With three lady anchors, ESPN's daytime "SportsCenter
" seems like a pretty big score for the feminist movement. But talk to any one of the women -- Hannah Storm, Sage Steele and Chris McKendry (L to R) -- behind the desk, and they'll tell you it's not really about gender at all. They just happen to be the very best people for the job.
And, in addition to their super-cool jobs, all three women are involved mothers. Making Waves
In April, Chris McKendry
snagged the first interview with controversial former basketball coach Isiah Thomas since he ended his rocky time with the New York Knicks, grilling him on his sexual harassment lawsuit and an alleged suicide attempt.
The interview generated tons of buzz and, says McKendry, helped establish daytime "SportsCenter" as the same essential news and information provider as its nighttime counterpart.
"I was once asked on an ESPN.com chat, 'What's your response to chauvinists?' And my answer was that I don't respond," says McKendry. "My career is my response. I've been on 'SportsCenter' for 13 years, and hosted so many big events. You can't bluff your way through anything for 13 years. Look at my résumé and take your outdated arguments somewhere else." From DJ to Dream Hannah Storm
started in the field more than 20 years ago, taking a job at a radio station when she couldn't find anyone to put her on TV. Later, as a sportscaster, she conducted interviews outside the locker room when she or the team wasn't comfortable with her being inside.
"I always just knew that this was what I really wanted to do and that I could do it," says Storm. "Just because no one had ever done it before didn't mean it couldn't be done. My dad always said, don't be pissed that doors are closed to you, just look for that one that's open."
Her latest project is a foundation
for the advocacy and awareness of children with disfiguring vascular birthmarks. Storm was actually born with a large facial birthmark of her own, making her career on television even more unlikely -- and impressive. Real, Hot
"I've been told I've lost jobs because they don't like my curly hair," says Sage Steele
of being judged on her appearance. "I'm in the business because I love sports and I love telling stories, and this is just what I look like. And hopefully you like it, but if you don't, sorry! I have daughters, and if I'm going to be teaching them to love what they're given, how can I go around and alter what I'm doing for society or this or that anchor?"
For Steele, leaving her kids every day is a made little easier by the fact that her husband is a full-time stay-at-home dad. Having a young family does add another dimension to all the interesting accolades that come with a career in the limelight, though. As a two-time nominee for Playboy's Sexiest Sportscaster, she's by now learned resist Googling her name, and simply ignores anything that's inappropriate. (She's still working on convincing her mom to do the same.) More from around the Web:
Surprise star of U.S. Open has secret mental weapon (FanHouse)
Biggest baseball bloopers ever (Asylum)
The 5 toughest friggin' women in sports (CagePotato)