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Erin Andrews has a case for being the toughest person at Super Bowl LI

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NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

If you tuned into the Cowboys vs. Packers game during Week 6, you probably watched Erin Andrews on the sidelines, participating in her usual pre- and post-game duties. She filmed a feature with Jordy Nelson, she interviewed coaches and players, and reported to Thom Brennaman and Troy Aikman in the booth throughout the broadcast. It all seemed like business as usual. Except it wasn’t. Andrews was working only five days after undergoing surgery to treat cervical cancer.

Minnesota Vikings v Philadelphia Eagles
Andrews, weeks after her surgery to treat cervical cancer.
Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images

Andrews recently revealed her battle with cervical cancer to Sports Illustrated. The diagnosis, she said, occurred only months after her long, painful legal battle over a stalking lawsuit was resolved in court.

She hid her diagnosis from colleagues at Fox and on Dancing with the Stars, but she never missed a beat. She told SI that, “...just as I felt during my trial, sports were my escape. I needed to be with my crew.” Andrews even told her oncologist that she refused to miss a football game, noting it was Fox’s year to host the Super Bowl.

Anyone who watched the NFL on Fox this season probably was as shocked as I was to read about Andrew’s battle with cancer. It is truly remarkable to look back and think that she was hiding her diagnosis from the audience all season long.

Reading about Andrews and her quiet battle with cancer is inspiring and uplifting. It gives affirmation to women like me, who worry about how to cope with life if the unpredictable happens. It gives affirmation to women like my own mother, who had multiple fights with brain cancer but still fought to stay at her job for 15 more years.

There have been many strong women in sports broadcasting who have been vocal about their battles with cancer. ESPN’s Holly Rowe, underwent a treatment for a second fight with cancer in 2016. Robin Roberts, formerly of ESPN, has also battled cancer during her long, inspiring career.

Like these women, Andrews showed the utmost poise and bravery in coping with her diagnosis. And she did it the only way she knew how: while working her ass off.