On Thursday, veteran sports reporter Lesley Visser will become the first woman to serve as an analyst for an NFL game. Visser has covered the NFL since the mid-70s, first as a beat reporter for the Boston Globe before moving on to become an accomplished sideline reporter for CBS, ABC, and ESPN. During the Miami Dolphins-New Orleans Saints pre-season game to be broadcast on Miami’s CBS-affiliate WFOR, Visser will be in the booth as a color commentator alongside play-by-play announcer Craig Bolerjack.
This isn’t the first time that Visser has broken gender boundaries: she was the NFL’s first female beat writer in 1976; she was the first woman to report from the sidelines at a Super Bowl in 1995; she was the first female NFL analyst on radio in 2002; and she is the only member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame as the recipient of the 2006 Pete Rozelle Radio and Television Award.
In making the announcement, Shaun McDonald, President/General Manager of WFOR-TV/CBS4, said that Visser is “not only an inspiration for others and a pioneer in breaking down boundaries, but she also sets a standard that every other sportscaster aspires to achieve. Needless to say, we’re delighted that she’ll be contributing her expertise to our final preseason game.”
Although this is another significiant achievment in Visser’s storied career, the Thursday night game will only feature Visser in the booth during the fourth quarter, proving that there are still many gender boundaries left for Visser to break.