Beth Mowins will be staking out new territory on Monday Night Football this fall, becoming just the second woman to ever call a national NFL regular-season game. Mowins, according to a new report in Sports Illustrated, will handle play-by-play alongside former coach Rex Ryan for the second MNF game in Week 1 (a.k.a. “the game they used to let Chris Berman call”).
Only one other woman has ever called an in-season NFL game. Gayle Sierens called a Seahawks-Chiefs game on Dec. 27, 1987 for NBC, but never called another game because her local Tampa affiliate wouldn’t let her out of her contract.
Mowins has been a regular college football commentator, and she and Ryan teamed to call the Florida State spring game in April. She has also called the Oakland Raiders’ preseason games, and so has substantial play-by-play experience.
“Beth Mowins has excelled as play by play announcer for the Raiders’ preseason football, demonstrating unmatched professionalism, work ethic and passion for her craft,” Vittorio de Bartolo, head of broadcasting for the Raiders, told Sports Illustrated. “As executive producer I appreciated Beth’s enthusiasm for studying and preparing for each game. She took advantage of every opportunity during training camp to watch practice and chat with Raiders players, coaches and personnel in the days leading up to kickoff, all of which helped make for a better Raiders Preseason broadcast.”
Mowins will draw criticism for her performance; all broadcasters do. Mowins will also draw criticism for her gender; all female broadcasters do. But she’s following in the footsteps of people like Jessica Mendoza, who handles baseball duties and deflects mouthbreathing critics for ESPN, and soon enough this kind of story won’t be news at all.
Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports and the author of EARNHARDT NATION, on sale now at Amazon or wherever books are sold. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.