Fusspot rants, embarrassing photos of yourself and general correspondence go here: universalnicks@gmail.com

...which hasn't been difficult to do lately, since I've been battling some sort of mutant virus since February 24. I lost 10 pounds in 6 days...just like Martin Havlat! We're going to co-found a whacked-out weight loss center that'll receive no endorsement from the FDA, but'll work a treat. You heard it here first.

Uh, anyway...

Check this out -- I'm sorry I wasn't lucid enough to get to it sooner. Yes, it's coming from Ottawa, and as I understand it, the *cough* interviewer was auditioning for some contest for Rogers, which sees the winner host their own show on the network.

Levels of offensive behaviour -- let us count the ways:

1) Use of poor grammar;

2) Using a television spot to discuss the varying levels of pulchritude on an OHL team;

3) Propositioning a minor to co-ordinate a meetup for the purpose of consuming alcohol.

Stellar job.

Now I know that No. 3 is the most pressing issue -- an utterly disgusting event to be sure -- but something about this clip got under my skin, and it had nothing to do with the beer question.

I hate it when women in the media (regardless of position, medium or premise) feel the need to blatantly discuss the attractiveness of male athletes. It drives me freaking insane. Now I'm sure someone's going to attempt to call me on this, saying that I've referenced someone like Tom Brady in the past. I can assure you that if you go through the posts, it was a passing reference (if anything) and was likely done for the purpose of humour. Never, ever, EVER would you see me write something that described which athlete I would like to view in a state of undress, or go out on a date with.

Do you know why?

It serves absolutely no purpose. It has no relevance.

Yet, in spite of this, I've seen women argue online that as long as they maintain some sort sports intelligence, their outward views towards an athlete's attractiveness is fair game. That's lovely. Why don't you try running that viewpoint past an editor, program director or producer of traditional media, and see how many jobs you land?

Do you know why I chose this medium after dabbling in the others? The radio people told me they liked me, but that I had a "good look" for television. The television people liked me, but mentioned that I had a "hot voice". Normally I wouldn't reveal this information because I find it highly embarrassing even now, but you have to understand: As a woman who legitimately cared about what I was discussing, it was incredibly frustrating to be sexualized on a regular basis. I was never going to be taken seriously if people cared about my appearance. Writing made my gender the least relevant, out of all three mediums. Sure, my picture and name appeared, but if you didn't see them (and sometimes you couldn't), there was no way to determine if I was male or female. I was in control of how much femininity was revealed. And to me, that was empowering. It was a way to build credibility.

This is an extremely difficult business for a woman to be in. You've got your boys' clubs in the press box, and your 10+ units of testosterone sitting like the crowned heads of Europe for all the "NHL on TSN" commercials. I have fought like a psychotic dog to be taken seriously by my readers, and it's constantly like walking a tightrope. One false move and I'll be besieged with the obligatory, "Stupid bitch doesn't know what the (expletive) she's talking about."

That's why I hate it when women feel it necessary to make fluffed-out comments about an athlete's appearance. You're playing right into the naysayers' hands. They expect you to be dumb. They expect you to be bubbleheaded. They expect you to slip up. Don't believe me? Ask Deb Kaufman how many times TSN has replayed that footage of her getting caught in the Islanders' box. And you can make your arguments and spout all the impressive stats that you want to after you drop your bomb. It doesn't make a difference. You'll always be remembered by them as the chick who thought Mike Fisher was boyfriend material (or similar). Nothing you say after that will ever matter -- especially to an audience that's 98% male.

And ultimately, because people like to generalize, such behaviour becomes associated with a lot of women...making it that much more difficult to be taken seriously in this business.

It's something that I despise. And it's something I definitely don't appreciate.

One last note for any dissenting parties who still labour under the delusional belief that this type of behaviour would play in the traditional media: I ultimately secured the column by complaining to the Sun about a female "sportswriter" who was producing this type of garbage in their paper. I now have a weekly space in the Sun, and she is nowhere to be found. Just some food for thought.

[Credit: Loose Pucks]