“Cup of Coffee” takes on new meaning for Marie-Philip Poulin

With the onset of autumn, Canada’s iconic Tim Horton’s is heralding the start of anothetr hockey season. In addition to the release of its annual hockey card offering, a new facet sets an exciting tone.

Three different cups feature an assortment of hockey players, including Marie-Philip Poulin, Canada’s most talented and popular female competitor. Featured on the extra-large cup, Poulin’s image, along with her trademark number 29 comprises the motif.

Marie-Philip Poulin on the Tim Horton’s XL Coffee Cup (Image obtained from Twitter)

Becoming the first women’s ice hockey player to appear on one of Tim Horton’s coffee cups, it serves as further affirmation of her status as a Canadian sporting icon. Simultaneously, her appearance raises awareness for the Canadian Women’s Hockey League.

Featured on said cup in the jersey of her club team, Les Canadiennes de Montreal, it symbolizes a paradigm shift for the CWHL, marking the first time that the league has ever been featured on a commercial product.

Of note ,the medium cup features Hall of Fame blueliner Tim Horton (who co-founded the donut chain with Ron Joyce), a long overdue tribute. A pair of current NHL stars, including long-time company spokesman Sidney Crosby, whose image also graces the packs of Tim Horton’s hockey cards, and fellow All-Star Nathan McKinnon share the design on the large cup. Undeniably, all cups are poised to become part of the gathering of memorabilia among hardcore hockey collectors.

Jamie Maggio brings her strong broadcast presence to Showtime

A one-time softball competitor at the NCAA level from UC Santa Barbara, Jamie Maggio’s path towards sportscasting has led her to many prestigious positions. Currently serving as a reporter on NFL AM, which features other accomplished female broadcasters such as Molly Qerim and Nicole Zaloumis, her star continues to shine brightly.

Photo by Hans Gutknecth

Photo by Hans Gutknecth

Delivering a no-nonsense approach to football, she emerged as one of the NFL Network’s favorite on-air personalities. Having also served as a sideline reporter for NFL on Fox broadcasts, she is more than just a pretty face, but a studious and articulate presence.

Originally from New York, one of the greatest sports cities in the world, it was no surprise that sport became a part of her life. With the Big Apple cultivating her lifelong love of athletic competition, other gigs would include MLB on TBS, Fox Sports West and a Mid-Atlantic Emmy Award for work as courtside reporter for the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers in 2010.

Having made a name for herself with the Sixers, her knowledge of the hardcourt has also earned her a highly coveted spot with the famed Los Angeles Lakers basketball franchise. Having made her debut with the club in September 2013, fans can see her conduct pre and post game work on Access SportsNet: Lakers. Her likeability is poised to transform her into one of the most popular female sports personalities on the West Coast.

Lauren Brill brightens up Buffalo’s sports scene

The most exciting name in Buffalo sports does not belong to Mario Williams, EJ Manuel or Ryan Miller. Since the summer of 2012, Lauren Brill has been keeping Western New York sports fans glued to their televisions. With a love of sport that shines through, she may be the remedy to appease Bills fans suffering through another disappointing season or Sabres through another rebuilding.

Having joined WIVB/WNLO-TV (a CBS affiliate) in August 2012, she has garnered national attention as one of the most popular female sports broadcasters. Pulling double duty as a sports anchor and reporter for the channel, she can also be seen nationally on Top Rank Boxing and ESPNw.

Brill

In a career that has spanned eight years, Brill has paid her dues. Prior to relocating to Buffalo, her humble beginnings included internships with CBS and NBC Sports. She would also work for the NBA as a Broadcast Assistant and Feature Writer. Of note, one of her most popular contributions for the NBA website included co-authoring the 57 Greatest NBA All-Star Game Moments.

Her big break would come in 2009, when she became co-host of The Mike Sherman Show. Although she was with the program for less than one year, she had the opportunity to interview reggae dancegroup T.O.K. at the MTV Video Music Awards. In addition, she would be part of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, speaking to rap superstar Nelly.

Brill would return to the sports world with reporting duties on MSG Varsity. During a memorable run, she would continue to establish herself as a rising star in sports, including four New York Emmy Award nominations. Stories such as North Rockland’s Water Boy would be one of her great pieces that was nominated.

Considering that prominent NFL reporters such as Vic Carucci and Pam Oliver once honed their craft in Buffalo, the city has proven to be a great proving ground. There is no question that the Buffalo sports scene is spoiled by Brill’s presence.

For those who believe there is a Buffalo sports curse, Brill’s presence certainly helps to create a positive vibe. While the city looks for new sporting legends to replace those of Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, Dominik Hasek and Pat LaFontaine, the fiercely loyal Buffalo sports fans have adopted her as one of their own. Although she may be destined for an even more prominent sports role, there is no question that she is building a legion of loyal fans in the Queen City.

Bruising Irony for Pam Oliver

While the first week of the 2013 National Football League season is underwraps, Pam Oliver is still enjoying a celebrity status. Ironically, this newfound fame has nothing to do with her skills as an NFL reporter or as a respected female sports journalist.

Instead, her fame is attributed to Chandler Harnish. Prior to a very exciting preseason match between the New York Giants and the visiting Indianapolis Colts, Pam Oliver was on the sidelines preparing for the broadcast.

With close to two decades of experience as a sideline reporter for the NFL on FOX, Oliver was hit in the cheek by a football. With Harnish, a backup to Andrew Luck, practicing some throwing routes, one of his passes went a little wide, making Oliver the unfortunate recipient.

Although Oliver deserves to be celebrated for her long-time contributions in the traditionally male-dominated world of NFL football, her claim to fame is being part of a viral video. To be fair, Harnish is in the same situation. The last pick in the 2012 NFL Draft (253rd Overall), known affectionately as Mr. Irrelevant, he was the starting quarterback at Northern Illinois University for four years.

While he apologized to Oliver via Twitter after the game, the two shall be connected for years to come. Even if he were to win a Super Bowl one day, he will always be remembered for that wide pass that smacked Oliver.

Through it all, Oliver handled it with grace and class. A former College All-American in the 400-meter and the mile relay at Florida A&M University, Oliver is no novice to sport. Luckily she was not injured and displayed professionalism by continuing her reporting duties.

Even during the broadcast of the preseason tilt, Fox showed the painful pass during the third quarter. Adding to the drama was the fact that the footage was displayed in slow motion. While Oliver laughed it off, some websites could not help but call it a compelling reason to watch preseason football.

Last season, another reporter, Ian Rapoport was also hit by a football in the preseason. Covering the Houston Texans and Green Bay Packers, he was the victim at Reliant Stadium which sparked controversy. Another viral sensation, the speculation is that it was an intentional hit.

Although he did not receive an apology, it may be time to have sideline reporters designated at specific areas. When one looks at the apparatus used by field goal kickers (with protective netting), it may be wise to have something similar nearby for protection.

The idea of a reporter as a target or an unintentional recipient is bad business for any sport. While sport will always have its blooper-like moments, such as tripping on the ice or throwing a ceremonial first pitch poorly, a sideline reporter being injured should not be one of them.

Multi-tasking Jill Martin a ray of sunshine during basketball broadcasts

As the realms of sports, entertainment and fashion intersect, one person is at the pulse of it; Jill Martin. While she made a household name for herself as an expert in fashion, it may come as a surprise to many sports fans that Martin has a considerable background in sports journalism.

Currently based out of New York, one of the world’s true big league cities, Martin is part of MSG’s coverage for Knicks basketball. It only seems appropriate that Martin is part of this new pop culture zeitgeist of sport and fashion in the Big Apple.

Appropriately, it was in New York that these worlds first collided generations ago. New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath emerged as more than an athlete. An icon in pop culture, he was an entertainer, a sex symbol and an individual who set fashion trends.

In recent years, the impact of David and Victoria Beckham has restored that icon-like status Namath made so popular. They helped to blend sport and fashion into a popularly accepted package. Whenever David Beckham would change his hairstyle, adorn himself with a new tattoo or don new footwear for the soccer pitch, it was seen as fashion.

Martin's book Fashion for Dummies

Martin’s book Fashion for Dummies

No one could understand that impact better than Jill Martin. From the Miami Heat to the New York Knicks, she has been surrounded by larger than life personalities like Dwayne Wade, Shaquille O’Neal, Pat Riley and Carmelo Anthony; all of whom have a love of fashion off the hardcourt.

A likeable personality complemented by a friendly demeanor, Martin may be the hardest working woman in journalism today. Having risen to newfound popularity as part of the endearing Ambush Makeover segment on Today with Hoda and Kathie-Lee (she selects two women from the crowd to get the makeover treatment), Martin is also a contributing editor at People Stylewatch.

May 2013: Martin at the beach in Miami greeting basketball star Juwan Howard

May 2013: Martin at the beach in Miami greeting basketball star Juwan Howard

It would come as no surprise that Martin has also been on the red carpet of the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards, interviewing the likes of Hollywood power couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Based on her popular “Gimme a Minute” segments on Knicks broadcasts, Martin could easily be just as comfortable on the red carpet of the ESPY Awards, let alone hosting it.

Her “Gimme a Minute” segments have featured other celebrities and legendary sports figures such as Kevin Bacon (of which Martin could now be part of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon), Ron Howard, Spike Lee, John McEnroe and legendary lead singer of Led Zeppelin, Robert Plant.

For Martin, who also contributes pregame and postgame interviews at Knicks broadcasts for the MSG network, it is truly a labor of love. Having grown up on Long Island, the intrigue and allure of Madison Square Garden cultivated her love of sport. Working there during the NBA season only adds to the thrill.

While it would be easy to dismiss Martin as mere eye candy, she is knowledgeable, credible and well-spoken. Her first exposure to sports coverage occurred in the cosmopolitan city of Miami. She was hired to work at CBS affiliate WFOR-4, where groundbreaking female athlete and sportscaster Anita Marks once worked. It would begin an eight year sojourn covering the iconic Dolphins and the energizing Heat. Along with her television coverage in Miami, she made journalistic contributions for Ocean Drive magazine, bringing a stylish yet relevant female presence to sports and fashion.

While it would be easy to dismiss Martin as mere eye candy, she is knowledgeable, credible and well-spoken. Her first exposure to sports coverage occurred in the cosmopolitan city of Miami. She was hired to work at CBS affiliate WFOR-4, where groundbreaking female athlete and sportscaster Anita Marks once worked. It would begin an eight year sojourn covering the iconic Dolphins and the energizing Heat. Along with her television coverage in Miami, she made journalistic contributions for Ocean Drive magazine, bringing a stylish yet relevant female presence to sports and fashion.

With her passions for sport and fashion, Martin was tailor made for the glamorous and sexy world of Miami. Although it was disappointing to see her hometown Yankees fall to the Florida Marlins in the 2003 World Series, one of her highlights in Miami was a captivating interview with the late Junior Seau that earned her an Emmy nomination.

Many watershed moments in her sporting career came via the Heat. She was the only journalist who landed a sit-down interview with Shaquille O’Neal heading into the 2006 NBA Finals. After the Heat prevailed over the Dallas Mavericks, she broadcast live for an impressive 24 hours reporting on the club’s victory celebration. Of note, she was the only journalist allowed at the celebration.

Her most acclaimed role in Miami may have come as the first NBA in-arena host with the Heat. As the host of Heat-TV, which aired on video screens throughout American Airlines Arena, along with hundreds of televisions, Martin was the ideal choice to host this quirky yet entertaining feature. From cooking with Heat players, getting players to sing along or engaging in shoot-outs versus celebrities on the court, she quickly became as popular as any of the players on the Heat.

While Martin’s national audience may know her better for fashion than sports, compared to women like Nicole Zaloumis, Anita Marks and Andi Petrillo, who cater to a sports audience, there is no denying that Martin’s role in sports journalism is nothing short of ground breaking. Her accomplishments in Miami opened the door for many women to shatter the glass ceiling of professional sports.

Through it all, Martin has also proven that staying grounded, maintaining a winning smile and having a genuine love for what you do are all essential for success. While women still persevere in their quest to make significant inroads in the traditionally male dominated world of sports, whether as athletes and journalists, this media darling can truly be considered a pioneer for women in sports media.

Anita Marks continues to make an impression after storied football career

From competing in the WPFL to reporting with the New York Giants of the NFL, football has remained a constant in Anita Marks’ life.

After competing for five seasons in the WPFL, Marks found new life in the realm of broadcast journalism. Articulate, knowledgeable, well-researched and likeable, Marks is one of the remarkable women making a mark in the traditionally male dominated field of sports coverage.

Growing up in Miami, she cultivated a love of football at an early age. As a child, she competed in Pop Warner football. In high school, she would try out for the Junior Varsity team.

Her postsecondary years with the University of South Florida in Tampa were the training ground for her eventual future on the gridiron. Armed with a rocket arm and great vision, she would emerge as one of the elite competitors in the Collegiate Flag Football circuit.

Marks proudly displays the sign for her weekend program on NBC Sports Radio (noon to 3 pm)

Marks proudly displays the sign for her weekend program on NBC Sports Radio (noon to 3 pm)

Having graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications, she would put it to good use. Employed as a sports producer for CBS in Miami (WFOR-TV) in the mid 1990’s, she never lost her love of competition. When former Minnesota Vikings player J.T. Turner announced that the Women’s Professional Football League would expand to Miami, the growing sport of women’s tackle football would welcome Marks into the fold.

While current US-based leagues such as the WFA and IWFL have replaced the former WPFL, Marks was definitely a pioneer in the sport and a debt of gratitude is owed to her. Lining up behind center, she was the pivot for four seasons with the Miami Fury. Her final season would bring her to the Florida Stingrays organization, where she competed in the WPFL title game. Great athleticism and charisma were complemented by arm strength and accuracy.

With New York Giants legend Harry Carson on set for MSG's Giants Opening Drive Live (Obtained from: https://www.facebook.com/#/pages/Anita-Marks/254255777942192?ref=br_tf)

With New York Giants legend Harry Carson on set for MSG’s Giants Opening Drive Live (Obtained from: https://www.facebook.com/#/pages/Anita-Marks/254255777942192?ref=br_tf)

Marks’ tenacity and endurance proves that women’s football is hardly powder puff. She has the battle scars to prove it with tears to her ACL on three separate occasions, a reconstructed nose, a shattered sesmoid bone, a shoulder impingement and multiple knee surgeries.

It was also during her time with the WPFL that Marks became an on-air personality on the airwaves of Miami radio. Jim Kiick, a member of the undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins heard Marks appear as a guest on a radio program.

Kiick would request to have her co-host his Monday Nigth Football pre-game show for Miami’s Fox Sports affiliate radio station. She would eventually land her own afternoon show on Miami airwaves (940 Fox Sports Radio WRFX-AM), breaking barriers as a female radio sports host in a male dominated landscape. A stint at 1400 The Fan (WFLL-AM) followed.

With Mike and Shaun O'Hara prior to the Giants Training Camp show. Obtained from Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnitaMarks

With Mike and Shaun O’Hara prior to the Giants Training Camp show. Obtained from Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnitaMarks

Eventually, she would become one of the most popular sports personalities in Baltimore, Maryland, even co-hosting an occasional program with legendary Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis. As former Baltimore Colts quarterback Johnny Unitas was one of her idols, it was a perfect fit for Marks. Ironically, she wore number 8 in football, the same number of Baltimore Orioles legend Cal Ripken, Jr.

While she was in Baltimore, Marks continued tossing the football. Of note, she was the signal caller for an all-male flag football team in Hunt Valley, Maryland, along with being the only female in a male pick-up basketball league, based out of Towson, respectively. Known as the Ultimate Sports Chick on ESPN Radio 1300 in Baltimore, she actually coined the term Juice Monkey.

An afternoon drive show that Marks hosted on 105.7 The Fan (WJZ-FM) in Baltimore was also part of the Mid Atlantic Sports Network repertoire of syndicated programming (Direct TV – Channel 640). One of the highlights of her tenure with MASN was a Fantasy Football programs known as “Fantasy Blitz”.

Marks also brought her effervescent personality to the United Football League. With league contests aired on Versus, she gained a national platform, working as a sideline reporter during the 2009 and 2010 seasons. Part of the UFL broadcast team with Marks included Dave Sims and football legends Doug Flutie and Kordell Stewart. Of note, when the UFL was looking for a female reporter for their broadcast, highly respected football sideline reporter Lesley Visser (of CBS) recommended Marks.

(Left to right) Dave Sims, Marks, Doug Flutie and Kordell Stewart as part of the UFL Broadcast Team. Image obtained from: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/sfl-flutph10,0,5139262.photo

(Left to right) Dave Sims, Marks, Doug Flutie and Kordell Stewart as part of the UFL Broadcast Team. Image obtained from: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/sfl-flutph10,0,5139262.photo

Although Marks brought a major league feel to women’s football, she is now in the big leagues of sports broadcasting. Relocating in 2010 to New York City, the largest television market in the United States, Marks would join WFAN 660, while also hosting shows on Sirius XM.

As a refreshing female voice in a male dominated sporting world, her wit and acumen would bring her to serving as part of the New York Giants broadcast team, along with a weekend gig on NBC Sports Radio, where she hosts the aptly-titled “Anita Marks Show”. Fans can also listen online to her program

Image obtained from: http://www.pressboxonline.com/

Image obtained from: http://www.pressboxonline.com/

Still active in sports, the 43 year-old is still as beautiful as ever and definitely looks like she is in game shape. Setting the foundation for future star quarterbacks such as Sami Grisafe and Jessica Springer, Marks crafted a remarkable sporting legacy that is still legendary today.

While there is no denying her beauty and winning smile, she is also helping to groom the next generation of hopefuls with a Sports Business class at New York University. Proving that there is life after athletic competition, Marks is still a game changer. Considered one of the greatest females to have played the game of football, her impact makes her a tremendous role for young women looking to grace the gridiron and the sports airwaves.