One of the myriad joys of unemployment is the freedom it gives you to indulge in leisurely watchings (and occasionally re-watchings) of the morning reruns of SportsCenter. After engaging in a week or so of restful contemplation of these reruns, the extremely stringent dress ESPN anchor dress code begins to pop out at you. For example, as I type this I'm watching an SC rerun featuring John Andersen in a dark grey suit and Steve Levy in a dark grey pinstriped suit that will no doubt result in Levy finding an HR memo waiting in his cubby following the broadcast.
But one ESPN personality appears to be joyfully exempt from the ESPN anchor mold:
Above is the lovely Adriana Monsalve, who is periodically tapped to guest anchor a short segment on SportsCenter dedicated primarily to soccer. One aspect of her uniqueness is readily apparent from that picture--not that John Buccigross isn't an good-looking man, but Ms. Monsalve clearly scores higher than the average SC anchor on most conventional attractiveness scales. This difference is understandable, though, given that TV has a long-standing preference for pretty people.
A second aspect of Ms. Monsalve's uniqueness is obvious as soon as she begins delivering her lines, as her native Venezuelan accent is . . . not subtle. For example, her efforts at narrating a highlight involving German soccer club Bayern Munich almost resulted in a call for the Jaws of Life. But this difference is also understandable given that (1) she is on SC as part of a cross-branding effort with ESPN Deportes and (2) I suspect that the Spanish language skills of, say, Barry Melrose aren't quite up to snuff for an appearance on Deportes.
But by far the biggest aspect of Ms. Monsalve's uniqueness are her wardrobe choices, which appear to have been made by the same person who dressed Charles Nelson Reilly for his appearances on Match Game '77. For example, I'm 92% sure that she wore the outfit at left last week while discussing the Barca-Man U Champions League semifinal.
Why Ms. Monsalve alone is allowed to break free of the chains of ESPN corporate dress policy is a bit of a mystery. If we're lucky, though, it represents the first crack in the charcoal grey wall that is the average ESPN anchor.
For example, just think of the ratings spike that would result in, say, Linda Cohn breaking out this little number at right for the 11PM Sunday SC. Admittedly, this outfit is more 1985 Bond villain than Match Game '77, but in this bold new post-dress code universe, who cares?
So get those cards and letter in to ESPN demanding that Ms. Monsalve's sartorial lead be followed by all ESPN anchors ASAP. After all, if they insist on broadcasting SC in high-def, we might as well push the technology as far as it will go.