show “Gossip Girl” will know the name Candice Crawford because she is the younger sister of Chace Crawford.  Candice, however, has carved out her own level of fame by being successful on the beauty pageant circuit.  She was named Miss Missouri 2008 after competing successfully for years on the Miss Teen USA circuit.  Currently, Candice Crawford is finishing up her senior year at the University of Missouri, and she has achieved plenty to convince any objective observer that she is much, much more than just a beauty queen who is the gorgeous sister of a famous actor.  


Candice Crawford has been on the Dean’s List all four years of college and has worked as both a sports anchor and reporter at KOMU-TV in Columbia, MO. Additionally, Crawford has cut her teeth during two summers as an intern with her hometown Dallas Cowboys. One of her assignments was to host “The Blitz”, a show about the Cowboys on the CBS affiliate in Dallas.  One of Crawford's "The Blitz" segements is featured in the video to the right. 


Furthermore, Crawford appears to have a discerning eye on the future of sports media, which she has displayed by deciding to foray into the sports blogosphere.  She recently became a featured author at the popular sports blog Midwest Sports Fans, where she writes a regular column called “From the Sideline.” 


Candice Crawford appears to be wisely following in the lead of many newspaper columnists and TV personalities by utilizing the web, and the tremendous exposure potential of sports blogs, to gain exposure, develop credibility, and establish her reputation as an informed voice on a variety of sports topics.   As she prepares to graduate and evolve from college-town TV reporter to a much more national profile, Crawford is proving that she is willing to pay her dues and earn respect as a journalist.   


There is no need to mince words or ignore the 800-pound elephant in the room: Candice Crawford’s name and looks will open plenty of doors for her.  However, Crawford appears poised to join Erin Andrews one day as much more than just a pretty face on TV.  Crawford’s easily evident talent, combined with her willingness to work hard to earn respect, will give her the ability to achieve legitimate success as a journalist and broadcaster.  Candice Crawford may be acknowledged and even achieve mega-fame because of her looks, but she will no doubt be in-demand and respected both publicly and professionally for her voice and legitimate achievements as a journalist.


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      7 years ago

      Sounds like both women wrote these pieces as part of an autobiography. While they are enamored with their perceived celebrity and self-worth as reporters, they are still part of the media - nothing more. And they both probably have heads the size of a planet, ready to burst. Ugh.

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      8 years ago

      I think being a good female reporter is a good path to take for Candice Crawford since Erin Andrews is already popular and nice reporter to follow

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      8 years ago

      I don't think she will garner as much attention as Erin Andrews unless she is shoved down our throats like Erin Andrews is. She covers most of the games on ESPN & can be seen on ABC doing college football games.

      I think Candice will have to "pay her dues" before getting to that point.


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