Erin Andrews tells us what it's like to be the NFL's top sideline reporter, from screaming players to late-night anxieties

Erin Andrews 2 AP

  • Fox Sports’ Erin Andrews spoke to Business Insider about the
    preparation she’s doing before working the sideline for Super Bowl
    LIV.
  • Andrews revealed some of her most memorable encounters with NFL
    players that weren’t caught on camera.
  • She also talked about what she’s doing off the field to expand
    her brand, including the clothing line WEAR and her hopes to one
    day host a talk show.

  • Click here for more BI Prime stories
    .

 

It’s the calm before the storm: the week between the NFL
conference playoff games and the Super Bowl.

It gives the players on the Kansas City Chiefs and the San
Francisco 49ers time to heal up any nagging injuries and their
coaches time to plow through hours of game footage to help
strategize.

But for Erin Andrews, there’s nothing calm about it. The Fox
Sports NFL sideline reporter is in major prep mode to also take the
field Sunday at Super Bowl LIV.

“You do all this prep and end up not using a quarter of it,”
Andrews told Business Insider over the phone from Montana last
week, where she stayed for a few days before flying down to Miami
for the big game. “But I have to do it. It’s the chip on my
shoulder. It’s what makes me so competitive.”

That chip on her shoulder has added to her hard work ethic,
which, combined with an absolute obsession with sports, has made
her the most recognizable female journalist in sports.

Tom Bergeron Erin Andrews Eric McCandless Getty

Take the day we talked to Andrews as an example.

In the morning, she said she was on the treadmill watching a San
Francisco 49ers game from earlier in the season. Before getting on
the phone with Business Insider, she was reading a story on 49ers
defensive end Dee Ford. And later in the day, she was planning to
rewatch the 49ers game Fox covered earlier this season and go over
her notes from that game. She’s going heavy on the the 49ers
research as she’ll be on their sideline during the Super Bowl.

Then once she gets to Miami, things get even more hectic.
There’s interviews with players, attending practices, and doing an
interview with Chiefs star quarterback Patrick Mahomes that will
air during the pregame. 


This isn’t Andrews’ first time on the sidelines for a Fox-aired
Super Bowl, but it doesn’t matter, she said. She still has a fear
that when the lights shine the brightest, she won’t be ready.

“I’ll have nightmares at night,” Andrews said. “That I end up
being late to the game and not being there until the second
quarter, or I’ll totally blank during the game. These are the
things that just creep into your mind.”

Dealing with players screaming at her is just part of the job.

Andrews, 41, has been working hard to expand her brand. In 2019,
she completed her fifth season cohosting ABC’s “Dancing with the
Stars,” and in October she launched
WEAR
, an NFL clothing line for women.

But she said reporting on the sidelines for NFL games, which
she’s been doing since 2014, is still her dream job.

“This is it, I have to be honest,” Andrews said. “I’m such a
sports fan that I get into it. I can’t expect a game Fox is doing
and I’m not involved in it.”

Aaron Rodgers Erin Andrews APEven when she’s working the sideline of a team
that’s completely getting blown out and there’s nothing much to
report — like the Green Bay Packers during this year’s NFC
Conference game — she powers through.

“I remember my producer was like, ‘Do you have anything?'”
Andrews said, looking back on that game. “And I was like, ‘Come to
me,’ and I think I said something like, ‘The vibe down here is
there isn’t one.’ That’s a bummer, but there are times when teams
are getting their a–es handed to them and they do start having
meltdowns. I was on some Giants sidelines when we saw Odell
[Beckham Jr.] have fits.”

Andrews said it’s rare when there isn’t something on the field
to dive into and report. Who can forget the post-game interview she
did at the NFC Championship in 2014 with then-Seattle-Seahawk
cornerback Richard Sherman that went
viral?

“It’s the best unscripted reality show there is,” Andrews said
of her job, without a hint of hyperbole.

But some of Andrews’ most memorable moments on the field are
those that aren’t caught on camera, she said.

“I have a monitor with me so players come and talk to me all the
time,” Andrews said. “One of the craziest moments for me was the
Dez Bryant non-catch against
Green Bay
[in 2014]. [Aaron] Rogers came over to where I was
standing and was like, ‘What are they saying?’ Just screaming at
me, and I was like, ‘[Fox Sports rules analyst Mike] Pereira said
it was a catch,’ and he said, ‘That’s why he’s out of the league!’
It turned out it wasn’t a catch. It’s funny, a lot of players will
come over because they will see the replay on my monitor. They want
to know if it’s a catch or a first down. I’m just like, ‘Stop
screaming at me.'”

Dak Prescott Erin Andrews APThen there are moments when the sports
fanatic in her can just geek out — like when 49ers general
manager and former player John Lynch showed up to where she was
with the Fox team after the NFC Championship game.

“I just get into it,” she said of talking shop. “I talked to him
about being a GM and he told me all these stories from when he was
a player. I called my husband that night and he was like, ‘God,
you’re fired up.'”

Andrews said the friendships she’s built with players, coaches,
and executives in the NFL since starting at Fox have come from the
fact that she prides herself on not burning bridges. If she sees a
player on the sideline who clearly looks injured or appears to be
suffering from a concussion, Andrews said she won’t go on air with
a report until the team has cleared it — if for just the simple
reason that she knows their families and significant others are
watching and deserve to not hear conflicting information.

In return, it’s led to her landing big interviews. There was New
Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton speaking to her
right after his team’s heartbreaking loss to the Los Angeles Rams
in the 2019 NFC Championship game over a controversial call (“No
way in h— Sean Payton wanted to do that interview, but he came
out and answered the questions, it was probably one of the biggest
interviews I’ve ever done,” Andrews said). Then there was landing a
rare sit-down with Tom Brady.

“I want to puke every single time,” Andrews said of talking to
the New England Patriots quarterback. “I wrote Tom the first time I
interviewed him, it was a Thursday Night Football game, and I was
like, ‘I have to apologize because I didn’t smile throughout the
interview because my lips were quivering so bad because I was so
nervous.’ My parents were like, ‘What’s wrong with you?’ And I was
like, ‘He’s the G.O.A.T., I didn’t want to mess it up.'”

Erin Andrews WEAR Nick KovaCould
an Erin Andrews talk show be on the horizon?

Andrews said that if there’s anything that might come close to
her love of being in the mix with the biggest names in sports, it’s
her WEAR line. The women’s clothing brand is made up of denim
shirts, hoodies, track pants, long-sleeve T-shirts, and bomber
jackets — discreet game-day gear with fashionable designs and
small team logos on them. Following the soft launch in October, the
line will soon expand to include NCAA teams.

According to Fanatics, which operates e-commerce for the NFL and
partnered with Andrews on the WEAR line, the launch of WEAR was its
largest women-specific launch of 2019.

Andrews is also thinking about what else she can do on TV. She
said the “Dancing with the Stars” job has given her the interest to
try more on the entertainment side. She said that she’s pitched a
TV series idea as a producer, and would love to do a talk show.

In fact, she already knows who would be the best co-host for
her.

“I’m on Kevin Hart’s a– right now to do a talk show with me,”
Andrews said. “He’s hilarious, he calls me out. He called me a
couple of weeks ago before the Eagles game to get me to give him
some inside information and I was like, ‘Before I do that, let’s
talk about this show.'”

A talk show with Hart might sound like a pipe dream, but do you
really want to be the one who underestimates Erin Andrews?

SEE ALSO: The
camera Roger Deakins used to shoot Oscar-nominated “1917” was the
first of its kind. Herels the inside story of the Arri ALEXA Mini
LF.


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Erin Andrews tells us what it's like to be the NFL's top sideline reporter, from screaming players to late-night anxieties