This isn’t the first time Andrea Kremer has made history.
Yet even now, decades after she’s established herself as a leading broadcast journalist, she admits it was never a path she imagined she’d follow, let alone lead.
Being the first woman inducted into the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame who was not a player or coach was never in her game plan. She was just a kid who loved sports and often went to Phillies and Eagles games at Veterans Stadium with her family.
“I hear all the time from girls, ‘I want to do what you do,’ but I tell them at that time I didn’t exist,” said Kremer, chief correspondent for the NFL Network, in addition to being a regular on HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel and co-hosting CBS Sports’ weekly women’s panel discussion We Need to Talk. “There was no Andrea Kremer to look toward. I knew what I loved, but it never once crossed my mind I would make a career out of it.”
She started at the Main Line Chronicle in the early 1980s. She admits she was scared to death on her first road trip to Tampa, Fla., covering the USFL Philadelphia Stars, until veteran beat writers took her under their wing. It wasn’t long before she was making a name for herself.
From there, it was on to NFL Films as a producer/director for five years, followed by ESPN, NBC and the NFL Network.
Along the way, she covered 20 Super Bowls, playoff games in many other sports, and the Olympics, picking up two Emmy Awards and a Peabody Award.
The Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame is just the latest career recognition.
Already a 2010 member of the Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, the 1980 University of Pennsylvania graduate said the honor was unexpected.
“It was an amazing surprise and an incredible honor,” said Kremer, one of 15 being inducted Nov. 2 at the Hilton Philadelphia City Avenue. “When I look at who I’m going in with, it’s especially meaningful because I grew up rooting for Ron Jaworski and later wound up working alongside him. And I covered Randall Cunningham. So the idea of me going in the same year as them is really special.”
Broadcasting peers said she’s worthy.
“That’s awesome, and she certainly deserves it,” said ESPN’s Suzy Kolber, the former Dresher native who once worked with Kremer at ESPN. “We’ve known each other forever, and I’ve always admired her work ethic. She will dig and dig and dig until she has the whole story.
“She’s at the top of the game and a hall of famer because of that credibility and respect throughout the industry.”
Despite the honor, there remains some reluctance to accept women in what many still consider the male domain of sports — something Kremer knows all too well.
“I’ve been the first female in a number of different areas in my career,” said Kremer, who lives in the Boston area and teaches a communications course about interviewing at Boston University. “I was the first female producer hired by NFL Films when I was told some of the editors didn’t think I belong.”
Former Eagles wide receiver Mike Quick, who now does Eagles game color commentary for Sportsradio 94WIP, remembers the first time Kremer sat in the locker to interview him, realizing she knew just as much as her male counterparts.
“It was new for me to see a lady in the locker room, and I was thrown off a bit,” said Quick, a 2010 Philadelphia Sports Hall inductee.
“But she knew what she was talking about, so I was good with it. She sounded like she’d done her homework. She’s paid her dues.
“She’s been grinding and learning from people since she was a young girl. She’s a great representative for the Hall of Fame.”