As the first female NFL Executive and the only ever female Chief Executive in American Sport, Amy Trask knows what it means to break a barrier. Now she is about to break a personal barrier - television.
The former Raiders CEO resigned from the team which she spent 27 years of her life - the last 16 as CEO. Once she left, she says she really had no idea what was next.
"When I submitted my resignation, when I resigned, I did not have in place a plan for the future, and I did not have any preconceived notions about what the future would hold." Said Trask.
That future soon became clear in the past few weeks when she was courted to be a part of a new show on CBS called "That Other Pregame Show", the network announced Tuesday.
The 4-hour show will air on CBS Sundays from 9am-1pm prior to game time beginning with week one of the 2013 NFL regular season. It will be hosted by Adam Schein along with analysts including recently retired linebacker, Bart Scott. I'm sure he ‘Can't wait!'
For Trask, this is foreign ground. A lawyer and businesswoman who says she had never stepped in front of a TV camera before last week and who, while being a familiar face to Raiders fans who attended team events, did most of her work behind the scenes. Suddenly she will be thrust into the bright lights for all the world to see.
"I absolutely, positively never considered doing this, never contemplated doing this, it never crossed my radar screen to do this," said Trask. "From the time that I announced my resignation up until this point, quite a few people have suggested this to me. People at other clubs, people at television networks, people in and out of football and around the league suggested that I consider television, and my response was always ‘Yeah, no, uh uh, no'. But about a month or so ago, [CBS] contacted me about it quite seriously and that was the point at which I first started considering this."
"I'm really thrilled to have this opportunity at CBS. I think the talent there is really stupendous. I'm going to be working with people that are the best in the business and they're going to help me."
This is far from an unheard of idea for sports networks to put football front office personnel in front of the camera. Fans are more and more interested these days in the business side of football. That is what Trask specializes in and that is what she will provide CBS and its viewers.
"I will be one of a group of people. A pre-pre-game show. We will be discussing topical issues of interest to football fans and I will be participating in that group. . . I will be looked at as someone with business experience in the National Football League. ESPN has Bill Polian, NBC has Scott Pioli, and there are former GM's and coaches throughout the networks. Certainly I was neither [a GM] nor a head coach but I do have my body of experience that CBS believes will provide valuable insights to the viewers from the perspective of someone who's been inside the business operations of an NFL club."
With just a matter of weeks until the start of the NFL season, Trask still doesn't really know what awaits her behind the analyst desk. When I asked what she expects, she simply said "I am expecting an exciting new experience." That's a pretty brave outlook on such a new endeavor, but one we have come to expect from the woman to put the ‘us against the world' mentality on her shoulders with the Raiders for the better part of the past two decades.
That Other Pregame Show will premiere Sunday, September 8 at 9am Eastern, 6am Pacific on CBS.