If at first, you can’t get the real scoop, fake it.
Charissa Thompson, a former sideline reporter now hosting Fox Sports’ “Fox NFL Kickoff” and Amazon’s “Thursday Night Football” studio coverage, shared some behind-the-scenes insights on Barstool Sports’ “Pardon My Take” this week. Confirming a popular conspiracy theory, she admitted to occasionally making up halftime reports.
Thompson revealed, “I would make up the report sometimes because a) the coach wouldn’t come out at halftime, or it was too late, and I didn’t want to screw up the report, so I was like, ‘I’m just gonna make this up.’ Because first of all, no coach is going to get mad if I say, ‘Hey, we need to stop hurting ourselves, we needed to be better on third down.'”
When PFT Commenter, the co-host, joked about a more sensational fake sideline report, Thompson responded, “Yeah exactly. And do a better job of getting off the field. They’re not gonna correct me on that. I’m like, ‘It’s fine I’ll just make up the report.'”
While this might not be a widespread practice among all sideline reporters, Thompson’s revelation raises questions about the authenticity of in-game reports. Many coaches aren’t enthusiastic about in-game media obligations, so they likely don’t mind if sideline reporters take the initiative.
However, the impact on the credibility of those who don’t resort to making up reports is a consideration. This incident underscores the debatable value of in-game interviews with coaches, often filled with predictable and generic coachspeak that can be anticipated and crafted by reporters.
I doubt anyone is too bothered by her disclosure.