Beth Mowins says she was never one to shy away from "shaking up the status quo" and "redefining cultural norms."
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Sports journalist Beth Mowins is no stranger to shattering glass ceilings. The play-by-play announcer has been the voice behind the Women's College World Series for more than two decades and stepped into the spotlight in 2005 after becoming the second woman to call a nationally televised college football game for ESPN. Tonight, she's making history again by becoming the first woman to call play-by-play for an NFL Monday Night Football game. (BTW, she's only the second woman ever to announce a regular season NFL game. The first was Gayle Sierens back in 1987.)
"So many women grew up watching sports as a part of their daily lives and that's why we got into this business—to talk about the game," she told Shape exclusively. "So to have been able to work hard and get into a position where I get this opportunity is really rewarding." (Related: This Badass Woman Just Summited Everest In a Record-Breaking Climb)
To say Mowins is well seasoned in this business is a huge understatement, but that doesn't mean she's free of those pre-game jitters.
"I always get nervous before games," she says. "But I think the nervous energy can be very positive. It lets you know that it's a big day for you and for other people and is a great indicator that you're passionate about something you love to do. So it's just a matter of channeling those goose bumps into a positive come kick-off and putting your best foot forward." (Related: The Latest High School Football Star Is a Girl)
She plans on doing just that—and tonight's matchup between the Los Angeles Chargers and the Denver Broncos might make her job a little easier. Fun fact: Denver's Mile High Stadium has a long-standing tradition of selling out nearly every home game since 1970. "I think our whole crew is hoping that it will be a terrific game," says Mowins. "This kind of an atmosphere is unparalleled." (Related: 25 Reasons Why It's Great to Be a Sports Fan)
The glaring fact that sportscasting has always been a male-dominated industry has never fazed Mowins. Instead, it's been a huge motivator. "When I look back to when I was a kid, I knew had a dream that was out of the norm," she says. "But I grew up with three brothers, and my dad was a football coach, so I never shied away from shaking up the status quo a little bit and redefining what the cultural norms were."
That's why Mowins is partnering with Secret to showcase women who champion feminine strength in the NFL and embrace being leaders in their fields. Together, they hope to blaze new trails for women in male-dominated arenas and encourage them to pursue their dreams with tenacity. (Related: Record-Breaking Mountaineer Bonita Norris Will Make You Want to Be a Badass Climber Too)
"If you're going to chase your dreams, you've got to take on everything that comes with that," says Mowins. "Sometimes that means being confident and comfortable in really stressful situations. But that's okay. To be successful, it's important to be bold, ambitious, and out in front."