This past week, on the "Pardon My Take" podcast, Charissa Thompson of FOX Sports and Amazon's "Thursday Night Football" caused quite a stir when she admitted doing something less than authentic during her days as a sideline reporter.
"I’ve said this before,” Thompson noted. “I haven’t been fired to saying it, but I’ll say it again. 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 gonna get mad if I say, ‘Hey, we need to stop hurting ourselves, we need to be better on third down, we need to stop turning the ball over and do a better job of getting off the field.’ They’re not gonna correct me on that. So I’m like, it’s fine, I’ll just make up the report.”
Now, being a sideline reporter is not an easy job and getting anything of unique value from a coach in the moments sideline reporters get is next to impossible. They are going to speak in the cliches' Thompson noted they do.
It's also worth mentioning it has been many years since Thompson worked as a sideline reporter.
She did previously admit doing fake sideline reports, on her own podcast in January of 2022. So this was not new.
One of Charissa Thompson's fake sideline reports came during the Detroit Lions' 0-16 season
Thompson, by her own admission, was not one of FOX's top sideline reporters when she was one. Via SI.com, she talked specifically about a Lions' game in 2008.
"I was covering every Lions game because I was a baby reporter and got all the s--- games and it was the year they were 0–16 and [Detroit coach] Rod Marinelli at halftime, I was like, ‘Oh Coach, what adjustments are you gonna make at halftime?’ He goes, ‘That’s a great perfume you’re wearing.’ I was like, ‘Oh f---, this isn’t gonna work.’ I’m not kidding; I made up a report.”
The comment Thompson said Lions' head coach Rod Marinelli made going into halftime of that game speaks to the challenges women in sports media still face, in a battle to be taken as seriously as they should be in whatever role they fill. It also left Thompson in a lurch, when she felt like she had to say something of (even manufactured) substance.
So the Lions have at least one tie to the controversy Thompson stirred this week. And it's fair to assume it happened when/if she covered other Lions' games that season, as Marinelli didn't have answers for much of anything during a winless campaign.