Visser to receive Rozelle Award

Updated: June 29, 2006, 5:35 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Sports reporter and broadcaster Lesley Visser can add another "first" to her list.

Visser, of CBS Sports, will become the first woman to receive the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award.

The annual award recognizes "longtime exceptional contributions to radio and television in professional football." She will be presented with the award Aug. 5 at a dinner on the eve of enshrinement ceremonies.

Visser enters her 34th season covering the NFL on television and in print journalism. She was the first female NFL beat writer, covering the New England Patriots in 1976.

She spent nearly seven years with ABC Sports and was the first female reporter for "Monday Night Football" and first woman assigned to a Super Bowl sideline.

"Recognition by the Pro Football Hall of Fame is beyond any dream I could have imagined for myself or any other woman when I saw my first game, the AFL Patriots against the Raiders in 1964," Visser said Thursday. "It is a tremendous honor to be connected with his great legacy and to the list of honorees that have gone before me."

Visser, who began her career with The Boston Globe in 1974, joined CBS Sports 10 years later. She has covered the Final Four, NBA finals, World Series, Olympics, U.S. Open, World Figure Skating Championships and the Triple Crown.

"Lesley Visser's career has broken many barriers and defined previously unimagined roles for women in professional sports and sports broadcasting," said Sean McManus, president of CBS News and Sports.

Previous winners of the Rozelle Award include Don Criqui, John Madden, Roone Arledge, Dick Enberg, Charlie Jones, Jack Buck, Frank Gifford, Pat Summerall, Curt Gowdy and Chris Schenkel.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press

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