In an age when so many female sports reporter look like models, with the obligatory bikini pictures and/or cheesecake pictures on social media, it would be easy for the average male sports fan to feel intimidated. Fox 2 Detroit is challenging such a trend by featuring one of the most knowledgeable, likable women in sports journalism that fans can easily relate to.
Jennifer Hammond, one of the leading sports reporters for the channel, certainly comes across as someone that sports fans, male or female, would like to have a chat with about the state of sport. Avoiding fluff pieces or softball journalism, Hammond always asks the questions (politely) that fans would like to ask. This is enhanced by the fact that she comes across with a genuine interest, a sincerity that a non-sports fan could never imitate.
Known affectionately as the Hammer, her presence covers every aspect of Detroit sports. From Tigers baseball to Red Wings hockey, along with Pistons basketball, Lions football and the multitude of NCAA sports, she has her finger on the pulse of one of America’s great sporting cities. Having paid her dues for close to a decade as a traffic reporter and eventual sports announcer in Chicago, she has been part of Detroit’s sporting landscape for two decades now (starting at Sportsradio 1130).
In an era when so many young women aspire for careers in journalism, concerns over body image should not define one’s goals. Hammond serves as a positive role model, proving that hard work and research are the foundation towards the long-term goal of being a credible and respected journalist. Of note, one of the greatest highlights in her career may have come in November 2012. Along with Fox 2 sports anchor Dan Miller, the two were hosts at a Detroit Lions charitable event which featured NFL commissioner Roger Goddell.
When the WNBA’s Shock played in Detroit, it was a great sign of women’s sport making an impact in Detroit. Cheryl Ford, one of the greatest players in franchise history was part of a meet-and-greet that featured Hammond, along with heavyweight boxer Mary Jo Sanders. It truly signified an effort to help make women’s sport a serious and relevant part of the Detroit sporting conversation.
Taking into account that a group from Detroit has applied for an expansion franchise in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League, there is no question that if it becomes reality, Hammond would be the perfect person to chronicle their exploits.
For a city that has provided memorable sports personalities such as Mitch Albom and Ernie Harwell, Hammond is following in the legacy of Anne Doyle, a female sports reporter in Detroit during the 1980s, in helping to break barriers. Fox 2 is one of many media outlets in Detroit setting a positive example by having a strong woman of substance as part of its sports coverage.