So yesterday news broke that NESN would not renew the contract of sideline reporter Naoko Funayama. Naoko spent four years covering the Bruins and the backlash NESN is receiving right now is unreal. A lot of people are saying "Well she's not hot enough for the job" which is bullshit because I'll take brains over beauty anyday. I mean, Jenny Dell covers the Red Sox and is a complete fucking moron. Everything she says sounds scripted while Naoko seemed to be able to talk off the cuff.
I know it sounds stupid to be sad someone from TV will be gone, but she's as much a part of the Bruins telecast as Jack and Brick. She was a professional and apparently everyone loved her.
All @NaokoFunayama did: show up every day w great attitude, team player, won trust of plr's & coaches, got answers, delivered A+. Sad day.— Jack Edwards (@RealJackEdwards) June 28, 2013
Over the last several seasons, no one worked harder and was more under-used than @NaokoFunayama. Better things ahead for her, I'm certain.— Matt Kalman (@TheBruinsBlog) June 28, 2013
Just saw the news on @NaokoFunayama. What a gut punch. Absolute pro who will be sorely missed.— Mike Cole (@MikeColeNESN) June 28, 2013
(1/463) Naoko is the nicest person I know. She was so good to me when I was the annoying child on the beat, and above all else— DJ Bean (@DJ_Bean) June 28, 2013
(2/6472846) she is professional and knows the game better than so many of us. She's the cool older sister and— DJ Bean (@DJ_Bean) June 28, 2013
(3/343747) I can't imagine the last three years without her. NESN will not upgrade her position because there is no one better.— DJ Bean (@DJ_Bean) June 28, 2013
Naoko is pro at rink and better person. Type to keep, not let go. Genius move, NESN.— Fluto Shinzawa (@GlobeFluto) June 28, 2013
It's funny to see people rally behind someone in the TV business. You almost never see it, especially with sideline reports. Not in Boston.
Just caught wind that NESN isn't retaining Naoko Funayama. Talented pro who should easily find a job but NESN really pisses me off sometimes— Matt Datillo (@CaptBubba) June 28, 2013
Seriously Naoko Funayama was the only good part of NESN outside Jack Edwards and Andy Brickley— Sarah Connors (@sarah_connors) June 28, 2013
NO NAOKO NOOOOO!!!!— Ariana Chapin (@arimams) June 28, 2013
Go home Nesn, ur drunk...letting Naoko go shame on u— Debi Barnaby (@MommaBruin) June 28, 2013
Its so sad to see naoko go.... #bringbacknaoko— Emily✌ (@bouchard_em) June 28, 2013
Sad to hear Naoko Funayama will not be returning to NESN. Things are going to be very different next year with so many people leaving.— We Are Bruins Fans! (@WeAreBruinsFans) June 28, 2013
And lastly, the players loved her.
@NaokoFunayama naoko .....:(— Tyler Seguin (@tylerseguin92) June 28, 2013
I can't wait until NESN fills the spot with Leah Hextall, because I want someone who looks like they've been up smoking crack all night to interview players on my TV.