There are loads of stuff you don’t learn about Jamie Erdahl as a result of, as she’s going to notice herself, you didn’t tune into Alabama-LSU or Georgia-Florida for updates on her life. Her 4 years because the sideline reporter for the SEC on CBS had been spent, in her phrases, “pregnant, breastfeeding, pregnant, breastfeeding.” She threw up or dry heaved in each stadium within the SEC, and since driving helped with stopping movement illness, Erdahl ended up partnering with colleague Gary Danielson as they drove to recreation websites. (CBS Sports had insurance policies in place throughout 2020 and 2021 due to COVID to restrict the variety of individuals collectively in automobiles.)
Erdahl has spent the final eight years largely as a street warrior given her assignments at CBS, which included the NFL and NCAA Tournament in addition to one of the best SEC soccer video games. That now modifications as she debuts Monday as the brand new host of NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football.” She replaces Kay Adams on that program, alongside Peter Schrager, Kyle Brandt, Will Selva and Jason McCourty. The present airs Monday to Friday at 7 a.m. ET, reside from New York City.
“I’ve said to my family and close circle of people that I feel like this has changed the trajectory of my career,” Erdahl stated. “Not saying that it has changed it to the course of I’ll remain in studio, but it will open up, as long as I do well, a wide variety of things. It doesn’t just have to be sports stuff, either. What I’ve really come to terms with is if you can be on television three hours a day live and talk about any topic, you can do any kind of TV for three hours a day. That’s just a skill set in and of itself that I don’t have yet, but I can’t wait to have it. This is going to be really good for myself and my family in terms of the contract I agreed to, and that’s as much as I can hope for right now. It’s going to make me a better professional. Those are a lot of great boxes to check in the next couple of years.”
Erdahl stated she hopes to proceed to do some work for CBS, together with visitor spots on “We Need To Talk,” which airs on CBS Sports Network and CBS. She additionally hopes CBS is open to her persevering with to work the NCAA Tournament as a sideline reporter. Erdahl was a part of the group with Ian Eagle and Jim Spanarkel that took a magical trip final March with Saint Peter’s.
Last week, I had a long sit-down with Erdahl on her new NFL Network function and the way she navigated being a working mom in a high-profile sports activities gig. Here are some excerpts from our dialog, which you’ll take heed to in full within the participant beneath.
Why did you need this job?
I like a problem. It’s totally different than what I had completed for eight years at CBS, they usually had been wonderful years. I attempt to wrap my head across the job this fashion: My job at CBS was to help the printed as the sport unfolded. This job with “Good Morning Football” is about expertise. We get to speak, we get to have our opinions, and we leap off the information and every part that’s occurring within the NFL. I believe 5 or eight years in the past, I might have thought I might do that job, however I wager I wouldn’t have been nearly as good at it as I most likely will likely be at this time, hopefully. It felt prefer it was the time to broaden past sideline reporting, which is a superb job. I circle again to what I might have thought of this job 5 years in the past. I believe for those who had advised me it’s important to depart your sideline job to go do one thing like this, I might have been like, “You never leave the sideline. You’ll never get back.” Then I noticed that Melissa Stark was named the reporter for “Sunday Night Football” and that felt like an enormous turning level for me, to see any individual go away from the sideline and are available again in such a distinguished function. It confirmed me which you could go different locations, you are able to do new issues and develop, and you possibly can return for those who needed to.
When these jobs turn into obtainable, your illustration, your brokers, are paid to pay attention to these things. You’re most likely conscious of it as properly being within the enterprise. When did you first be taught Kay Adams was leaving this job?
(Kay and I) have the identical illustration. … My agent knew earlier than anyone else knew or when “Good Morning Football” discovered. So my agent, Josh Levy at WME, referred to as me, and if I bear in mind accurately, I don’t even suppose he stated what the job was. He’s at all times been very delicate about the best way my life trajectory has gone. When I acquired married or began having youngsters, he actually protected me as a result of I’m any individual who will actually really feel badly, like Minnesotan guilt, if I don’t say sure to every part. For a few years he allowed me to only deal with my SEC job, deal with the NCAA Tournament after which once I was off, I used to be off. I might be a mother. Then it was, OK, the infants usually are not true infants anymore. He referred to as me and stated if there was a job that may have you ever guys transfer again to the East Coast, what would you consider that? There’s plenty of private life stuff that goes together with that. But primarily it could be wildly useful to each my husband’s profession and mine. So I stated I believe we might try this, though we’re each Minnesota natives and like being round our dad and mom. He advised me Kay was going to go away “Good Morning Football.” I couldn’t imagine that was the job, to be sincere. Then I used to be like, “Let’s go after it.” That’s how I discovered.
This job could be very a lot a chemistry-based job. You must have some type of preliminary chemistry with the group or the producers and executives must suppose which you could ultimately kind an enticing on-air group. You will need to have completed some check reveals with the present group?
We didn’t sit at a set collectively till after I had the job.
Wow. OK, that surprises me. That’s attention-grabbing.
I don’t know what meaning by way of their course of or their decision-making. That’s above my pay grade. I actually spoke with plenty of executives. But the primary time I met Peter and Kyle was every week or two after I acquired the job. We did one secret present that we type of joke about now. They had been at NFL Films doing a present they usually introduced me in. They did an entire present, after which I sat down after they did three hours of TV. I felt horrible as a result of I used to be like, “You guys just did this and now we have to redo these segments that you just did.” We had enjoyable with it. We had been joking in the course of it that that is going to be the factor in 5 years that we bear in mind, a secret present. I had not met or chatted with them, however you place your feelers out. I’m fairly shut with Ian Eagle and he is aware of Schrager properly. Ian was like our go-between, primarily telling us concerning the different individual. And individuals simply rave about Kyle’s brilliance and his creativity. I’ve at all times prided myself (on) how shut I’ve turn into with my cohorts on TV. Any crew I’ve ever been on, I’ve turn into extremely shut with these individuals.
You’ve completed reside video games in entrance of tens of millions of viewers. So the producers already know you are able to do quote-unquote sports activities tv. What was the interview course of like for this job?
It wasn’t a lot rapid-fire questions with the executives as a lot because it was them telling me probably the most difficult elements of the present. I don’t wish to say the worst elements of the present, however probably the most difficult elements. They primarily had been asking me, “What do you think you would do if this situation were to come up? Why do you even want to be in a situation that is very different from what you’ve been doing for eight to 10 years?” My husband at all times says I get actual crabby like two or three weeks after March Madness ends as a result of I really feel like I don’t have an outlet. I’ve concepts effervescent and the three-year-old doesn’t wish to hear it and the one-year-old can’t discuss but. It’s similar to there’s no place for my skilled power to go. I begin considering possibly I needs to be doing sports activities discuss radio within the offseason. I do some stuff domestically and that type of fills my cup. But there had simply been this rising thought that I had extra to present.
Every yr on the SEC (soccer) you achieve extra information and also you get extra tales. The SEC video games are unbelievable. But that generally involves the detriment of the sideline reporter since you’re left with these tales in a basket that by no means hits the air. You have these conversations, you do that digging, you attempt to be as artistic as potential, after which it doesn’t get on the air as a result of the sport is wonderful. Nobody needs to listen to about how so-and-so’s elementary college instructor within the stands taught somebody the right way to throw left-handed when it’s a one-score recreation and also you’re in College Station. I believe the most important adjustment for me is simply not feeling rushed. The joke amongst reporters is the producer says, “You have 20 seconds to do this, but if you can do it in 15, that’d be great.” That’s simply so not this present. It’s thrilling for me to have the ability to suppose on this three-hour window every single day.
“Good Morning Football” has been critically praised, and it’s watched by a ton of NFL individuals. People related to the league watch it. But it’s watched by far much less individuals than for those who had been doing LSU-Alabama or the NCAA Elite Eight. That’s totally different for you in a giant manner.
People weren’t going to look at LSU-Alabama simply to see me, and that’s nice. People didn’t watch the Red Sox or the Bruins simply to see me (when she labored at NESN). That’s how I’ve operated my complete profession. I had an attention-grabbing dialog with (government producer) Michael Davies about this. He actually made positive I understood how talent-based this present is. I’ve completed some self-work to ensure I’m ready for that. It goes towards type of like my baseline humility chip that I’ve. I’ve needed to type of push a few of that apart. I’m simply prepared for various. I don’t understand how else to elucidate it. The proven fact that it’s much less individuals, it doesn’t trouble me. I imply 10 individuals might watch it and I might nonetheless be comfortable to speak concerning the NFL for 3 hours a day. I ended by the Vikings facility earlier than I left Minnesota, and their PR workforce stated they’ve the present on and the fellows have it on within the locker room. I simply suppose that’s superior.
When you introduced that you just had gotten this job, individuals on social media had been actually comfortable for you. Your colleagues have at all times stated very good issues about you. That will need to have made you’re feeling superb.
Yeah, I imply, thanks. That was actually cool to see. I imply, sorry. (Erdahl took a few seconds to compose her ideas after tearing up.)
Usually individuals are crying on this podcast due to my horrible questions. Not out of happiness.
It’s not concerning the social media response. It’s extra … once I communicate to varsity courses, one of many items of recommendation that I at all times give is if you wish to be on-air expertise, and I at all times decide a very alarmingly excessive quantity once I do that instance, I say 70 p.c of you being good on the job has nothing to do with being on tv. The younger girl who’s sitting within the entrance row who thinks it issues if she appears a sure manner or her make-up is fashionable, I simply really need that individual to listen to it. Because individuals come and go. You can look nice and you may sound nice however for those who’re not a superb individual, individuals aren’t going to wish to work with you. Coaches aren’t going to wish to be round you. Players aren’t going to wish to discuss to you. Over the final 10 years, I’ve felt in moments intimidated, unhappy or pissed off that I didn’t get sure jobs or sure moments. I’ve tried to stay steadfast. My father says, “Be a good person and then you will be good at the job.” I’ve at all times tried to be that manner. … I used to be an intern at ESPN once I was in faculty and I used to run scripts out for the Highlight Express to (former ESPN-er and Marquee Sports Network host) Cole Wright. I wish to suppose I used to be the identical individual then. So it was only a actually wonderful factor to look at all these individuals bear in mind who I used to be, and I used to be additionally actually pleased with it.
Your background of working SEC soccer and the NFL would appear like a very good match for a each day present on the NFL.
I begin taking a look at groups and rosters, and people guys from the SEC are all over the place. They could not bear in mind me from Adam however that’s cool. I bear in mind them. I’m not strolling into it blind. The 4 years that I used to be on the NFL on CBS, plenty of these guys are nonetheless round. The largest problem I’ve present in my preparation is the coaches and the coordinators. That is like spiderwebs throughout the league. My largest problem is like attempting to attach all of the dots and the place individuals have come and gone.
Here’s an Instagram submit from the airport that you just wrote final March:
I can solely think about how exhausted and drained you had been as you navigated this high-profile job. What was that have like as a working mom?
Well, my 4 years on the SEC had been spent pregnant, breastfeeding, pregnant, breastfeeding. The first time round I didn’t know any higher. It was model new and I simply was flying by the seat of my pants. I had a cheerful, wholesome child. I had an important help system. The SEC on CBS bus had a fridge and the fellows had been completely unimaginable. Gary’s acquired like 14 grandkids. Couldn’t have had a greater help system on the street. The second time (being pregnant) round was the autumn of 2020. I used to be pregnant with my second and I wore a masks on the air your complete soccer season within the SEC. I didn’t share that I used to be pregnant till I had the newborn. I used to be a bit bit extra public with my first being pregnant. Simply stated, it simply didn’t really feel just like the time to be celebrating one thing like that when different individuals had been coping with their very own stuff. I additionally didn’t actually wish to give individuals a cause to know why I used to be sporting the masks. I simply type of needed to be like, “Yeah, I’m wearing a mask all football season. Leave me alone.” I acquired sick, paradoxically, in January. I did a whole season of touring and being round coaches, after which I acquired COVID.
I might say breastfeeding, pumping on the street, it actually honed my abilities to advocate for myself. To simply type of state issues in a manner that that is the expectation, that is the usual that I wish to set for the way I’m working on this circumstance. I believe as girls within the trade, particularly while you’re youthful, you typically begin speaking, and also you end your sentences on the best way up as for those who’re asking a query each time. It’s like, “And then I’m going to take this flight and get in to Atlanta around 2:00?” Essentially, it’s, “Is that OK with everybody?” Then it turned, “I will be arriving in Tuscaloosa at 8 p.m.”
I needed to be OK with that. This is what works for me. I had very disagreeable pregnancies. I acquired sick in each stadium within the SEC. I don’t passenger properly. I’ve to drive the automobile. CBS had guidelines that you possibly can solely have two individuals in a automobile so your complete 2020 season once I was pregnant with my second, I drove and Gary sat in the best way again of a Tahoe. Things had been completed, sacrifices had been made, as a result of I can’t sit within the again seat of a automobile. I felt like that’s what you do while you wish to feed your child. Fed is greatest, although my youngsters nonetheless acquired a components bottle at night time. Breastfeeding was manageable for me, so I did my greatest. I additionally suppose, for me, being away from younger youngsters, it was a manner for me to really feel linked to them once I was gone three days in a row on the weekends. It introduced me again to them each time I pumped. I at all times advised myself I’d do it till I hated doing it. When March Madness got here round and people journeys are longer, that’s once I actually began to resent it — the act of pumping on the street. That’s once I wound down and that felt good to me. I’m very pleased with the size of time that I used to be capable of do breastfeeding for each of them. It actually gave me a voice that I didn’t know I had. Whether that’s proper or fallacious. I used to be defending myself and my youngsters and in addition attempting to do a very good job for my employer. I believe all of these issues can exist.
The Ink Report
1. Per Sports Media Watch : The ESPY Awards have cratered in viewership for the reason that mid-2010s. This yr’s awards averaged 2.5 million viewers on ABC, down 35 p.c in viewership from 2019 (3.87 million). Last yr’s present (on a Saturday night time) drew 1.24 million on ABC. Sports Media Watch stated the 2022 ESPYs ranked because the least-watched since 2013 (2.27M) and is tied because the lowest rated since 2011. The troubling quantity for ESPN, as famous by Sports Media Watch, is that the present didn’t win the important thing demos on the night time.
In one other life, I wrote annually about the ESPYs and it was at all times attention-grabbing to listen to from the ESPN staffers again residence who didn’t get the Wonka ticket, in addition to those that questioned the big expenditure (they as soon as gave away reward baggage to friends value not less than $23,000). The ESPYs had been designed a few years in the past by ESPN execs as a approach to pucker as much as athletes, Hollywood, and, most of all, to market ESPN. For me, the present’s saving grace, amid the hubris, was that it typically produced lovely and necessary tv with the Jimmy V, Pat Tillman and Ashe awards — and raised a boatload of cash for the V Foundation. I’m undecided how a lot worth it has for ESPN in 2022 given the expenditure in a budget-conscious period (somebody smarter than me can supply an ROI projection on partying with CAA, Octagon, Wasserman, and WME brokers), but when they maintain it round merely to honor the reminiscence of Maura Mandt, one of many true life forces in sports activities tv whose manufacturing firm, MaggieVision Productions, has produced the present since 2006, that’s cool by me. Mandt is missed. A true original.
2. Notable piece here by Tripp Mickle, Benjamin Mullin and Kevin Draper on why Big Tech is making a giant play for reside sports activities.
2a. The Athletic’s Daniel Kaplan examined how Amazon created a new “Thursday Night Football” theme.
2a. Via Scooby Axson of USA Today: Uninterrupted, the corporate co-founded by LeBron James, filed a trademark for the phrase “Shut Up and Dribble.”
3. Episode 223 of the Sports Media Podcast includes a roundtable with Boston Globe sports activities media author and common sports activities columnist Chad Finn and Sports Business Journal managing editor/digital Austin Karp. In this podcast, Karp and Finn talk about MLB viewership on the All-Star Game; baseball’s resolution to signal offers with so many alternative media companions; whether or not the Home Run Derby can outdraw the All-Star Game; why youthful individuals just like the Home Run Derby greater than the sport; the place we stand within the post-Tiger Woods world so far as media curiosity; whether or not LIV Golf will get a deal (we predict sure); an examination of the USFL viewership; John Ourand’s report that ESPN is mountain climbing the worth of its ESPN+ by 43 p.c beginning subsequent month and what it means; if we’ll watch ESPN’s Derek Jeter doc; the way forward for the ACC; and extra.
You can subscribe to this podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, and extra.
4. Sports items of notice:
• One night time in London: Allegations of sexual assault and a reckoning for Hockey Canada. By Katie Strang, Dan Robson, and Ian Mendes of The Athletic.
• Via The Athletic’s Jayson Stark: On Tim Kurkjian, the enjoyment of baseball writing and Cooperstown.
• Inside Son Heung-min’s £11 million academy, the place taking pictures is banned for under-15s. By Charlie Eccleshare of The Athletic.
• How Shannon Curley turned probably the most necessary voices within the Blue Jays group. By David Singh of Sportsnet.
• Michael Schumacher Is the GOAT. Michael Schumacher Is Absent. By Jon Wertheim of Sports Illustrated.
• Does Soccer Still Need the Header? By Rory Smith of The New York Times.
• Gary Smith Teaches Mindfulness to Elementary School Kids These Days. By Joseph Bien-Kahn of Sports Illustrated.
Non-sports items of notice:
• Read this thread. It’s value it. Then take the time without work.
• Alan Dershowitz’s Martha’s Vineyard Cancellation. By Isaac Chotiner of The New Yorker.
• They nonetheless haven’t gotten COVID. Here are a few of their theories as to why. By Ellen McCarthy of The Washington Post.
• Josh Hawley’s effort to reap political rewards from Jan. 6 scampers off. By Phillip Bump of The Washington Post.
• Police could have cracked a 1975 killing — by digging by trash. By Brittany Shammas of The Washington Post.
• I’m a veteran ER physician. I can’t imagine what I’m seeing. By Liza Agrba of Maclean’s (Canada).
• The Haves and the Have-Yachts. By Evan Osnos of The New Yorker.
• The white-nationalist Patriot Front is getting larger, and extra seen, in New England. By Laura Crimaldi, Dugan Arnett and Amanda Milkovits of The Boston Globe.
• Bed Bath & Beyond Followed a Winning Playbook—and Lost. By Suzanne Kapner of The Wall Street Journal.
• Vince McMahon Retires as WWE CEO Amid Sexual Harassment Scandal. By Ted Mann, Joe Palazzolo and Denny Jacob of The Wall Street Journal.
• Unleash the Bots! (But solely on Studio Execs). By Sonny Bunch of The Bulwark.
• Pregnant, homeless and dwelling in a tent: Meet Mckenzie. By Gale Holland of the L.A. Times.
• Michael Mann’s Damaged Men. By Jonah Weiner of New York Times Magazine.
• Toronto’s airport is now worst on this planet for delays. The cause will not be what you suppose. By Richard Warnica of The Toronto Star.
(Top picture: Brian Rothmuller / Icon Sportswire by way of Getty Images)