Suzy Kolber calls it the ultimate example of foreshadowing. As a 10-year-old, the ESPN NFL host played football just north of Philadelphia for the Upper Dublin Junior Athletic Association.
Tonight, she’s back home for the Giants-Eagles game quarterbacking Monday Night Countdown (6 p.m. ET, ESPN).
“At the time, it was unheard of for a girl to try to play peewee football,” Kolber said. “The barriers I was breaking then, who knew that was setting a course for my career?”
In this industry it’s so competitive, demanding and challenging. I’m always trying to raise the bar, do new things and push limits. I’m proud to be recognized for the longevity. – Suzy Kolber regarding her recent Philadelphia Sports Hall Of Fame induction
On that course, paved by meticulous preparation and hard work, Kolber has earned respect and credibility from NFL players, coaches, executives and fans as well as a place in the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame.
At the induction ceremony last month, Kolber was surrounded by family – “nothing more special than that,” she says – and honored alongside two NFL players she’s covered: former Philadelphia Eagles stars Donovan McNabb and Troy Vincent.
“In this industry it’s so competitive, demanding and challenging,” Kolber said. “I’m always trying to raise the bar, do new things and push limits. I’m proud to be recognized for the longevity.”
Back at Lincoln Financial Field tonight, Kolber looks forward to helping fans get ready for the return of Eli Manning and the NFC East showdown on Monday Night Football.
“Going to the Linc and being in that area is always fun,” said Kolber. “It’s coming home.”
Prior to working in sports, Kolber was first a fan. When sharing top childhood memories with Front Row, she recalled watching 76ers games and her all-time favorite player, Doug Collins, before the two became colleagues at ESPN.
“He always had that scrappy type of game. I admired the way he handled the ball, how aggressive he played defense and the way he moved away from the ball. I patterned my game after him.”
Related: As she prepared to travel to Philadelphia this weekend, Kolber told The Athletic her love for sports came “not just from the heart, maybe from the soul.”