Pam Oliver Is A Goddess And Don't Anyone Say A Single Damn Bad Word About Her Or We'll Kick Your Ass
She didn’t have to, but Pamela Donielle Oliver finally broke her silence after being replaced by Erin Andrews as Fox’s go-to NFL sideline reporter. Andrews is almost 20 years her junior. Oliver is cool with that.
In a written statement published in Essence Magazine, the 53-year-old Dallas-native said literally all the right things. No bad blood, no conspiracy theories, no backhanded compliments — she didn’t have a bad word to say about anybody. Maybe that’s why so many NFL fans (most notably, WEEI radio shock-jock Kirk Minihane) took exception to Fox’s decision to replace their employee of over 18 years. She’s the best.
[Essence] Once the changes were announced, people started talking. Some asked, “Do you think it had something to do with your race?” No. I definitely do not. Others asked, “Does it have something to do with your age?” Well, maybe. The business is very demographic-oriented. As one executive said to me, Fox Sports will look radically different in the coming years. I assume that means they want to look younger. It’s not difficult to notice that the new on-air people there are all young, blond and “hot.” That’s not to say that Erin isn’t capable. I think she’s very capable. She’s also popular on Twitter and social media, so I can see how that would also make her highly sought after. Still, covering the NFL is a big deal. Stations like ABC and NBC entrust their programming to veterans. So when people talk about all networks making a turn to a particular type of girl on the sidelines, it doesn’t hold water.
Two weeks after meeting with my bosses, I woke up and said to myself, Okay, I’m supposed to learn something from this. My first step was to get back to my routine. Every morning I begin my day the same way: meditate, pray and affirm. I call it my “P.O. Power Hour” because it fortifies me. Through all the changes, I had abandoned the things that help me the most, and then I was wondering why I was so miserable! So I reinstated my Power Hour—I visualize what I want for my day, what I want for the big picture and what I hope for the world. Then I read the Bible until I’ve gotten the answer I need. With that, I began to feel better.
At times I’m ashamed of how tragic I was making things out to be. It’s just a job change. I’m not out on the streets. I’m not unemployed. Everybody wins: Fox gets its coveted reporter in the lead role and I get to do my sideline job for my twentieth and final year. I’m also looking forward to developing stories that interest me and delivering long-form pieces for FS1. That kind of work is like being in reporter heaven.
Don’t get me wrong, I love being on the sidelines. I love the ins and outs of the game. But I’m headed into this season knowing it’s time to say my good-byes. I’m going to savor every moment.
What a lovely human being, right?
You will be missed. Good night, sweet princess. (She’s still working games, just not the big national ones.)
Photo via Getty