Shalom Life | October 14, 2014

EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Sportscaster Tracy Wolfson

In anticipation of Super Bowl XLVIII, we speak to the CBC Sports reporter, who spent much of the NFL playoffs on the sidelines, on her predictions, and on how she became one of the most well-known reporters in the game

By: Daniel Koren

Published: January 31st, 2014 in Sports » Local

Even in Toronto, NFL playoffs are a sacred occasion, a Ramadan of sorts for relentless sports devotees, who will literally give up bathing or eating if it means their team will advance to the next round.

There's an age-old mantra that football fans are more die-hard than basketball or hockey fans, which, given my locale, is often disputed; anyone who disagrees, however, hasn't seen the state of my apartment after the Patriots lose during the playoffs, particularly after their loss to Denver close to two weekends ago.

Hint: my roommate completely beat the shit out of it.

As a Patriots fan myself, I get a kick out of enjoying the regular NFL season, though I relish the opportunity to watch the playoffs; something about a once-you-lose-your-out style competition, evocative of the World or Euro Cup, makes it all the more exciting, for even the most improbable occurrence can take place in a single game.

The outcome, some say, is preordained by the Gods themselves.

It was while I was watching these NFL playoffs that inevitably, as an editor of a Jewish publication, I thought to myself, wow, there is no Jewish angle to these games, none at all.

And then I saw her on the sidelines as I witnessed the Broncos send the Patriots packing: Tracy Wolfson.


The name rang familiar, realizing that the sports broadcaster is one of CBS Sports' most preeminent journalists, famous for bringing you the scoop during every college football game - she's a staple of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) games on CBS - but also, for being on the sidelines of the NCAA tournament (she's been the lead reporter on the Final Four since 2009), and even at several US Open matches.

And, after marveling at her attention to detail as she hammered out facts and statistics on Peyton Manning's domineering performance over Tom Brady, I realized that I also recognized her voice from playing NCAA College Hoops 2K8 on PlayStation 3.

The 38-year-old Wolfson offers her skills as a sidelines reporter throughout the game. The New York-bred journalist (she currently lives in Jersey) was also once nominated for an Emmy for her performance as a sports broadcaster.

She's also been listed by both Complex and Bleacher Report as one of the hottest sideline reporters in the game.

I was able to catch up with Wolfson over the phone, where I asked her how a young Jewish female sportsfan was able to become of the most important broadcasters in football, on a network as powerful as CBS, no less. Her answers were modest, personable, and friendly and, of course, I had to take advantage of her kindness and ask her predictions for this Sunday's big game.

Little did she know, I just wanted a guarantee that I bet on the right team.

I did.

Shalom Life: Have you always loved sports? Was getting into this field always your dream?

Tracy Wolfson: Yeah, I did actually.You know, it's funny, I don't have any brothers and my father enjoyed sports. I wouldn't say hes a die hard sports fan, but, for some reason, I just took it to it. I was a little tomboy growing up and my parents would find me with the door shut in my room and I'd be watching any sports game whether the Yankees, Mets, Knicks or Jets. We didn't have cable, so I'd watch NBA Inside Stuff or the George Michael Sports Machine.

NBA Inside Stuff had a female host and I remember watching and saying 'I want to do that,' and that was it. Literally from that point on I wanted to do it. My friends still say to me, 'wow, you wanted to do this back then', and here I am doing it. I didn't know if I'd be able to then, but here I am.

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