If you’ve watched sports even a little, you’ll know Mary Carillo. Fans of women’s tennis and the Olympics like me know her so well she seems like an old friend. When her rich, resonant voice comes on, you know you’re going to hear something smart or funny or perceptive or probably all three. I’ve been following her for years as she provides tennis commentary (she famously coined the term “Big Babe Tennis”) and have always admired how even in such a male-dominated field as sportscasting she is never shy about sharing her opinion. It helps that she unquestionably knows her stuff. She is the total antithesis of your stereotypical broadcasting bimbo.
These games mark her 10th Olympics and her presence is at once refreshing and relaxing. NBC has used her primarily for color pieces during primetime (um, polar bears NBC, seriously?) and to anchor the late night show. I’d gladly watch her over Bob Costa’s sporty Dick Clark acts any day. (p.s. Ease up on the Just for Men, Bob.) And, look, it doesn’t hurt that she has a capable, casual style (read: pantsuits and minimal makeup) that appeals intrinsically to us gay ladies. And then there is her close friendship with Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova. (Hey, stop poking me in the ribs. I’ve heard those rumors, too.) In short, I can’t think of anyone I’d rather kick back and watch some sports with than Mary. Keep enjoying the Olympics, ladies. Happy weekend, all.