Are You Ready for Some Football?
In times past, the only women associated with football were the ones who got attention by shaking their pom-poms. Sure, football has, and probably always will be, one of the toughest and manliest sports on the planet. But did you know that dozens of women make significant and impactful contributions to the game? From the front office to the sidelines and beyond, take a look at a few of the sexy, savvy women who help run the NFL!
KATHERINE “KATIE” BLACKBURN – As Executive Vice President for the Cincinnati Bengals, Katie Blackburn, daughter of team owner Mike Brown, is responsible for negotiating all player contracts. A graduate of the University of Cincinnati School of Law and former ice hockey player at Dartmouth, she can also reportedly throw a spiral 25-30 yards.
SHANNON EASTIN – The current lockout of league field officials opened the door for Shannon Eastin, who has been a presence in college football for years, to become the first female to referee a game in the National Football League.
FAITH HILL – When fans tune in to NBC’s coverage of Sunday Night Football each week, the first face they’ll likely see is that of country music’s leggy blonde bombshell Faith Hill. In 2007, the multiple award-winning singer and actress took over as the signature voice of NFL on NBC’s Sunday Night Football and has been singing the broadcast’s theme song to the delight of football fans ever since.
RITA BENSON LEBLANC – Vice Chairman of the Board of the Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints. She began interning for the team while still in high school and has been publicly named as her father Tom Benson’s intended successor as principal owner of the team.
KELLI MASTERS – Kelli Masters’ career as a sports agent began in 2004 when, after becoming licensed, she worked to represent Olympic athletes. Shortly thereafter, she began representing football players, and her Kelli Masters Management now boasts a roster of clients from storied NFL franchises like the Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, just to name a few.
PAM OLIVER – Dallas, TX native Pam Oliver’s face is as familiar to many pro pigskin fans as the players’, themselves. After stints with local stations in Tampa, FL and Houston, TX, Oliver joined the broadcast team at ESPN in 1993. Oliver began her current stint as sideline reporter for FOX Sports’ NFL coverage in 1995.
MICHELE TAFOYA – From 2004 to 2011, Michelle Tafoya was part of the broadcast team that covered one of the NFL’s greatest fan traditions – Monday Night Football. This season, fans will enjoy Tafoya’s sideline coverage on the NFL on NBC’s Sunday Night Football broadcasts.
AMY TRASK – Hired in 1997, Amy Trask is the current CEO of the fabled Oakland Raiders football franchise. She became a fan of the Raiders during her days as an undergraduate student at nearby UC Berkeley. Known affectionately by Raider faithful as the “Princess of Darkness,” Trask helps helm the Raider ship and keeps the operations of the organization sailing smoothly.
Did one of your favorite football femmes fail to make our list? Well, Join the Conversation and let us know which gridiron gals we may have missed!