And when a female sports journalist gets a great story, you can almost set your watch by how quickly whispers start that she must have slept with the player to get it. C., when they launched the NBA team there, the Charlotte Hornets.But that's all manageable, and it fades the longer you're in the business. And the first guy to roll into town was Carolina native Michael Jordan.When halftime happens, you do the interview, and then you've got to grab a coach or a player. And I'm thinking to myself, "Man, does this guy really think I don't know anything about men's tennis? I would be at a press conference, there were 250 men and I was the only woman.You don't even have time to go to the bathroom. " At night's end, he grabbed all the notes and took me by the wrist and said, "Come with me." He brought me to our executive producer, put the notes on his table and said: "Mary wrote these notes to me. [pagebreak] SUZY KOLBER Commentator, reporter, ESPN I can't tell you why I was watching the NFL by myself as an 8-year-old, but I was. My granddad was a huge Philly fan, but a big sports fan in general. But if nobody else in the house was watching football, I was. I had all the plastic helmets I collected from IHOP; they also had a cardboard cutout board you could place the helmets on. I was in the front row and I asked the first question.It takes a little longer to prove yourself -- you have to work a little harder, and the "assists" from the boys' club aren't there.For example: A male colleague of mine once called San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore "Al Gore" on TV.
But I would love there to be a day when there is no more use of the phrase "the first woman to …" because women have done everything."Any woman who goes on the road with an NFL team or is on the sidelines will tell you that you'll be putting on your mascara next to a urinal in the men's bathroom [because there won't be a women's room on the field]," says Charissa Thompson, who will anchor Fox Sports 1's signature nightly news and highlights show, .The women who have become stars in the industry have two things in common: a passion for sports and a high tolerance for belligerence. "I always tell the young women coming up, ' You can have a long career, but you better have a tough skin.' " PHOTOS: 26 of Hollywood's Most Popular Athletes-Turned-Actors ERIN ANDREWS Host, (Fox Sports 1) I came along right when the Internet was blowing up, right when the sports blogs started.But if they have cracked sports TV's glass ceiling -- Rhonda Glenn was the first woman to anchor ESPN's iconic franchise in 1981, and CBS Sports anchor Lesley Visser is the only woman enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame -- they still are a minority of the voices covering big-ticket TV sports: the NFL, MLB and NBA.PHOTOS: 9 All-Star Female Sports Reporters "It didn't occur to me that I wasn't going to be allowed to that party," says ESPN's Hannah Storm, whose father was a commissioner of the American Basketball Association and GM of multiple teams including the NBA's Indiana Pacers and Atlanta Hawks.