Sideline Star

By Rob Charry

Published March 24, 2006, issue of March 24, 2006.
  • Print
  • Share Share

ESPN’s Suzy Kolber has been a football fan since way back. At age 8 she dressed up in a helmet and shoulder pads for Halloween. Earlier this month, her love for the gridiron earned her the Sports Broadcaster of the Year Award from the Maxwell Football Club. It was the first time in its 69-year history that the suburban Philadelphia club had given an award to a female. The Maxwell Club annually honors top college and pro football players and coaches. Together with Kolber, this year’s honorees included Seattle Seahawks running back Shaun Alexander and Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy.

Kolber, who was raised and bat mitzvahed in suburban Philadelphia, told the Forward that while she was growing up she had no intention of working on the journalist’s side of the microphone. “I just loved playing sports,” she said. “I was never really thinking, ‘I want to be a broadcaster.’ What I loved about the game was playing.” Kolber was a multi-sport athlete at Upper Dublin High School in Fort Washington, Pa., lettering in tennis, basketball and track, but she played everything — football included. When she was 10, Kolber made the Upper Dublin Township football team and attracted the attention of the Philadelphia media. When a reporter asked how long she planned to play football, Kolber replied, “Until the boys start tackling me when I don’t have the ball.” In the end, the boys never had the chance to tackle her with the ball or without: Other teams in the league refused to play against a squad that fielded a girl.

Kolber studied communications at the University of Miami and, while serving as an intern at the local CBS affiliate, she realized that there might be a future for her in broadcasting. Her first few years in television were behind the scenes, as a producer. But in 1993, when she joined ESPN, it was as a co-host of ESPN2’s signature show, “SportsNight.” Kolber moved on to become an anchor on ESPN’s popular highlight show, “SportsCenter.” After leaving to work briefly for Fox Sports, Kolber returned to ESPN in 1999. She has been the network’s “Sunday Night Football” sideline reporter for the past five years. She worked her first Super Bowl, for ABC, last month.

Kolber’s said that her love of sports comes from her grandfather, whom she remembers as a pious man who nevertheless found the time to listen to baseball games on his transistor radio. Would she ever consider doing play by play? “No,” she said. “I think you have to be smart about where your strengths are. I like where I’m at.” This fall, where Suzy Kolber will be “at” is on the sidelines for ESPN’s newest show, “Monday Night Football.”






Find us on Facebook!
  • What does the Israel-Hamas war look like through Haredi eyes?
  • Was Israel really shocked to find there are networks of tunnels under Gaza?
  • “Going to Berlin, I had a sense of something waiting there for me. I was searching for something and felt I could unlock it by walking the streets where my grandfather walked and where my father grew up.”
  • How can 3 contradictory theories of Yiddish co-exist? Share this with Yiddish lovers!
  • "We must answer truthfully: Has a drop of all this bloodshed really helped bring us to a better place?”
  • "There are two roads. We have repeatedly taken the one more traveled, and that has made all the difference." Dahlia Scheindlin looks at the roots of Israel's conflict with Gaza.
  • Shalom, Cooperstown! Cooperstown Jewish mayor Jeff Katz and Jeff Idelson, director of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, work together to oversee induction weekend.
  • A boost for morale, if not morals.
  • Mixed marriages in Israel are tough in times of peace. So, how do you maintain a family bubble in the midst of war? http://jd.fo/f4VeG
  • Despite the escalating violence in Israel, more and more Jews are leaving their homes in Alaska to make aliyah: http://jd.fo/g4SIa
  • The Workmen's Circle is hosting New York’s first Jewish street fair on Sunday. Bring on the nouveau deli!
  • Novelist Sayed Kashua finds it hard to write about the heartbreak of Gaza from the plush confines of Debra Winger's Manhattan pad. Tough to argue with that, whichever side of the conflict you are on.
  • "I’ve never bought illegal drugs, but I imagine a small-time drug deal to feel a bit like buying hummus underground in Brooklyn."
  • We try to show things that get less exposed to the public here. We don’t look to document things that are nice or that people would like. We don’t try to show this place as a beautiful place.”
  • A new Gallup poll shows that only 25% of Americans under 35 support the war in #Gaza. Does this statistic worry you?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.