By Ryan Mayer
DENVER (CBS4) – When the Denver Broncos open up their 2017 season against the Los Angeles Chargers as part of the opening week Monday Night Football doubleheader, history will be made on the broadcast. According to a report from Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch, ESPN will have play-by-play announcer Beth Mowins on the call for the game alongside new analyst Rex Ryan. Why will that make history, you ask? Well, Mowins will become the first woman to ever announce a Monday Night Football game and the first to announce an NFL game since NBC’s Gayle Sierens back in 1987.
Mowins has experience calling NFL games as she has broadcast the Oakland Raiders preseason games while also fulfilling her duties as a college football announcer for ESPN. As Deitsch points out, that gives her more play-by-play experience than some of the previous announcers that ESPN has had doing the back end of the doubleheader in past years.
“For the past two seasons Mowins has called the Raiders’ exhibition games in addition to her college football schedule. This gives her a ton more full-time NFL game-calling experience than two broadcasters ESPN previously assigned to call the back end of the MNF doubleheader: Mike Greenberg and Chris Berman.”
The move comes after ESPN president John Skipper said during a symposium that the network was working towards breaking the glass ceiling for women with regards to calling NFL games. Mowins’ former ESPN colleague, Mike Tirico, offered high praise of her to Deitsch on his podcast back in January.
“Beth will show up and do a game and do as good a job as any of the men,” NBC Sports announcer Mike Tirico said on the SI Media Podcast last January, predicting she would get an NFL game assignment in the future. “She is a ceiling-breaker, a pioneer and there will be more women [calling the NFL] going forward.”
The Broncos and Chargers play as part of the Monday Night Football doubleheader on September 11th with kick-off set for 8:20 p.m. Mountain Time.