I was very sad to hear about the passing of Phyllis George today. For those who don’t know who she is, she was one of the first women on the NFL pre-game shows when I was younger. I had just gotten into football and was loosely paying attention to what was going on. There was Brent Musberger, Irv Cross, Phyllis George and Jimmy the Greek. This was in the time before NFL Red Zone, and the Internet, hence you got your news from them on Sundays. These guys were BIG TIME back then. You think the NFL is big now, this was when there were only over the air braodcast channels, there was no cable and 500 channels.
My big brother Karamjeet got me into football. He was a Cleveland Browns fan, I don’t know if its because he went to Case Western Reserve or he actually liked the Cleveland Browns. They weren’t the mess that they are now, they had Bernie Kosar as their quarterback, Ernest Byner, and a couple other of really great players. I remember watching games at his home, at least the beginning half of the game because usually hafl way thru I’d have to hop on the train to get back to The Bronx. I remember rooting for the Steelers a lot–they were really good back then and it seemed like they were always on TV. As I mentioned, football wasn’t on demand back then. We had to wait until half time to get the scores, and you really did wait. It wasn’t like now when a team scores a touchdown, they do a cut away and you see the score or go to NFL Redzone, lol.
I remember her because quite frankly she was pretty–she was a former Miss America, hence you know she was a stunner, later on when she left she was replaced by Jayne Kennedy–another who was even prettier than her! The NFL knew what guys wanted to see even then. She did pave the way for a lot of women in football, she wasn’t asking tough questions–she mainly did ‘puff pieces,’ nothing hard hitting like now. Back then she was there to have a pretty face among, Musberger, Cross and The Greek.
I have to admit, I hadn’t thought of her in years, quite frankly I thought she was already dead. Alas, she was alive and kicking up until a few days ago. She was the first lady of Kentucky–being married to the Governor, I was reading their statement, and I’ll para phrase. They said they didn’t know her as Phyllis George from The NFL Today, she was just Mom, which was really refreshing to hear.
It’s just another piece of my childhood going away. I am getting older. I have less tomorrows than I have yesterdays. I hate knowing that I am in the twilight (seemingly) of my life. I am just trying to enjoy it the best that I can and raise a great human being. Phyllis George Rest In Peace, know that you paved the way for many women that we see on TV now and will be missed by many fans.