Richard Deitsch (SI.com): Former Raiders CEO Amy Trask Joins CBS
Sports Illustrated ran an amusing profile of Amy Trask in 2002, where she exhibited her passion for football (and especially the Raiders) in no uncertain terms. As writer Michael Silver described the scene, at the pivotal moment of the 2001 divisional playoff game between the Raiders and the Patriots, Trask, then the CEO of Oakland's team, hovered over 77-year-old league observer Art McNally as the replay review of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's apparent game-ending fumble played in front of them. Trask screamed, "You'd better call 911, because I'm going to have a f——— heart attack if you overturn this f——— call!"?
The call was overturned (Google the "Tuck Rule Game," kids), Trask did not have a heart attack, and the Pats went on to win Super Bowl XXXVI. Trask spent 27 years working as a management executive for the Raiders before she resigned last May. She will now follow the recent path taken by plenty of former NFL management types:
She has become a television analyst.
CBS announced last week that Trask will be an analyst for That Other Pregame Show, a new four-hour pregame show that will air on CBS Sports Network from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., beginning with Week 1 of the NFL season on Sept. 8. "When I resigned my position with the Raiders I had absolutely positively no idea or inkling whether this was something I would consider let alone undertake," Trask said in an interview last week. "I spent 27 years with the Raiders running the opposite direction anytime I saw a television camera."
Trask said she had no plans to enter broadcasting until the idea was suggested to her by former NFL colleagues, friends in the sports media (she's tight with Andrea Kremer of the NFL Network), and a broadcasting agent who contacted her after her resignation. The agent shopped her to a number of networks including ESPN. With CBS needing talent for a new pregame show-- and Trask and CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus sharing a long working relationship -- the fit worked. "She will talk about player personnel, and give her perspective on moves," McManus said. "She may give her perspective on owners. Amy has never been shy and certainly did not work for a shy man. I think her role will evolve. She knows how a team works as well as anyone. Let's see what she has to say."
Trask said she plans on giving "honest, candid, forthright views on topics of interest to the viewer" and that CBS management has told the show's staff that they do not have to stick to set topics. Said Trask: "Am I going to weigh in on X's and O's? You bet you, I might."
Trask's hire is significant because she will be the first female NFL analyst with significant management experience. She was the highest-ranking female executive of an NFL team and the only woman to be CEO of an NFL franchise. Traditional NFL broadcasting roles for women have been sideline reporting, hosting studio shows or feature reporting. Asked if she believed this to be a pioneering hire, Trask said, "I have gotten that question before and I stumbled and fumbled my way through it as I am apt to right now. I have approached my career in the following manner: I have done my job to the best of my ability without regard to my gender, My view has always been that if I don't want my gender to be an issue, then I should not make my gender an issue. I have been asked about that issue before and I don't do the best job answering the question because I have spent decades comporting myself without regard to gender."