UPHILL BATTLE FOR WOMEN IN NFL PLAY-BY-PLAY ROLES MAY SOON REACH A TURNING POINT

UPHILL BATTLE FOR WOMEN IN NFL PLAY-BY-PLAY ROLES MAY SOON REACH A TURNING POINT

In the 96-year history of the NFL, there has been only one woman who has called a regular season NFL game. On Dec. 27, 1987, the final weekend of the regular season, Gayle Sierens did play-by-play of the Seahawks-Chiefs game for NBC. She received generally good reviews. Following that broadcast, then NBC Sports executive producer Mike Weisman offered Sierens six more game games for the following season. But the local NBC station Sierens worked for in Tampa did not want her to split time between the two jobs. Sierens never called another NFL game. She retired in May 2015 after a long and respected career as a news anchor in Tampa.

The history of female broadcasters working in non-sideline positions is as follows: Lesley Visser served as an analyst for a Westwood One/CBS Radio game in 2001 and eight years later became the first woman to do color for a televised NFL game, a preseason meeting between the Dolphins and Saints. ESPN’s Beth Mowins has called preseason games for the Raiders over the past two seasons. Last Sunday, KNBR 680 Radio (San Francisco) host Kate Scott made her debut as the preseason radio announcer for the 49ers, a two-game assignment she landed because Ted Robinson (the TV voice of the Niners) was working for NBC during the Rio Olympics. (The Niners’ usual radio announcer, Bob Fitzgerald, was moved to the TV side for the preseason.) Continue reading here

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