What game is Rex Ryan calling for ESPN?
Two of the biggest sports broadcasting stories of the opening week of the NFL regular season converge in Denver on Monday night.
The Broncos-Chargers game—called by veteran announcer Beth Mowins—is the first regular-season NFL game called by a woman in 30 years, and only the second time in the history that a woman has done play-by-play for a regular-season NFL game. (Gayle Sierens called the Seahawks-Chiefs in Kansas City for NBC in the final week of the 1987 season.). It’s also the game analyst debut for former Bills and Jets head coach Rex Ryan. After the game, Ryan will head to the studio to be a permanent member of ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown show.
The broadcast team of Mowins and Ryan called two practice games on-site during the preseason—Browns-Giants in Cleveland on Aug. 21, and Bucs-Jaguars in Jacksonville on Aug. 17—to get as many reps as possible before working the nightcap to ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” season-opening double-header.
“Beth is doing the exact same job she has always done, just on a bigger stage,” said Tim Corrigan, who has produced the late “Monday Night Football” doubleheader game for the past 15 years. “Clearly she will be a big storyline, but we are asking her to do what she is already exceptional at. As for Rex, we are asking him to talk about football, which he might be pretty good at it.”