Who Erin Andrews
New gig Sunday marks Andrews’ first stint as a Super Bowl sideline reporter.
Continuing gig Fox Sports reporter and studio host, Fox College Saturday (FS1)
How does the Super Bowl stack up to every other event you’ve covered over the course of your career?
It’s really one of the biggest reasons I wanted to go to Fox. This is a bucket list thing for me. I mean, it’s the Super Bowl—what’s bigger and better than that?
How would you characterize your role for fans who don’t see the value in a sideline reporter?
Well, there are a lot of people who think, “Oh, there’s no need for them, they’re just glorified gurney chasers.” And if that’s the case, I say, why not come on down and give it a try, and see how much work goes into it! In many ways, it’s like being a spy. I’m privy to conversations that [Fox analysts] Joe [Buck] and Troy [Aikman] aren’t, and it’s my job to convey some of that information back to the booth and to the people watching at home.
Only “some” of that information?
I hear a lot of colorful language. After a while, you really learn how to master the art of paraphrasing. But really, you just have to be ready for any situation. If the power goes out, you don’t want the viewers sitting there wondering what the heck is going on down there.
Speaking of colorful language, how do you approach the players at the end of a hard-fought game? Are there precautions you need to take with, um, more expressive guys, like [Seahawks cornerback] Richard Sherman? [This interview took place on Jan. 17, two days before Andrews would conduct her instant-classic postgame interview with an adrenalized and victorious Sherman.]
Yeah, there are wardrobe malfunctions and then there’s having certain words broadcast to over 100 million people. But these guys are all pros. Sometimes they have to take a minute to shed that competitive fire and take their game faces off … but by the time we get to them, they’ve had a chance to come down a little bit.
How do you psyche yourself up to stick a microphone in a coach’s face at halftime?
I love some of these coaches, but there are definitely a few who used to psyche me out a little bit. I mean, you’re not going to shove a mic in [Patriots head coach] Bill Belichick’s face. That’s just not going to fly. But those interactions come with the territory. I used to be terrified of [Alabama coach] Nick Saban [laughs], and now I’m comfortable enough where I can do one-on-one interviews with him. But really, I’m always up for the challenge of getting that little bit of insight from the coaches. And if they’re not always the sweetest guys, it’s still not the hardest assignment … it’s not like trying to get something out of [San Antonio Spurs coach] Gregg Popovich!
Are you hoping for a blizzard at the Super Bowl, or would you just as soon be comfortable?
I am rooting for bad weather! I mean, I don’t necessarily want it to be 20 below, but I’ll be ready for whatever comes my way. I think the Green Bay-49ers [NFC Wild Card] game at Lambeau was a really good dress rehearsal for the Super Bowl. It was a blast, even though there were some complications. I mean, I was so paranoid about getting frostbite that I had a hard time hearing, and the gloves certainly didn’t make it easy to take notes. It’s also hard to tell who the players are on the sidelines when they’re wearing those huge puffy down jackets and have the hoods up.
So you’re cool with a little snow.
Oh, absolutely. I want to see snow falling at the end of the game instead of confetti.
How do you stifle your inner fan when you’re working the sidelines?
I am a Packers fan, because of my dad, so obviously that’s not a factor this year. But my mortgage and my car payment at this point are a lot more important to me than if my team wins a football game.
Photo: Fox Sports