Yesterday, I Interviewed Michelle Beadle. Yes, I Asked Her About Her ESPYs Dress.
Michelle Beadle doesn't necessarily want to be known as a "hot girl." In an era where some female sports personalities double as sex symbols, Beadle would rather you think of her as the quirky, funny co-host of SportsNation with Colin Cowherd.
That may be easier said than done. On July 14th, Beadle tweeted out photos of the dress she planned on wearing to that night's ESPY awards, and what followed was a case study in "how to blow up on the internet."
One picture and a ton of Google search results later, Michelle Beadle is still a quirky, funny ESPN host. Just one who also happens to be hot.
I spoke to Beadle yesterday. She was fresh off a week of doing SportsNation, filling in for Mike Golic on ESPN Radio, and losing to the Jonas Brothers in a softball game ("They didn't smile. Not once."), but still agreed to talk to our rinky-dink operation. Yes, I asked her about the ESPYs dress.
When you co-hosted Mike and Mike in the Morning, you alluded to being a bit of a tomboy growing up. How has that contributed to your on-air personality now?
Oh gosh. I was never raised or treated like a girly-girl, even though I grew up around girls who wouldn't leave the house without the right dress. I think that allows me to not take myself too seriously.
I think that this business can make you feel like you're constantly "on", but I feel like I don't have to do things to be sexy all the time. So I guess that goes back to my childhood: I was taught being the smart girl was cooler than being the hot girl.
We did a post on SportsGrid about your ESPYs dress, and it got a lot of attention. It's actually one of our most popular posts ever. What's your reaction to the buzz generated by your dress?
We, being all of us at SportsNation, got a kick out of it, because that's not what I'm known for. I'm not usually on those lists of "hot female sports hosts," but it was kind of nice to get that response. It was very flattering.
Also, I love that dress, and I ran my ass off for three weeks before the ESPYs to make sure I didn't look like a cow when I wore it. It was sort of flattering and sort of funny all at once.
»» NEXT: "Sometimes you see other people get some pub for extracurricular stuff, and it makes you go, 'ehhh.'"
You shot up about 60 spots on our power grid, and there was clearly an increase in internet buzz surrounding you. Has it been noticeable on a day-to-day basis?
It's been a bit noticeable as SportsNation is becoming a little bit more well-known. But I want us to be out there for all the right reasons, and sometimes you see other people get some pub for extracurricular stuff, and it makes you go, "ehhh." I think my job is what I want to be known for, and we are busting our butts here.
When you did Mike and Mike, you mentioned that you previously had a stint on the YES network covering the Nets, and appeared on Michael Kay's ESPN Radio show. What was tougher to deal with: the Nets constant losing, or Michael Kay?
That's so funny. He's such a polarizing guy, isn't he? I don't watch or listen to him do the Yankee games on YES, so I never heard the side of him that annoys people, I guess. He was really nice to me, and I can understand why people get irritated, but I have nothing but nice things to say about him, both he and Don Lagreca - I miss Don!
I even had fun covering the Nets, to be honest with you. I traveled with a bunch of people that were really cool, and I was pretty much the only girl there. By the end, I felt like I had gained a bunch of brothers that I didn't even want in the first place.
Now you host SportsNation with Colin Cowherd. I always wondered about the banter between you guys and the people off camera. Is there literally a group of people shouting at you while you're hosting?
We have a little bleacher section and we generally want to have a live audience all the time. That can be tough, however, considering we're all the way out in Bristol, so sometimes it's tourist groups, sometimes it's guys who work on the show.
Sometimes it's literally one guy from SportsNation, just shouting stuff at Colin and I. That can be a little awkward.
»» NEXT: "I lived in New York for 8 years, and socially it's a lot tougher living in Bristol than New York."
How would you describe the atmosphere on the ESPN campus in Bristol? I've heard some great things from people who work there, and some not-so-great things. What's your impression?
I think it's different for us, because our little group travels in a pack. I think our experience here might be different from someone who's, say, from Philly and just reads the news and is out here by himself.
Most of us came from the city, and we suffer from those days when there's nothing going on. I lived in New York for 8 years, and socially it's a lot tougher living in Bristol than New York. But I've put in a year, and I'm learning what parts of Connecticut have a bit more going on than others.
You have a new show, Winner's Bracket, with Marcellus Wiley on ABC. It's described as an "hour-long highlight-driven show." How is it any different than a typical ESPN show, which tend to be an hour long and driven by highlights?
It's a spinoff of SportsNation where we basically pit the best videos of the week against each other, and it's not all sports. The Saturday evening audience on ABC isn't as in tune with the sports world as our ESPN audience, so we decided to mix it up a bit. Working with Marcellus is great. You could be doing a show, be in the worst mood of your life, and he'll go out there and kill it for you.
We're taking a break from that right now, though, and we're doing another Saturday show on ESPN U. It's a mix of Colin and John Ritchie, and I'll be on and off. It's our version of the Saturday morning college football coverage, but in a SportsNation way.
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