Erin Summers

sports broadcaster


Erin Summers

COVID shutdown: One year later

It’s been a year since I worked my last event pre-COVID and to say this past year hasn’t been easy would be an understatement.

This week alone I had 12 events wiped from my schedule due to COVID-19 related cancelations or (yes, a year later) pre-cautions. I can’t even begin to count all of the lost opportunities I have had and at times it’s been flat out heartbreaking.

This year has made me stronger, has taught me to fight harder and forced me to endure more than I thought possible — and still, there are so so many more that have had to deal with so much worse.

In regards to the sports world, I feel for the athletes, the athletic programs, the fans, college students and coaches. There is no road map for what they have all endured this past year and my only hope is that everyone can find some light, some strength at the end of it all.


When everything shut down last March I was a full-time freelancer, earning a living from my on-air sports broadcasting work. I never thought I’d have to work another non-on-air job again.

SHEW was I wrong.

As my canceled summer baseball job bled into canceled football seasons and sideline reporting going to the wayside, I had to pivot quickly.

An old contact reached out about helping create content for a canceled summer league baseball season, through some networking I was brought on as an Associate Director for Game Time with Boomer Esiason and I got to cover Army Football for a service academy football show. I worked in production as a camera operator, running audio or heck this weekend I’m working as the red-hat* for a Dog Show. (*that’s the person who signals when we’re back from commercial so the game can start again, or competition in this sense)

I started my own podcast and did a few ‘shows’ from my apartment to work on my craft. A mentor of mine (bless you Jill Montgomery) pushed me to try working as a color analyst since sideline reporters weren’t being used, and I was lucky enough to find some schools that would give me a shot.

Is any of it what I wanted to be doing? Not exactly. But it paid the bills, it keep me close to the game and pushed me out of my comfort zone (the whole color analyst thing? it’s actually really fun).

While I’m ready for it all to be ‘normal’ again, I’ve realized, this industry, it isn’t ever easy, normal or not. My advice to any aspiring broadcasting out there is to be kind, work hard and don’t be too proud to say yes to something you may feel is beneath you. (And that one is hard, especially when you’re doing games on TV one day and serving breakfast at a restaurant the next — shout out to my time at The Flying Biscuit).

It may look lucrative from the outside, but that’s just not always the case.

At times I’ve had to make ends meet working at restaurants, bars, gyms and in areas of sports I didn’t necessarily want to be in. However I learned a lot from my experiences working behind the scenes. I’ve made a lot of good contacts, and friends, who have helped me down the road.


This past year has given me a lot of time to reflect on why I’m working in this industry, and through each hardship is still a burning passion for covering some incredible teams, telling great stories and witnessing unbelievable moments. I may not know what is next, but I’m going to be grateful for the experiences I’ve had, keep working hard and be ready to pivot if need be!

Side Note: Props to the aspiring journalists who have reached out over the past year, I can’t imagine how hard it’s been to break in at this time and I’m always here if you need me!

SUMMERS SPORTS REPORT: Rivalry week for UNC, NC State

In this week’s Summers Sports Report it’s all about UNC vs. NC State — the series history, highlights from recent match-ups and a preview of this Saturday’s showdown.

SUMMERS SPORTS REPORT: Fox Sports’ Shannon Spake on NFL, NASCAR action

It’s a busy time for professional sports right now — NBA, MLB, NFL, NASCAR, a ton of soccer and golf — so we’re going pro this week with FOX Sports anchor and reporter Shannon Spake. 

We talk about Spake’s upcoming game in Pittsburgh, her thoughts on the NFC South and Michael Jordan joining NASCAR. Here’s our conversation.

SUMMERS SPORTS REPORT: Breaking down NC State football

Fall is in full swing, there is a ton happening in the sports world however here it’s all about college football in North Carolina. 

99.9 The Fan ESPN Radio host and long-time NC State beat reporter Joe Giglio is on-hand to talk Wolfpack ball, North Carolina is finally getting back on the field and we’ll cap things off with a lil Friday night lights action as Campbell heads to Wake Forest. 


The Wolfpack faithful enjoyed a comeback win over Wake Forest in game one, game two this past weekend wasn’t anything to cheer about. For that I’m going to the NC State guru Joe Giglio — watch the video below for the full interview. 


UNC head football coach Mack Brown got out his calculator this week and told the media the amount of days between the Tar Heels game against Syracuse and their upcoming matchup at Boston College is the longest in history since 1952 — that’s 68 years ago and it was a three-week hiatus due to polio outbreaks. Which sounds oddly familiar. 

For Brown the game at BC is like starting the season over — here’s my favorite bite from coach this week. 

“I’m just excited to see how we are, I think we’ve got a chance to be good. This will be a great test for us. Virginia Tech looked really good, we’ve got them next weekend. We’re about to jump back into it, we’ve been talked about and bragged on enough, it’s time for us to prove something.


Campbell has made the most of the four games the Big South allowed them to play this Fall — the FCS member opted to face off against four FBS schools. That’s four straight weeks against teams that have 18 more scholarships and a heck of a lot more staff and resources. 

Friday night the Camels are at Wake Forest for their first-ever game against a Power 5 school, however the Camels, they have a secret weapon —  6’7” 345 pound offensive lineman Mike Edwards, who started his college career at Wake.

“Wake Forest is simple man, they are going to be exactly what you think they’re going to be,” said Campbell head football coach Mike Minter. “It’s really about, when you have a #9 on your defense [Wake Forest defensive lineman Carlos Basham], he’s good, can’t do anything about it. We have some big ol’ boys too and one of them played with him. So he knows #9 real good. When I know you, then I’m not as afraid of you as someone who doesn’t know you — you just have a name in front of you. Big Mike can tell everybody else how these people really are, so it’s not ‘Wake Forest Defense’ it’s ‘nah that guy right there, you can get him, he’s not really that tough.’ That’s the type of intel that you really need about these players and Big Mike was able to give us that information.”

That’s not the only person coach Minter is getting intel from. On Sunday he got on the phone with NC State nickels coach Freddie Autry-Lindsay who used to coach at Campbell with Minter, and asked him what he’d do differently if the Wolfpack had the chance to play Wake Forest again. Minter acknowledged the Camels wouldn’t be able to do everything Autry-Lindsay recommended, they would give some things a try.


We are in week three of the ACC football season and there are still teams that are gearing up for their first game action. 

Duke head coach David Cutcliffe is not thrilled with how the Blue Devils schedule has shaped up due to COVID-19 changes, the ACC Network’s own Wes Durham discusses all things ACC football and NC State heads to Virginia Tech.


The Blue Devils are coming off a surprising 26-6 loss to Boston College – surprising as Duke was favored by nearly a touchdown. Head coach David Cutcliffe took the blame for the team not playing as well as they did in week one against Notre Dame. This week Duke is at Virginia. The Cavaliers are one of two teams, the other being Virginia Tech, who have yet to play this season. That’s three straight games Duke has played against team’s who are opening their season and Cutcliffe isn’t happy about it. 

“I don’t like openers, period,” Cutcliffe said Monday. “I think it’s the craziest thing I’ve ever been through. I doubt this has ever happened in college football where a team had three openers three games you play where you have no film to study. We know a lot about Virginia but you’re still not looking at the 2020 version of Virginia. Any changes that they’ve made, we don’t know exactly what they’re going to be. It’s been challenging. Our players are a little irritable about it to be real honest with you. It’s a unique setting. It’s what we’ve been given. We have to deal with it and just move forward.”

It is definitely a unique setting and to break down the first few weeks of ACC play, watch the video below with the ACC Network’s Wes Durham. 


NC State also finds themselves in another “opening game” scenario as they head to Virginia Tech. The Hokies have yet to play and are still dealing with a depleted roster due to a flurry of positive COVID earlier this month. 

“It’s a little bit like trying to solve a Rubik’s cube and a new layer of the Rubik’s cute gets added every single day,” Fuente said Monday. “Trying to figure out who’s available and who can get work and bring the team together, all the things that come with this.”

The biggest question for the Hokies will be at the quarterback position, do they go with redshirt junior Hendon Hooker, who made 8 starts and led the team in total offense last season, or back-up Braxton Burmeister, an Oregon transfer who had to sit last season. Fuente said he plans on playing both but wouldn’t say how the reps will shake out.

The Wolfpack will again go with back-up quarterback Bailey Hockman, starter Devin Leary was able to go against Wake however after missing 20 practices due to quarantine for contact tracing, coach Doeren said he just wasn’t ready to play. Hockman, a redshirt junior, completed 70 percent of his throws, had 191 yards passing and a touchdown as he led NC State to a 45-42 win over Wake Forest last week. 

This will be the 50th meeting between NC State and Virginia Tech with the Hokies winning 4 out of the last 5 since joining the ACC in 2004.

SUMMERS SPORTS REPORT: College football in the Carolinas

This week it’s all about college football in the Carolinas.

Breaking news out of Charlotte leads to a canceled game, longtime voice of Boston College Jon Meterparel joins me to talk the Eagles matchup at Duke, NC State is finally taking the field and why Campbell was trending nationally over the weekend. 


Last Saturday North Carolina defeated Syracuse 31-6 — this weekend the Heels were set to face the Charlotte 49ers, until ONE positive COVID test Thursday. 

Out of 200 tests taken Monday, Charlotte had an offensive lineman test positive. Through contact tracing the entire offensive line had to be quarantined and the 49ers were forced to cancel their game at UNC Saturday. North Carolina is looking for an opponent to add during their open date Sept. 26.


Duke fell 27-13 to No. 10 Notre Dame last week, this Saturday they look to bounce back against Boston College. The last time Duke’s home opener was against an ACC school was Sept 10, 2005 — it was a 45-0 Virginia Tech win so we aren’t going to spend anymore time talking about that. Boston College however has yet to play a game this season. Watch the episode below to hear longtime voice of the Eagles Jon Meterparel give the scoop on BC.


NC State is finally back on the gridiron and against familiar foe Wake Forest. It’s the third longest series being played in college football, the two teams have played every single year since 1910. Over the past 25, the teams have each won 12 times. The most recent a 44-10 Wolfpack loss at Wake Forest.

While the NC State team will look different under 1st year offensive coordinator Tim Beck, and there will be a lot of new faces in Carter-Finley.

“It will be unique playing in an empty stadium,” NC State head coach Dave Doeren said Wednesday. “We do have some pretty sweet cutouts over there, I saw Zach Galifinakas’ face and Bill Cowher was in the crowd yesterday during our mock game, so there’s some comedy relief in the stands right now.”

For those that don’t know, Zach Galifinakas is an NC State grad. 


Campbell football was trending nationally last weekend after nearly beating Georgia Southern on a missed 2-point conversion. The 27-26 loss was a huge showing for the FCS team in their first nationally televised game. Head coach Mike Minter said he had 200 text messages when he got on the bus after the game. Social media was blowing up as college football fans found out about Campbell and their mascot the Fighting Camels.

Campbell QB Hajj Malik Williams told coach Minter earlier this week he was having a hard time focusing on football amidst all the social media messages and mentions. The two decided Williams should get off social media altogether, at least for the week.

This Friday the Camels are back in the limelight — in ESPN’s primetime game as they face Coastal Carolina at 7:30. By the way that’s the Coastal Carolina team that just upset Kansas 38-23. It’s another big game on a big stage.

SUMMERS SPORTS REPORT: ACC football kicks off

In light of COVID-19, we all had to wait for it however ACC football is finally here.


In the Triangle (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill — for those who are unfamiliar with North Carolina geography) the Tar Heels open things up Saturday at noon as they host Syracuse. 

It’s been a unique start for any football team as conferences canceled or postponed their season due to COVID-19. The ACC had to completely revamp their schedule — meaning the Tar Heels didn’t know they’d be playing Syracuse until August 6th. That’s not a lot of time to prepare, and to add another wrinkle to things, the Orange have a new defensive coordinator this year in Tony White.

“We’re still not sure what the new defensive coordinator will do with his personnel,” UNC head football coach Mack Brown said Wednesday. “We’re looking at different possibilities. We feel like the offensive line has the biggest question marks on what Syracuse will do going into the game.”

The first quarter will be fluid as the Heels make adjustments. The Heels have a solid offensive core returning, and will rely on their sophomore quarterback Sam Howell. 

Howell is coming off a heck of a freshman campaign — 3,641 yards passing, 38 touchdowns and only 7 interceptions. Howell was named ACC Offensive and Overall Rookie of the Year last season. Everyone is expecting big things from from Howell again this season. However, in a Zoom call Tuesday, Howell said he hasn’t let the preseason hype get to him. Howell said he holds himself to a high standard and knows that he has to put in the work to be everything people say he is and more.

Here are a couple of other things to look out for Saturday in Chapel Hill.

  • UNC DEFENSE Headlined by linebacker Chazz Surratt and defensive back Storm Duck, the defense has only gotten better. Brown spent every call praising the efforts of the secondary, and said they’ve put pressure on the offense to improve. While Surratt is technically a linebacker, expect the Heels to use his talent at several different positions. 
  • COVID TESTING Depending on COVID-19 test results, players will not know if they can play until 9am Saturday morning. The Heels will have their last of three tests Friday afternoon and those results won’t be back until 9am — 9am before a noon kick. Let’s hope things don’t get dicey and depth charts won’t have to be revisited.
  • OFFENSIVE LINE With depth in mind an area of concern for the Heels has been the offensive line. While Howell said he felt confident going out there behind the OL, coach Brown said he’d really like to have a few more players step up before he felt good about the Heels ability up front.


Duke is at Notre Dame Saturday at 2:30pm on NBC. Yes, we finally get a full season of Notre Dame in the ACC. Duke head coach David Cutcliffe said his team is excited about kicking things off in South Bend.

“It’s a great opportunity to test your team,” said Cutcliffe Tuesday. “It’s a great opportunity to energize your team. And when we found out we were playing Notre Dame up there to open, I think that helped us realize how big a challenge that is. I think it really did infuse some energy into our camp and into the preseason work and practices.”

Duke has been a well-oiled machine, taking extra precautions for the health and safety of their players during COVID-19. While the ACC requires every team to test three times a week, Duke announced this week they will be moving to daily testing.  

On Sunday, coach Cutcliffe announced quarterback Chase Brice as the Blue Devils starter. Brice is a grad transfer from Clemson, in 25 games played Brice completed 82 passes for 1,023 yards with nine touchdowns and four interceptions while rushing 30 times for 187 yards and one score.

“I think Chase you know, as he got more comfortable with our system what you started seeing was his experience,” said Cutcliffe Tuesday. “He’s played a lot more football at this level than the other two have. Chase played a lot of games and saw a lot of game time at Clemson. You could see that pocket movement and him just feeling natural in a pocket. The timing mechanism of throws and as he got more comfortable his accuracy level grew in all of the throws whether it was deep ball’s or intermediate short layoffs. He just became more and more the most comfortable quarterback on a day to day basis. As the week closed out last week, I think it became more obvious and then we made the decision to start him at the Notre Dame game.”

For Notre Dame, they are led by three-year starter Ian Book. Last season Book became the first Irish quarterback with 2,500 passing yards, 500 rushing yards and 30 touchdown passes in a season — the only other QB to do that last year? Jalen Hurts, the Oklahoma quarterback who went No. 53 overall to the Eagles this past April. 

The Irish haven’t lost at home since Sept. 30, 2017 and while the atmosphere will be quite different (Notre Dame is limiting attendance to 20% or less with priority going to the students), there may actually be more on the line this season.

“It’s an established goal now to win a championship in the ACC,” Notre Dame head football coach Brian Kelly said Tuesday. “Our mission is to win a National Championship and graduate all of our players. We’re able to talk in terms of our mission being to win a championship and now either an ACC Championship and if you win that you obviously keep your mission alive for a National Championship. So you have both of them now in your eyes and in your vision for what you want to accomplish during the season.”

The Irish return everyone on their offensive line and have a defense that was ranked No. 12 in the country last year. For Duke this will be a much different match-up than what was supposed to be a home-opener against Middle Tennessee State pre-COVID.


NC State fans have to wait another week for game action, but in the meantime Pack fans can watch Clemson at Wake Forest Saturday night and get excited for an 8pm matchup with the Demon Deacons next weekend. 

Where To? Summertime in Steamboat Springs

The past six months have been difficult to say the least and being cooped up indoors was not my idea of a fun summer. Working in the sports broadcasting field, I had all of my events over the Spring and Summer canceled and had put all hope in normalcy come Fall.

That did not happen as I saw all of my Fall work postponed or canceled, so I threw on a mask, packed a bag and headed to one of my favorite places to re-set — Steamboat Springs, CO.

My family has been spending summers in Steamboat since I can remember, I loved it as a kid and I think it’s even better as an adult. Here’s my go-to guide to get the most out of the beautiful outdoors in Steamboat (which is very COVID friendly at that).

I’ve stayed with family when traveling, however there are SO many vacation rentals available. From townhomes, condominiums, houses or hotels you will find what works for your group (you can even rent a ranch!). Check out the town’s chamber page for dates/options.

It’s called Ski Town USA, but in the summer it’s definitely a bike town. I always rent from Ski Haus, two bikes for three hours was $26 this past trip. Go earlier in the day to guarantee availability, or you can try another rental shop (Christy Sports Central Park, Pedego Steamboat, Steamboat Ski and Bike Kare or Boomerang Sports Exchange).

My favorite easy ride is the Yampa River Core Trail — it’s a 7.5 mile paved trail that follows the Yampa River downtown. You’ll see tons of people floating the river (which is another fun daytime activity), picnicking or walking. If you pay attention you’ll catch the Rodeo Grounds, Howelsen Ski Area, the Yampa River Botanic Park and skate/bike park. I always like to take a pit stop at Mountain Tap Brewery for a Chasing Sunset or their latest IPA. They have a ton of outdoor seating and food too!

If you’re looking for something more challenging, check out one of the trails at the Steamboat Bike Park — it’s all mountain biking. Unfortunately it was closed for summer 2020, but there are a lot of other mountain biking trails to tackle if you go this year.

You can basically walk out your front door and find a trail, most of the biking trails are available for hiking as well, and you can hike the ski runs (or take the gondola up and hike down for a less strenuous workout).

Second waterfall at Fish Creek Falls

We always go by Fish Creek Falls when we’re in town, the main waterfall is accessible from a paved walkway, it’s a breathtaking view and a great photo op. This summer we hiked up to the second waterfall from the base of the main one. It’s 2.5 miles one-way and 9,000 feet in elevation — I consider myself in shape and this one wasn’t easy but oh so worth it. Take your time and enjoy the scenery, there are some beautiful lookouts to stop at along the way.

I’m a kid at heart, so grabbing a tube and floating down the Yampa or playing in the river is great by me. If you want to tap into your inner child some more, take a ride down the Howelsen Alpine Slide or “The Howler”. You’ll take a chairlift to the top of Howelsen Hill, which overlooks Downtown Steamboat, and at the top you get a sled to ride down the slide. It’s $15 per ride, but you’ll get a deal the more rides you book. It’s a Steamboat staple, and there’s usually shaved ice for sale at the bottom 🙂

Each summer, except for 2020 because of COVID, the rodeo comes to Steamboat. The show is every Friday and Saturday and is jam packed with bull riding, barrel racing, steer wrestling and the kids can even get in the ring for the calf scramble (it is hilarious). There’s BBQ and entertainment starting at 6pm and the show starts at 7:30pm. Beer, wine and other bevs are also available. Admission is $10 per child 7-15 and $20 for adults, children 6 and under are free!

How about BBQ and bowling? Head to SnowBowl for ridiculously amazing BBQ and a fun day/night of bowling. The restaurant is doing all outdoor seating and has the lanes separated inside for COVID compliant social distancing. There are TVs everywhere inside if you want to catch a game while bowling, as well as a full service bar.

Horseback riding is another fun activity for the family and available at any level.

Strawberry Park Hot Springs

There are hot springs in town at Old Town Hot Springs, however I recommend Strawberry Park, about 15 minutes from downtown. Strawberry Park is up in the mountains, so the scenery around the pools is beautiful. There are several pools that have been carved into the rock and are filled by a natural hot spring (we’re talking naturally 104 degrees F!). It’s $20 per person to go (cash or check only), and just an FYI at night it’s clothing optional.

Catamount Ranch and Club

Steamboat has three public golf courses — Haymaker, Rollingstone Ranch Golf Course and the 9-hole Steamboat Golf Course that runs along the Yampa River. I hadn’t golfed since middle school until I went to Steamboat this summer and I’m hooked! Doesn’t hurt that the views are amazing, the air is so thin the golf ball carries and there aren’t many trees to hit around!

We golfed at the Catamount Ranch and Club, thanks to some family members, but wherever you go — it will be beautiful.

There’s way more to do than just floating down the Yampa, check out Pearl Lake State Park or Steamboat Lake State Park. Each is $7 to access for the day, and both have a ton of water sports, hiking, horseback riding, paddle boarding, jet skiing, fishing and then some available. I went paddle boarding (which was great until it got windy and I kept spinning around haha) and wake surfing this summer. The water can be chilly but go during a sunny afternoon and you won’t notice it at all!

As mentioned, SnowBowl has great BBQ — huge portions for a really good price.

If you’re looking for a finer-dinning experience I recommend Aurum. I think we ordered almost every appetizer and they were all amazing (the nachos and Brussel sprouts were so yum!). For dinner I went for the filet and it was cooked to perfection, with a side of veggies and mash. The restaurant itself is set on the river so the ambiance is great.

My dad swears by the burgers at Back Door Grill and I have to agree. You can get as crazy as peanut butter, fried egg and hash browns on the Dirty Harry or go classic cheeseburger.

Craving sushi? Tahk Omakase has it all, and the prices show it, it’s not your typical BOGO but you’ll be satisfied with the results.

For lunch and some good Mexican food, I love the rooftop patio at Salt & Lime. You can mix and match tacos or go for a classic quesadilla.

For dessert stop by Fuzziwig’s Candy Factory, as a kid I always got the rock candy pops or candy pebbles. I guess it was something about being in the mountains that made the idea of eating rocks cool?

Drop me a comment if you have any questions, or if you have your own Steamboat favorites! Whether it’s Colorado or a walk in your neighborhood, getting outside really helps ease the mind and of course keep wearing those masks 😷

My thoughts amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

I love to work, and I love being busy — so much so that I find it hard to say “no” to anything, which at times sends me into a fiery ball of stress. On March 11, as sporting events started announcing the restriction of fans, I was working my 21st event in the past 13 days across three different states. As news broke over the next few days and conference tournaments were canceled I secretly welcomed the chance to sleep, to reset, catch up on laundry, cook and finish that book I hadn’t quite been able to get through over the last two months. 

But then the news kept coming, spring conference championships were canceled followed by entire seasons and my calendar became a smattering of black X-marks. I felt for the athletes, my fellow freelancers and fans across the country. Me, however, I would be fine, right?

That’s what I thought, until over a week later (March 24 to be specific) I found myself sitting in front of my computer looking for jobs — any jobs. I was bidding on freelance projects, contemplating going to work at the grocery store, clicking on link after link as the dark cloud over me started pouring rain. 

It brought me back to a place in my life I worked so hard to get out of, and stay out of. Several years ago, as I was transitioning from TV news to freelance sports, I sat at my computer, unable to make rent, piling up credit card debt and searching for anything to do to help make ends meet. I was working at a summer baseball league, and then as Fall approached it was a bar, a restaurant, a gym and any area school that needed a camera op. 

While this pandemic may have stirred up old emotions of doubt, fear and insecurity for myself, I had to sit back and reevaluate the truth of those feelings. 

We are not in this position by any reason of our own (unless you are one of the jerks that has continued to go out during this pandemic and in that case I have other words for you), and we should not feel bad about ourselves during it. We are all in a holding pattern, the world will return to normal and sports will again thrive, maybe even more so than before, creating more opportunity.  

Over the next few weeks or months, I myself am going to try to practice gratitude (and I do put emphasis on the word “try” because it will be tough). Take time to be thankful for what you have accomplished so far, be grateful for what you do have and let people around you know how much they mean to you. 

We are in this together. Try to find a way to keep that “sports” spark alive during this time, whether it’s writing, watching old games, reading books or articles of people you admire, taking your camera (or phone) out for a shoot or reaching out to someone you look up to in the industry. Let’s come out of this pandemic healthy, with some personal growth and a new fire for our work because in the end we really all are so lucky to have any time at all working in the crazy, fun world of sports. 


My Reading List:
The Accidental Creative by Todd Henry
Super Attractor by Gabriel Bernstein
Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
ESPN: The Uncensored History by Michael Freeman
The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

Unlocking Us by Brene Brown

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