Hannah Storm and Andrea Kremer became the first all-female duo to call an NFL game in 2018, paving the way for women and setting the standard for a new kind of broadcasts.
Amaze. Inspire. Surprise. You’ll be hearing those words a lot in the coming weeks—together, they cut to the heart of why we love sports in the first place. So in the days leading up to the naming of SI’s Sportsperson we’ll be looking back and shining a light on the athletes, moments and teams (and one horse) who did one—or all—of those things in 2018. There can be only one Sportsperson. But it has been a year full of deserving candidates.
Inspiration—history—wasn’t the goal when Amazon set out to hire its own set of Thursday Night Football announcers. But when Hannah Storm and Andrea Kremer got the offer, they knew how impactful it could be. Never before had an NFL game been called by an all-female duo.
“Someone had to be first,” Storm said at the time. “Our hope is other people will see it as maybe a path they would want to follow.” The two came together with a wealth of varied experience. Storm built up her live chops covering breaking news on SportsCenter while Kremer brought football expertise earned during five seasons as the Sunday Night Football sideline reporter as well as time spent on pigskin studio shows.
Sitting alongside each other, they set out to prove not only that NFL broadcasts could sound different, but that they could be different. “Football and sports are not the purview of one specific group of people. It’s not a secret language. It’s not brain surgery. And sometimes it can seem intimidating,” Storm told SI before the season. “Hopefully what we’ll do is keep it simple, keep it entertaining, keep people engaged and make people feel welcome. It’s for everybody.”
Some amount of backlash was a given. “Unfortunately there’s always going to be a segment of people that feel that women don’t belong,” Storm said. But working an 11-game schedule, she and Kremer vowed to be their own toughest critics, understanding that they’d have to learn on the job and grow. They called on ex-coach Brian Billick and former executive Andrew Brandt to provide further insight during games, and enlisted another pair of women, producer Betsy Riley and content producer Lauren Gaffney, to help behind the camera.
The final product, if you can even call it that, has focused on conversation while sharing human stories as well as the detail on display each Thursday, celebrating football for all. Along the way, Storm and Kremer have opened a hole for the next woman to run through.