Gayle Sierens, first woman to call NFL game, reflects on experience

In 1987, Gayle Sierens became the first woman to ever call play-by-play of an NFL game
NBC Sports
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On December 27, 1987, Gayle Sierens became the first woman to ever call play-by-play of an NFL game when she was in the booth for NBC’s broadcast of the Seattle Seahawks-Kansas City Chiefs.

Sierens’ performance at the mic received positive reviews. Dave Rowe, who served as analyst for the game, reflected that Sierens was the “most prepared lady you’ve ever seen in your life.” A Washington Post story published the next day declared, “TV antennas did not tumble off roofs, TV sets did not explode and, remarkably, a republic of mostly male football fanatics did not crumble at its core. One small step for sports, one giant leap for sportscasting.”

And yet, 30 years would pass until a second woman – Beth Mowins – followed in Sieren’s footsteps.

Michele Tafoya recently sat down with Sierens to discuss her experience in the booth and why she only ever called one NFL game. The interview was released today in NBC’s “Sports Uncovered” podcast, which can be found on all major podcast platforms. As part of the episode, Tafoya also speaks with Rowe, Mowins, and Michael Weisman (the NBC Sports executive producer who hired Sierens).

[READ MORE: Jeannie Morris, pioneering sports journalist, dies at 85]

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