Monday, Nov. 03, 2008

A Sportscaster's Morbid Mentor Question

Oct. 26, 2008

"I heard your mentor Bill Walsh was one of the first phone calls that you made when you found out that you had the job. What does it mean to you to coach the 49ers?"

Danyelle Sargent, a Fox Sports sideline reporter, asking the new San Francisco 49ers football coach Mike Singletary about recently speaking with former 49ers head coach and executive Bill Walsh — who died in July 2007 and was never even a mentor to former Chicago Bears star Singletary

Sargent later said it was a mix up that the clip ever aired on TV, insisting she realized her mistake, stopped the cameras and got Singletary to re-do the interview. Other reports say it was the Fox producers who noticed the slip and brought it to her attention. Either way, the clip was never aired on Fox — but it was part of an "open feed" that different news organizations can access and was aired without permission by the WNBC-TV program, "Mike'd Up." Sargent speculated that there might have been some "meanness" involved in letting the unauthorized video air. But, Sargent did have a reputation for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time: In 2006, while working at ESPN, she was caught screaming "What the f*ck was that?" live, thinking she was off air. As of early November, Fox was weighing whether to assign her to more NFL games.