Reporter is one hot topic

MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:09 AM ET

There has been a lot of sermonizing taking place again on the age-old and tired issue of women in the locker room, thanks to the incident surrounding Ines Sainz of Mexico's TV Azteca and the New York Jets. While at the Jets' practice facility last weekend, Sainz said she was the subject of "catcalls and comments" from a few players while waiting to interview quarterback Mark Sanchez. It led to an apology from Jets owner Woody Johnson and the opening of an old can of worms.

There are those who have slapped the Jets over their boorish behaviour and those that claim that Sainz, who bills herself as the "hottest" sports babe, can't have it both ways--walk around in sprayed-on clothing and then call 'foul' when dopey athletes make dopey comments.

That it would happen in the Jets locker room is not surprising, given the image they have cultivated from mouthy coach Rex Ryan to the reality TV show Hard Knocks. The Jets players probably view themselves them-as modern-day Pirates of the Caribbean, so hollering crude comments at a good looking woman in the sanctity of their locker room is hardly a surprise.

For whatever reason, Bears linebacker Lance Briggs decided to weigh in on the topic.

"I don't think women should be in the locker room," Briggs told NBCChicago.com ."The locker room is the place where us guys, us football players, we dress, we shower, we're naked, we're walking around and we're bombarded by media."

Now, that's advanced thinking.

If the Jets players had any smarts, they would have acted professionally and let Sainz do her job no matter how 'hot' she was and what clothing she wore. But boys will be boys and sex is still sex and there will always be a few dopes in the crowd. Have I seen players purposely stand around naked, exposing themselves, when a female reporter is in the room in an effort to either embarrass or impress? You betcha.

By far, though, the great majority on both sides act in a professional manner.

One of my favourite stories about female reporters and athletes concerns former Toronto Star baseball writer Alison Gordon, one of the first women to crash the locker rooms in the late 1970s and early '80s.

Gordon used to tell this story herself. One spring, training there was a standing bet by a bunch of players to any player that bedded her. The reason she knew about it is that one player told her and said he'd split the money with her if she'd go along.

Now that's insulting, and hilarious.

WIDENING GAP

It will likely be a battle t-y of backup quarterbacks on Sunday in Motown when the Detroit Lions take on the visiting Philadelphia Eagles.

The Lions stated the obvious when they announced that veteran Shaun Hill will be leading the troops while No. 1 pivot Matthew Stafford recovers from an injured right shoulder.

On the Eagles, the expectations are high that Michael Vick will play in place of Kevin Kolb, who suffered a concussion sason in last week's season opener against Green Bay.

The NFL is a league that is driven by star quarterbacks teruly and what is truly amazing is that, in a sport that is so physical and dangerous daninjury, and subject to injury, that there is such a drop-off ropstarter in talent from the starter to the guy holding the clipboard clip-es. on the sidelines. In no other sport is the difference erence in talent and level of ability between the No. 1 and his understudy so profound.

So, on that count, the Eagles have a big advantage in Vick over the shopworn and pedestrian talent that is Hill.

But Hill is the mountain that the struggling Lions must now climb and there is no timetable established for Stafford's return. His family said he will be visiting famed surgeon Dr. James Andrews this week.

It's the third injury in not even two seasons for Stafford, who last year missed six weeks with shoulder (left) and knee (left) issues. So you have to start to wonder if durability is an issue.

After Stafford went down last Sunday in Chicago, Hill went 9-for-19 passing for 88 yards with one interception. He should have had a game-winning TD reception too but that's another story.

"He's a veteran quarterback, he's been around a long time," said coach Jim Schwartz of Hill. "He knows how to prepare, he knows how to be ready for those situations. He's been in that role before."

And he's been a backup for most of his career for a reason.

ON THE PROWL

While the Eagles, the Lions and probably the Browns will have to go to their backups at quarterback this Sunday, the news is brighter for the Carolina Panthers.

Matt Moore took part in Thursday's practice and, unless he suffers a relapse, is expected to make the start Sunday against Tampa Bay even though he suffered a concussion in the loss against the Giants.

Moore was pounded by the Giants in a game in which he lost a fumble and had three interceptions.

mike.rutsey@sunmedia.ca


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