*Make no mistake. When it comes to sports, Pam Oliver is all about her business. So much so that she often sacrifices her good looks for the sake of delivering the best possible coverage for TV viewers tuning in to enjoy every part of the game they’re watching.
Nevertheless, some sports fans have found other things about Oliver to talk about. As was the case during the NFC Championship game between the Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers. While the country was preoccupied with Richard Sherman’s post-game rant, Oliver endured personal scrutiny, courtesy of a bad hair day on game day.
The journalist’s hair was such a concern for viewers that it became the butt of jokes on social media, an Internet meme and even trended on Twitter. Nevertheless, Oliver took it all in stride as she was more fascinated by all the interest her hair generated.
“It’s the psychology of it that I want to understand,” she told Philly.com. “It’s comical. This whole thing is just comical.”
Despite the belief that sideline reporters are only around to appear on game and hold a microphone, Oliver is quick to reveal that game day is more about getting herself properly prepared and ready to do her job than it is looking good in front of the camera.
“No, I wish it were so easy. It’s a process. I do my own hair and makeup – insert joke here,” she explained, adding that she doesn’t have hair stylists and makeup artists with her on game day. “I’m up early. I’m at the stadium about 4 hours before the game, just going over some last-minute stuff and then waiting for some players to come out, which is generally 2 hours before the game.
“You’re out there, trying a to catch players, get some last-minute stuff, get your reports turned around quickly, and I may or may not have time to put on lip gloss or powder my face,” Oliver continued as she emphasized that “the most important thing to me is getting my information and getting it right and hoping that everything else is going well with the hair and what little makeup I have left.” “I know TV is a visual medium, but there are times when you kind of hope that people are listening to what you’re saying as opposed to judging you if a strand of hair is not in place or if you have only got one eye lined or something…. there are times I get so tunnel-visioned and focused on what I’m doing to the point of maybe letting that other stuff fall by the wayside. It’s not intentional. You want to look your best on TV.”
Oliver’s desire to master her broadcasting duties stands out in a field that finds her seeing firsthand the double standard that she notes is still present for women in broadcasting.
“It’s just not even close. A guy can wear the same tie every other week and it’s not even an issue. But if a woman is on and a strand of hair is out of place or if there’s a little piece of something in your hair, people go crazy,” she voiced to Philly.com. “It’s always been that way. It’s never going to change,” she said. “Men get away with a lot more than a woman can.”