With nearly 30 years of NFL experience, Amy Trask was a hot commodity around the league after her resignation as CEO of the Oakland Raiders in May. When she landed as an analyst on the CBS Sports Network's "The Other Pregame Show," it was a surprise to many, including the formerly media adverse Trask herself.
We checked in with Trask via email to get some insight into her transition to this new side of football.
espnW: How did CBS warm you to the idea of taking on your current position?
Amy Trask: When I resigned my position with the Raiders, I had no plan, no idea, no thought as to what I would choose for my next adventure. Had I created a list of 10,000 possibilities, appearing on television would not have been on it. However, I had an opportunity to speak with a group of CBS and CBS Sports Network representatives, and their vision, passion, intelligence, creativity and enthusiasm was very exciting and very enticing.
espnW: As someone who never engaged much with the media in your former role with the Raiders, how has it been adjusting to this position where you're constantly staring and speaking into the camera?
AT: You are absolutely right -- for almost three decades, whenever I saw a television camera, I ran as fast as I could in the opposite direction. This new adventure is terrifying, but the entire CBS, CBS Sports Network and "TOPS" team is tremendous -- supportive, encouraging and tremendously helpful in every regard.
espnW: Your insight on the business of football gives viewers a different perspective on the NFL. As you discuss issues that impact important decisions within an organization, what is one topic that you're most passionate about?
AT: Identifying one topic is quite a challenge. OK, here's one: balancing the business of football with the game of football. Football is, in my view, the greatest game. And certainly, the game has grown into a very, very big business. The challenge is finding a balance between protecting the game itself and advancing business interests. It's important to remember that what we love about the game is, in fact, the game.
espnW: What are some of the challenges you've faced as an analyst?
AT: I find it quite a challenge to share my thoughts and views in a manner which is ideal for television. I tend to be a reflective, thoughtful speaker and I must learn to speak more concisely.
espnW: What is it about football that brings out your passion, and when did you first discover this passion?
AT: I fell in love with the game when I was a teenager (in junior high school, actually). While we consider the game one of strength, speed and power -- and it is -- it is also a very cerebral game. It is a highly intellectual game, a wonderful blend of strength, speed, power and intelligence. Football also unites people and communities in a very powerful and profound manner.
espnW: What do you make of the fact that throughout your career the media have often brought up your gender when discussing your success in the professional sports industry?
AT: I have always tried to comport myself without regard to gender. After all, if I want others to interact with me -- and to evaluate me -- without regard to gender, then the last thing I should do is reflect on or think about my gender.
espnW: As a role model to many people who dream of making a successful career out of football, what advice can you share?
AT: The advice I would share is this: Work hard, work as hard as you can. When you think you can work no harder, work even harder.
Leanne Cozart works in Creative Services at ESPN. She was born in California and has interned for the Oakland Raiders and the Arena Football League.