COVER STORY: MOLLY QERIM
CHANGING THE GAME
WITH MOLLY QERIM
By Teryl Warren
“[I like] the [Seattle] Seahawks out of the NFC and either the Broncos or Patriots out of the AFC. I’m hedging my bet,” she smiled.
And as NFL Championship weekend approaches, we see, she was absolutely right. This sort of spot-on sports savvy doesn’t ordinarily come in such a feminine and sexy package. But as fans of the NFL Network already know: Molly Qerim is very far from ordinary.
Molly developed a love for sports, first, by playing them as a child.
“I’ve been playing sports since the age of five,” she shared. “I played tennis competitively growing up, and that taught me a lot about life: about teamwork and being consistent, resilient and doing whatever you have to do, even when it’s not what you want to do.”
At 13, Molly knew that she’d someday be a journalist. Along the way, she made all the right moves to ensure she’d reach her goal.
“I studied communications and business in undergrad and then received my Masters in Broadcast Journalism. In college I took advantage of all resources available to me, working at the campus TV station, job shadowing; along with interning for NBC Universal (30 Rock) for the Conan O’Brien show, CBS radio and for ESPN. I was a hustler.”
In a short amount of time, Molly has not only carved out a place in NFL broadcast journalism history, but she is also a female pioneer in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) arena.
The appeal of rough and tumble sports like football and mixed martial arts escapes many women. But Molly suggests that competitive sports convey a deeper societal meaning beyond the blood and brawn.
“Sports are so much more than just a game. They are a microcosm of life. In sports, we see themes like overcoming adversity, working together toward a common goal and healthy competition. I love the game of football, itself, and how it brings people together.”
But the world of professional sports is also, quite decidedly, a man’s world, and there have been many highly publicized incidents of female journalists suffering both sexual harassment and gender discrimination. Female sports journalists, like women in general, are regularly subjected to more scrutiny regarding their physical appearance, skepticism regarding their knowledge of the game and their personal lives than are their male counterparts.
So how exactly does Molly, who was famously once named Bleacher Report’s “Sports Chick Hottie of the Week,” manage to maintain her professionalism and integrity?
“You have to let your actions do the talking,” she said. “Be professional, accountable and serious about your profession. If you do your homework, treat people right and constantly strive to be better, people will respect you.”
In addition to the professional challenges of her work, Molly confided that her career also comes with personal challenges, as well.
“Sports and television run 365 days a year, so I’ve missed a lot of family events. That eats at me,” she shared. “My family is in Connecticut and I live in LA. I miss them very much and I often feel torn and guilty about being away.”
Not to mention those 3AM call times for her morning show. But despite the demanding schedule, she assured us that the rewards of the gig make it all worthwhile.
“I really love the people I work with, we have so much fun. It’s also very rewarding to share an inspiring story that will positively impact others’ lives or the feeling after you have a great show.”
Anyone who has seen Molly Qerim in action knows that talking about sports comes naturally for her. But what’s a girl who just getting her football feet wet to do?
“Watch games – ideally, with someone who is patient and knows the game, so you can ask questions throughout,” Molly advised. “Also, learn the rules and positions. There is so much information available online. Football for Dummies is a good start.”
Molly just wrapped production on the Fantasy Football Show “NFL Fantasy Live” but you can still check her out on the NFL Network’s coverage leading up to the Super Bowl. And after the final second ticks away on the big game on February 3, gridiron enthusiasts can follow Molly throughout the year as she continues to host the NFL Network’s daily morning show “NFL AM” throughout the year.
After all, as Molly told us, “There is no off-season in the NFL.”
To keep up with Molly, please like her on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/MollyQerim
and Follow her on Twitter at: twitter.com/MollyQerim
To learn more, you may also visit: www.mollyqerim.com